Hen behaving odd

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 25Loopylou, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. 25Loopylou

    25Loopylou Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2014
    Hi I am new to here and hoped someone might be able to help me. I have 3 hens. On Wednesday night I went to close them up as usual and checked them and noticed 1 was missing have looked for her she was alone in our other coop sitting on eggs. I left her there and the next day let them all out she came out for food and water and one of the others went in to sit on the eggs she was in and out of the other coop all day. The same Thursday night and Friday day. So I thought she was broody and got some fertile eggs. As I do every Saturday I cleaned the big coop out and she came out and wouldn't go back in to the coop which she had been sleeping in with the non fertile eggs I hadn't swapped them yet. I checked last night and she was still in the old coop with the eggs so I swapped them for the fertile eggs much to her annoyance. Today she hasn't been in there much for what I could see so the eggs won't hatch however tonight she is again on the eggs alone away from the others so I am confused is she broody or is this normal as she has always slept in the main coop before. Many thanks
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    It sounds like she is trying to go broody, but just isn't being very good at it, or hasn't committed totally. Not all hens make good broodys, some just never really commit or start and stop, are easier to disturb and quit etc. I usually like to see them sit on the nest for three plus nights and pretty much all of the day, and if you disturb them they want to go back to the nest pretty fast. If she is a low ranking hen, you may have problems if a dominant hen chases her away and off the nest if it wants to lay eggs, your broody may not go back to the nest in time, or may set on another nest. If you haven't seen them, there are a couple of good articles on broodys in the BYC Learning Center.
     
  3. 25Loopylou

    25Loopylou Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 9, 2014
    Thank you for your reply. I will have a read of them and see how we get on I have left her in the other coop with the eggs and will watch her over the next few days thanks :)
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    You might want to block her into an area with the eggs, food and water. Is your coop set up so that you could fence off a small area around this little broody coop? An other thing you might want to watch for is to keep the other girls from laying eggs in her nest now that she has fertile eggs that are all the same age. do you have an incubator? It sounds like you'd like to get some chicks out of this. All is not lost, as long as the eggs didn't get terribly cold when she was off them. In the initial stage of incubation, the eggs can get cold without death of the embryo. There's some interesting literature out there re: interruption of incubation with successful hatches. Good luck. As Kelsie says, it might be better next time to wait a bit longer and see how seriously broody she is before giving her eggs.
     

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