Hen is broody mid afternoon through night, not sitting from 8am to 4pm

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by thebulg, Apr 18, 2016.

  1. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've posted a number of times about this hen, but i'm getting to a point where i am afraid i am going to end up tossing eggs. I really want to trust her, but it would help me immensely to know another hen did this and it worked.

    She's been trying to go broody since february. Finding an isolated nest away from the ither girls, stocking up on eggs, sitting for 3 hours at a time, but last week she finally sat overnight. The next day she got down in the morning and didn't get back on at night, so i figured the 2 consecutive nights rule said she wasn't ready. Well, the next day around 3 or 4 she got on and sat for 3 days and 3 nights straight. Then yesterday she got up some time before 830 and i couldnt get her to stay on and sit until 345pm. She stayed on all night. She got off again today around 830. She wont go back on yet.

    But here's the thing: she's doing the quiet cluck when she is off. She seems spacy and she is moving so slowly that i can catch her. Her cowl and eyes have lost their red, and she is not laying eggs. When she is on the eggs, she is pancake flat, puffs up her feathers if i am near, and growls. Candling the eggs today i have 2 that i think have veins, one that might have had movement, all have quarter size air sacs or larger. She is eating and drinking (ilve seen her do both) and interacting with her flock. It seems, as a matter of fact, that the flock is what is making her get down. She hears them chirping and starts trying to get out.

    Should i sort of cage her in, except during the hotest part of the day when the eggs are most likely to stay warm? It's getting into the 80s today. It was in the 70s yesterday. I could keep the nesting area she picked open from maybe 12-4 so she has a good window and keep a heating lamp on them. There's a thermometer in there already (the sensor is in the middle of the clutch, it's small) and they have yet to go below 80 and don't really go above 90, even when she is sitting on them.

    This is just not at all what i've read about broody hens. She has every sign, every signal, the eggs seem to be developing i think, but her pattern of sitting isn't like anything i've heard or read and i'm concerned she's going to kill the eggs.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    She isn't a good broody. I wouldn't use her. Your eggs sound like they are just starting to develop. I would probably scrap them before they develop anymore. I wouldn't ever put a heat lamp on a setting hen, you could cause her to over heat. Some hens go part way broody, some have no clue what they are doing and odds are she wouldn't be a good mom either.
     
  3. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking she is not even getting back on the eggs tonight. I'll be shocked if she does. As long as she sits on them every night, i will give her until the weekend and then i will candle. I decided not to incubate. I would rather let her do what she is going to do and learn from it whether or not i can trust her in the future. She's definitely not laying, and she was on there for 3 days, so at least i can tell myself that i had no reason to think she'd do poorly. Thank you so much for responding.
     
  4. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    By the by, the air sacks are definitely developed on each and i can barely see veins in 2. So at least i got to see that much, and it will be neat to see inside development if she abandons them, which i think she will.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    If she's consistently off the nest for more than about a half hour a day the eggs will probably stop developing.
     
  6. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She abandoned. Can't say i'm incredibly upset. I had no plans on getting chicks from any source except a hen, so i wasn't depending on her. And tonight i get an at home science lesson, so that's neat!
     
  7. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Science lesson: not a single one of the eggs was fertilized. The air sacs were in fact bigger, and the yolks were big and very soft, but what i saw wasn't veins, it was shell cracks. I assume she got off when she realized there was no movement. If she tries to go broody again in a few weeks i might let her, but replace her eggs with ones i know are fertilized. What a learning experience!!!
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Hopefully that's the reason for her lackluster enthusiasm.
     
  9. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She really is unimpressive! Ha. Oh man, what an adventure this is. It makes me regret never doing 4h.
     
  10. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I have noticed that since I lost my last male duck a year ago, my hens don't guard their eggs or sit as tight, so maybe there's something to them knowing if they are growing and alive.

    I wasn't allowed to do 4H, too many farm chores.
     

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