First-time broody, first-time broody owner

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chickengoggles, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. chickengoggles

    chickengoggles Songster

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    Hello! My broody Cochin/Spitzhauben mix is a first-time almost mama. She is on day 18. I have had to go in to her broody area twice a day to take her off and have her eat and drink. She stopped coming off her nest in the main coop after our rooster chased her several days in a row. It took her 5 days after I moved her into the broody area to have enough food and water in her to poop.

    On day 18, is she on "lockdown"? Should I leave her alone and stop taking her off for water or food? I know she will not eat or drink otherwise, even with mealworms or scrambled eggs to tempt her.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

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    In my opinion, after 6, almost 7 years of hatching solely with broodies, you should have left her alone other than remove her from the rooster and other hens that could disturb her. You're really lucky you didn't inadvertently break her brood which shows she has staying power even with interruption.

    Hens get up once a day to eat and drink. You don't need to move them unless they are a very poor brooder (which then I wouldn't use them but break them). And they typically have one very large broody poo once a day, even every other day!

    As to now, yes, leave her alone. Don't touch anything. You risk bumping eggs so chicks are in the wrong position or worse causing a shrink wrap situation with the membranes by changing the humidity.

    Momma knows what she is doing. The road map is in her genes. (Cochins are good brooders...I've not worked with Spitzhaubens).

    By day 22, if you don't see chicks, carefully lift her up to see what's happening.

    Good luck with your hatch! Congratulations to your hen. :D

    LofMc
     
  3. chickengoggles

    chickengoggles Songster

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    Thanks! I think she was a great brooder to start, but getting chased 2 - 3 days in a row (maybe more when I wasn't there?) when coming out to eat/stretch her legs taught her that staying on the nest was her best option.

    I'll leave her be for the rest of the time - she ate and drank well this morning, so I won't worry that she dies on the nest. :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the wisdom and advice - this is exciting for us! She's our best hen, and her egg was developing nicely at day 10, as were the eggs of our other 6 very good heritage breed hens. Our silly cockerel has been excellent in every other way than chasing his first broody around, so I hope to have some lovely offspring.

    Here is our papa and mama:

    20190328_185256.jpg 20190309_110719.jpg
     
  4. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

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    Beautiful chickens and precious children.

    Enjoy.
     
  5. CluckNDoodle

    CluckNDoodle Crowing

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    Oh my goodness those pictures are so sweet and the chickens are gorgeous!
    As Lady of McCamley already mentioned she will likely be just fine! I will add that I usually put a chick-sized waterer and food dish within reach of my broody hens. This is sometimes easier depending on what your nestbox set up is like. Once the chicks start hatching the early birds will eat and drink and momma hen will also show the chicks how it's done and eat and drink a bit while doing so as the rest of the chicks finish hatching. I leave the waterer there through the entire incubation because I often see my girls reach for a sip.

    I also will often tuck a broody under my arm and check to make sure the other hens didn't sneak another egg under her, lol. I think the tolerance level of our broody hens probably has a lot to do with the fact that we handle them a lot on an average basis anyway. I have done this with a lot of broody hens and so far all have tolerated it. It's a risk I take as I know I'll eventually have a broody that doesn't appreciate it. lol
    Keep us updated on the hatch! :pop
     
  6. chickengoggles

    chickengoggles Songster

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    When I moved my chickens from the chicken tractor with 6 built-in nest boxes to an 8 x 10 "tack room" in a shed row barn, the hens hated everything I tried for nest boxes, including buckets and pre-made wooden nest boxes. When I got covered cat litter boxes and cat carriers they stopped laying in random places and used them. Mama is in a cat litter box, which was handy for moving her from the main coop to the broody coop (aka unused horse stall), but I'm starting to worry about the opening. It's kind of high - do you think the chicks will be able to get out? I've piled shavings up around it on the outside, but there's a bit of a space between the hay on the inside and the lip.

    Also, can they drown in that particular waterer? It never fills up very full and is sitting on an overturned feed pan, again with bedding piled around it. Need marbles?

    I do have a chick feeder, I just haven't put it in yet. There is chick starter in that smorgasbord for mama, and I also got chick grit and a small feeder for that.

    Any thoughts, advice?
    20190612_212134.jpg
     
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  7. CluckNDoodle

    CluckNDoodle Crowing

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    The litter boxes are such a great idea for a nest box! It looks like they should be able to get in and out, I'm also surprised by what the little chicks seem to be able to clumsily vault over and tumble down, lol. If not, you can push something up to it to make it easier for them to get in and out.
    I have heard of chicks drowning in the regular waterers like the one in your image but it has never happened to me personally. I don't separate my hens from the main flock so the chicks are exposed to a lot of "adult chicken" stuff, like that waterer. I think it's more likely when the larger waterers are used in more confined spaces.
     
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  8. chickengoggles

    chickengoggles Songster

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    Jan 29, 2019
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  9. chickengoggles

    chickengoggles Songster

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    We have at least one chick! I poked my head in this morning to offer her a drink and a bite on the nest and a little dark head poked out from under mama's breast! I skedaddled! From the peeping I overheard from outside the stall, I'm going to guess more than one.
     
  10. CluckNDoodle

    CluckNDoodle Crowing

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    So exciting! :jumpy:jumpy:jumpy
     

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