have you had a bird start laying while still broody and still raising young?

Do you think laying while still raising young is a sign of a prolific layer

  • Yes, ive had this happen

  • Yes but never had it happen

  • Yes but it doesnt mean they are any better layers than any other birds

  • No

  • Something else (and Ill comment with details)


Results are only viewable after voting.

Kimmyh51

Songster
5 Years
Nov 16, 2015
243
173
136
Hi, i realise this is a duck thing, not chicken, but I thought I might have a better chance of finding someone who has experienced this, (in a duck or chicken) before.

I have a duck who is in a separate run with her and her one duckling.
So no access to any other drakes in the flock for mating purposes, and no way any other duck could have laid an egg in her nest. And shes been happily in there with her duckling like your typical broody mummy duck.

However she started laying when the duckling was just over a week old, and is now indicating she wants to sit on her eggs. SHE IS STILL MOTHERING THE DUCKLING who is 3&1/2 weeks old.

So, has anyone had a bird start laying WHILE STILL RAISING HER YOUNG (no indication shes lost interest in the duckling.

And is this an indicator of a good laying bird? I am increasing my laying birds, and if this is an indication shes going to be a good prolific layer, Id like to make more of her lol.
 

Shadrach

Roosterist
Jul 31, 2018
17,609
137,675
1,582
Catalonia, Spain
My Coop
My Coop
Hi, i realise this is a duck thing, not chicken, but I thought I might have a better chance of finding someone who has experienced this, (in a duck or chicken) before.

I have a duck who is in a separate run with her and her one duckling.
So no access to any other drakes in the flock for mating purposes, and no way any other duck could have laid an egg in her nest. And shes been happily in there with her duckling like your typical broody mummy duck.

However she started laying when the duckling was just over a week old, and is now indicating she wants to sit on her eggs. SHE IS STILL MOTHERING THE DUCKLING who is 3&1/2 weeks old.

So, has anyone had a bird start laying WHILE STILL RAISING HER YOUNG (no indication shes lost interest in the duckling.

And is this an indicator of a good laying bird? I am increasing my laying birds, and if this is an indication shes going to be a good prolific layer, Id like to make more of her lol.
Yes, with a couple of hens.
I have no idea if it is relevant to laying capacity.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,251
20,022
907
Southeast Louisiana
I've had one do that that I noticed. She was my only green egg layer so there was no doubt it was her. She started laying when her chicks were 2-1/2 weeks old and she weaned them a few days later, when they were only 3 weeks old. She did not go broody a lot. I have no idea how many may have done something similar and I never noticed.

That specific hen was a good layer. She would an egg every morning before 9:00 for 6 or 7 days straight, then skip a day. Nice sized eggs too.
 

Kimmyh51

Songster
5 Years
Nov 16, 2015
243
173
136
It sounds as though while sometimes a bird who is a good layer does this, it might just be a serial broody thing....
Or maybe both.

The first duck I had do this, was raising ducklings in late autumn, and she started laying, but never sat on the eggs or showed any interest. She made a nest and laid them all in the same spot. But that was it.
This current duck, she ended up sitting on the eggs, and at that time lost interest in her young duckling, she tolerated his presence, but that was it. So I took him out of their run, and put him with 2 other clutches of wild ducklings whose mums had lost interest.
AnywAy, its now, late spring, almost summer... So I also wonder whether it could be that some ducks just lay soon Fter having young, and whether or not they go broody on those eggs that they lay so soon after hatching their young, or not, might simply depend on the season, or other factors that determine when they go broody, and have nothing to do with whether or not they are raising ducklings at the time...

I always assumed that when a duck hatched ducklings, that it was basically like a switch that would turn off the laying function, until that duck had either finished raising those ducklings, or lost interest in/abandoned them. Ie that an actively interested brooding mummy duck would sort of be insulated from laying...
That seems to be the way with chickens, but maybe not with ducks... (i also noticed with my neighbours chickens that rooster presence seemed to affect the mothers committment and broodiness much more than it does with drakes and ducks , ie that if there were roosters with access to the hens they often lost interest in the chicks by 6 wks or younger, and one I 'borrowed' and kept away from roosters to raise my ducklings, was still happy to be a mum when they were 3 mths and totally independant (she then started eyeing up other ducklings, as if to say 'give them here, Ill raise them!')

Anyway, the first duck to start to lay while brooding young, who didnt go broody on the eggs she laid, is nesting again now, and the one who is the topic of this post is still on her nest.
Both are due at the same time, and it will also be close to the annual moult, when i get NO eggs at all, less than any other time of year, even mid winter, so will be interesting to see if either lays while raising ducklings, and if either goes broody again if so...
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Nov 12, 2017
6,010
17,169
817
Western Ohio
We had a broody chicken (for weeks). Gave her chicks one night. She was an awesome mom and fiercely protected her chicks etc for 6.5 weeks. She laid her first post-chick egg approx 4 weeks after she got chicks. But still remained motherly and protective of the chicks.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,251
20,022
907
Southeast Louisiana
I don't raise ducks but with chickens before a hen or pullet starts to lay she builds up excess fat as a reserve. If she goes broody that excess fat is mostly what she lives on while on the nest instead of having to forage for food and water all that much. A hen will lose weight while broody but it's just that excess fat put there for that purpose.

In colder weather my broody hens tend to not stay off the nest very long when they take their daily constitutional. I remember one in cool weather that would come off the nest once a day for about 15 minutes, madly dashing about eating, drinking, pooping, and taking a dust bath. I remember a different hen that in the heat of summer would come off the nest twice a day and stay off for an hour or more each time. I'd think she was eating and drinking a fair amount, using less of her reserves.

A hen is not going to start laying after being broody until she builds those reserves back up. Some hens carry a lot more reserve fat than others while laying. I butcher a lot of hens and pullets that are or are not laying and have noticed quite a difference even in the ones that are laying.

We have domesticated chickens, modified them by selective breeding to where they now lay a lot of eggs in a year instead of laying a clutch, then hatching and raising them before repeating this cycle a few times a year. We've also weakened their broody instinct to go broody or how strong that broody instinct is by selective breeding. When they do go broody some are more broody than others.

This is just my opinion but I think how soon a hen returns to laying after hatching will depend on a lot of different factors. Factors like how much reserve she needs to start laying, how much reserve she used up while broody, the quality of the feed she eats after hatching, and her genetics. The length of days, season, or climate probably make a difference. I don't know what other factors may affect it.

About the only thing I've noticed that is consistent in chickens is their inconsistency, even with sisters in the same flock.
 

MANNA-PRO

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