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First experience with a broody, have some questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by HHandbasket, Feb 5, 2011.

  1. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    My Olga is half American gamefowl and half EE. I got her from a fellow BYCer last July when she was a 3-day-old chick. She has been laying about 4 weeks now. About two weeks after she started laying, she has tried to go broody every single morning when she lays her egg. We steal her egg, take her off the nest, give her a little pet when she squats, and she goes off and sings the egg song and all is well. Well... this morning, that's not quite how it went. DH went out, took her egg, and she 'bout took his hand off. He took her out of the nest, and she sang egg song but it sounded particularly "urgent" and loud and then she ran back in and got back on the nest with nothing under her but a wooden decoy egg.

    A friend of ours gave us 5 fertile bantam eggs day before yesterday for our mini bator, but we decided hey, let's stick those under Olga instead. So she's sitting on 5 banty eggs now! She is allllll puffed up and doesn't even look like herself (who knew that funny-looking, scrawny bird could be SO beautiful??).

    If she gets off the eggs before the time is up, we can stick them in the bator to finish?

    We do not have any roosters here, so none of our own flock's eggs will ever hatch. However, we have already had a situation this morning where our barred rock went in to lay her egg, and Olga stole it. I had to lift her up and steal it back, and she was none too happy about that. I hope that having to do that every day will not cause her to stop brooding the eggs! Will it? Is there some other way we should handle this?

    I like the idea of letting the chickens do all the work. LOL.
     
  2. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like you are on the right track. Just keep an eye on things and be ready to finish the incubation or help other chickens who have been kicked out of the nest box. Will they take up a new (temporary) box? Or do you think you could get your broody isolated so the others could lay?

    My own broody experience started like your, but I chose to break the mood instead.
     
  3. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Well, we have been breaking her every day and had no intentions of allowing her to continue to be broody. But we just HAPPENED to have 5 fertile eggs handy so we figured what the heck, especially since she's so much more adamant about it today than she has been previously. Maybe she subconsciously knew we had fertile eggs in the house hehehehe. Yeah, right, psychic chicken LOL... now that she's broody, she's more like PSYCHO chicken.

    We have a milk crate & we're gonna clean it out, put her nesting material in it along with her and her eggs and put her in a private section of the coop to let her brood. Otherwise, she's gonna steal everybody else's eggs all the time. My olive egger has been squatting for a week, singing egg song for about 3 weeks, and she was in the nesting boxes this morning. I can't WAIT to see what color eggs she gives me, and I don't want to have to steal it from under Olga, ya know?

    Will she come off the nest once a day to eat? Should I move the feeder/waterer closer to her? Should I put her on a higher protein food for now? The whole flock gets oatmeal, flaxseed, and yogurt almost daily (but they are NOT spoiled hehehe). When we get a lot of eggs, I'll scramble some up and feed them to the girls with their oatmeal & they seem to really love it. Should that be enough?

    Thanks again to everyone for your help! I want to keep my girl happy and healthy while she's brooding.
     
  4. RockwaterFarm

    RockwaterFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 17, 2010
    East Hartland, CT
    You could also block off the area where olga is at and give her her own fresh food and water. that way no other hens steal her eggs or lay in he nest. or you could make a broody box for her out of a storage bin. you can move a chickens eggs, and still have the hen sit on them.
     
  5. HHandbasket

    HHandbasket The Chickeneer

    Well, I hooked up a nice place for her and her eggs, and she got mad that I tried to move her, bit me, drew blood, and jumped off the eggs. ::sigh:: I tried to show her where they were, but she flogged me good. She's NOT happy. Every time I go outside now, she squawks at me.

    Hopefully she'll get back on them tomorrow. Otherwise, I'll just bring them inside and put them in the bator. She was only on them for about 2 hours, so they should still be ok, right?
     

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