First Time Broody! Advice Please....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by muddy75, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. muddy75

    muddy75 Crowing

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    My 7 mo splash silkie went broody on me. I found her yesterday as I was collecting eggs. She is in one of the favorite nesting boxes of my secondary coop. Tonight I pulled 4 eggs out and marked them with date, and removed all other eggs
    (that I found) I gave her a small bowl of food this morning but I still need to figure out a waterer for her in the coop. There are currently only 2- 4 mo pullets that roost in that coop and the girls that go in to lay eggs during the day so I could lock everybody out as hatch approaches to protect chicks.

    I currently have 8 eggs in the incubator due on Saturday that I considered putting some of those under her, but even though I know they don’t “count the days” in same way we do, thought that might be too soon to hatch???

    @Wyorp Rock, @aart
     
  2. BYCforlife

    BYCforlife Free Ranging

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    It's never too soon for the eggs to hatch, but a broody hen will only sit on eggs for around 2 days after the first chicks hatch, so you can't have 2 different dates of eggs under her. If you put the incubator eggs under her, then the ones under her now cannot be under her as well.
     
  3. muddy75

    muddy75 Crowing

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    I was planning to remove the ones I marked today if ok to let her hatch and/or brood ones currently in lockdown. I’m not even sure that ones i marked are fertile as I just “removed” those cockerels on Monday without checking fertility of the eggs. the 8 in the incubator were the last chicken eggs I was planning to hatch. (chicken math!!)
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

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    I have never broody hatched, so let's see what someone like @aart or @ChickenCanoe suggests.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I haven't had a broody hen that wouldn't protect her chicks from all the other birds long enough for them to be accepted as members of the flock.
    How old were the cockerels you removed? Had you seen them mating the hens you collected eggs from? A hen will lay fertile eggs for about 3 weeks after being mated.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
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  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Then give the broody fake eggs for now and the chicks when they hatch.
    She may not accept them due to only being broody for a day or so(?).
    It's her first time being broody, but have you had a broody hatch before?
    Read up on grafting chicks.
    If she doesn't accept the chicks but remains broody, break her.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    That's good advice too. I personally haven't put eggs due to hatch in 3 days under a first time broody the day after she started sitting.
    It may even be possible that experience of sitting for 3 days and getting chicks screw her up for life as a setting hen. I just don't know because there may be no research on that situation. This isn't a warning, I'm just looking at any eventualities.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2019
  8. muddy75

    muddy75 Crowing

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    the cockerels were 4 months. there had been mating activity and some crowing. I’m down to just my girls and my quail in the run until my new aviary is complete. My girls don’t mess with the smaller birds as much but I’ve never added any birds younger than 3 weeks. I have 2 chicks that are 1 week old in the brooder that hatched out of 7 incubated. all the eggs i’ve incubated were from the 5 month old cockerels I removed last month.
     
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  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    I wouldn't use 4 month cockerels for good fertility - or expect it from them - so you may want to swap the eggs in the incubator with those under the hen. I really don't want to steer you wrong.
    What breed were the cockerels and hens?
     
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  10. muddy75

    muddy75 Crowing

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    yes this is her first time broody and my first experience with a broody. she has shown broody behavior before, but would get up to go to her coop for bedtime as this coop was full. this is first time she’s stayed on the eggs. I think we’ve decided to let her sit on the 4 marked eggs. they would be due for hatch may 8-9. i will try to candle them in a few days to check for development. she’s sitting on 2 silkie cross eggs and 2 EE eggs. so do i need to give her food and water in her nesting area or will she get up and eat/drink on her own.
     
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