hedging my bets with unproven broodies

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by suliah, Sep 24, 2015.

  1. suliah

    suliah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2014
    Muskegon, MI
    OK, backstory.

    I had a blue laced red wyandotte, 9 months old, go broody in June. She got 2 weeks into her hatch (in the coop, I never moved her) when my duck decided to eat/destroy her eggs. Upset, I moved her to another space and gave her another set of eggs. she sat another 2 weeks (we're at 4 weeks now) and then got up and moved around more, probably confused. One of the eggs was an early death and exploded in the nest on day 19, and she completely stopped sitting. Eggtopsy revealed a couple of chicks made it almost to the end then died.

    I threw her back with the others and after a day or two she was a normal non-broody chicken again.

    Now my situation:
    Lacey has decided to try to hatch again. She's again in the coop (I have incubator hatches of various ages in the blocked off spaces). She started with 5 eggs Saturday, stole a few more Sunday and a few more Monday (so I'm gonna have a staggered hatch anyway). I stopped her at 12, numbered them, and have been taking out extras every day. Well, yesterday I also found another hen (blue girl) who had been jumping the fence and had created a clutch of 19 eggs and decided to set (she's only about 25 weeks old). The eggs are small and as far as I can tell unfertilized.

    Here's my plan:
    I want to know if either of them will be a good mama hen, and I really don't know what (if any) will hatch. I'm going to toss today's eggs into my incubator for 3 weeks and try to graft them on to the hens. My problem is they won't hatch until October...

    Is this a bad idea? Opinions? Suggestions? Help!
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I guess you can't really tell which hen will be a good mother until you try. You may wish to consider putting false eggs / golf balls under them when they are broody and seeing if they sit. If they do sit, then put fertile eggs under them but make sure you protect the nest from other birds (if thats possible). I only allow my alpha hen to sit - no other hens dare disturb her and she protects the chicks and ensures preferential access to food for them. A hen low down in the pecking order cannot provide this level of protection.

    Good luck
  3. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    I agree. Trying to put new chicks with either one after they hatch has its own set of problems. What if it doesn't work with EITHER of them, then you have a batch of chicks that nobody wants.... Or it might work with BOTH and there'll be chick stealing going on.

    I would personally just separate them BOTH and put eggs under BOTH of them and see what happens. If they set their "own" eggs, they'll be more inclined to show "motherly love" to them, since they set them themselves ;)

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