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help with a broody hen--please!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jwchicklady, Nov 9, 2009.

  1. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    I had put 4 eggs under my broody hen--they are due to hatch today. (I really think only 2 are viable) Today, I hear chirping coming from an egg, but no pips. My problem is that broody hen is off the nest right now and letting another hen sit on them. I tried putting the broody back in, but she left the nest and is outside eating. I am wondering what to do? Let her figure out when to get back on those eggs or let one of the other hens sit on them while she is out of the nest?? Is she supposed to get off them when they are hatching?
     
  2. SilkieTime

    SilkieTime Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2009
    Joelton Tn.
    Hens will be on the nest when hatching. As long as someone is on the nest all is well. If there isn't a hen on the nest for more then 10 or 15 min. then I would try so get the first hen back on. The first hen could just be taking a brake and the other hen is just baby sitting. Most hens know what they are doing. Just keep an eye on them.
     
  3. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    she is staying off the nest and no one is babysitting--does she know something that I don't? I don't hear chirping anymore. how long can the eggs sit without keeping warm? no pips yet either.
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Can you close the original broody hen in the cage with her peeping eggs? Even if it's not a cage with a door, at least barricade her in there with something. Keep it nice & dark and hopefully she'll get inspired to set on those eggs again. But try & peek in throughout the day. Each hen has her own unique component of broody skills, some are much better than others. Some of the worst ones will even peck at and hurt their hatching babes. Thankfully those are the rare exceptions. I've had eggs get really cold right before hatching but the chicks still survived, hopefully these will too.
     
  5. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    Quote:Yes, please try and keep her with her eggs. I've had bad experiences with other hens "babysitting". I had chicks hatch under the babysitter hen, who was really just using the nest to lay, and when she noticed the chick, she would kick it out into the dirt, or peck it to death! My broody wasn't actually leaving the nest voluntarily, she was getting pushed off the nest by the other hen! I had a chick get tossed out of the nest in the morning and was buried in the dirt on the hen house floor ALL DAY! I didn't find her until evening, she was ice cold. I put her back under mom, and she's been fine ever since! It was a miracle she survived that long without mom's body heat, but momma didn't seem concerned that her baby had disappeared at all. She was just back on the nest waiting for the remaining eggs to hatch once that other hen got out of the way! I've had a lot of bad experiences with hens disrupting my broodies and I regret not secluding them better.
     
  6. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    The eggs stopped peeping (I really think that only one was peeping) and broody hen left the nest for good now. It is only day 21. Does she know that they are dead now? She just quit being broody and is on the roost with the other hens tonight--no brooding in the nest! The eggs are cold, I am sure they are no longer alive, there was no peeping or pipping tonight. So weird that she would sit on the nest for 21 days and then decide that was it! What do I do with the eggs now? Do I open them and see which ones developed, or do I just throw them away?
     
  7. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Awww, I'm sorry for this outcome. It just happens sometimes, you may discover a reason, you may never know. At least you're not a homesteader trying to increase your flock to sustain your family, with no other chickens or eggs for miles around. Or trying to prevent some rare heritage breed from going extinct.

    It sounds like your hen's switch has been turned back to "lay", she's done with that clutch. What you do with the eggs is up to you. If you're not squeemish & are curious, go ahead & crack open the eggs. You may find just mush, or half-formed chicks, or mysteriously, fully-developed chicks that for some reason never hatched. Or you could just bury them deep under some bush or tree and let them be fertilizer.

    I hope your next set is more successful...
     
  8. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    So sorry. That is so frustrating. I had a hen do the same thing just recently. I worked so hard at keeping the other hens away from her and marking her eggs so that they would all hatch around the same time. A day or two before they were due to hatch, she just quit. No longer broody at all, no interested in the eggs or her nest. I allowed the eggs to sit for a few days. I thought maybe if she got re-inspired I would give her a new batch of eggs, but she never got back on the nest. I buried the eggs. Good luck next time.
     
  9. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    well for the sake of science, I had my kids (homeschooled) open the eggs to see what had developed. 1 egg had mostly yoke and only one little dark spot developed, 2 was somewhat developed but had lots of yolk left and was tiny, 3 was quite a bit developed with some yolk and lots of blood vessels and #4 was my fully developed chick that was the peeping one on day 21 that died--my mistake was that I let her sit on a smaller pullet egg and I think that it did not have enough room to pip and break out of the egg--too stuffed in a small egg. Beautiful looking perfectly formed chick though! My 5 year old was pretty sad to see it. Next time I have learned to only put the larger eggs under the hen.
     

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