hen sitting on eggs, in the open in my garden in 100 degree heat!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by milo2145, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. milo2145

    milo2145 In the Brooder

    Jan 29, 2010
    huntsville texas
    What do I do!!, I have no experience in this.

    I noticed my austrolorp hen was missing about 3 weeks ago, and have been looking for her, I noticed her coming out to eat about once a day, so I was pretty sure she was sitting on eggs somewhere, she is really young, as are all my hens, I do have a rooster - they are all about 5 months old.

    I finally found her nest today, it has been really hot here, so I have not been gardening very much and it had got jungle like, but with the heat it is dying back, and her nest of EIGHTEEN EGGS (!!!) is right in the middle of my garden, with no cover at all, it is reeeaaally hot here and I was wondering what to do with her, should I leave well alone?, I have 3 dogs which I am sure know where she is and have not bothered her as yet, would the eggs even be viable at her age and in this heat?

    thanks experts!
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    Quote:I'm sure the eggs will be fine. The mama hen is in charge of regulating the temperatures, so they're probably just fine. 17 seems like an awful lot of eggs!

    I would make sure she's getting enough water and food as a matter of priority. And I would worry about predators to be sure. See if you can move her and the eggs at night to a more secure location (she's less likely to put up a fuss at night time). If you have a broody pen, that would be ideal (if you can make one, that'd be good too). I can't believe something hasn't gotten to her yet, that's a miracle.

    Good luck and keep us posted!
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2010
  3. BackToMyRoots

    BackToMyRoots Chirping

    Jun 29, 2010
    Matthews, NC
    Wow, that's amazing! I'm so glad you found her before something else did!
  4. saylernsaxonsmom

    saylernsaxonsmom In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2010
    Is this normal for hens? Will they lay in the open and sit when they have a coop and nest boxes provided? Hhmmm.... [​IMG]
  5. journey11

    journey11 Songster

    Feb 14, 2009
    You could candle a few and see...

    If they're developing, I'd put a little fence around her and give her some shade, feed and water. She must have thought the "jungle" was a good quiet place to be alone. If your garden jungle looks anything like mine, I can see why!
  6. theFox

    theFox Songster

    Sep 21, 2009
    Standish, Maine
    Quote:If you spend a lot of time reading the threads here on Backyard Chickens you'll soon discover that what is normal has a rather large range.

    This hen is being perfectly normal.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2010
  7. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Songster

    May 9, 2010
    If she's been missing for three weeks you are not going to have to wait long to find out if she made the right choice.
    Still, I'd move her into a nest box (at night) and check where she is the next day. She might go back to the old nest, that's most likely if she gets off for food so maybee give her food near the nest boxes.

    If she does go back, just pick her up and put her back on the eggs in the new nest.

    I think eighteen eggs might be more than one bird, so there's a very good chance many of them won't hatch as they'll have been laid by someone else after she started sitting on them. You'll find out if there are more eggs in the old nest, or if the other chicken is really dumb, more eggs in the new nest.

    As mentioned, normal for chickens ranges from the unimaginable to the downright bizarre. Anything either side of these two could be considered 'abnormal'. [​IMG] Ours lay just about anywhere except the nest boxes... ooh I've found an old rag in the corner of the garage, that's much better than a shady, safe, clean & tidy box in the coop, I'll lay here.
    One of ours decided to try balance her eggs on some PVC pipe in the garage, with little success I'll add.

    It's Easter every day when you've got free-rangers.
  8. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    I have never had a broody hen so don't take my advice but here it is: If she has been there for 3 weeks then just put a fence and shade around her and leave her alone she seems to be doing a good job.

    Please post pictures!!
  9. saylernsaxonsmom

    saylernsaxonsmom In the Brooder

    Jul 27, 2010
    I guess I should have clarified...Being from Texas, where the heat is well over 100 degrees, I'm accustomed to seeing my birds run from shady spot to shady spot. It would be worrisome, to me, if one of my gals sat out in the open for days on end. Thanks for responding! [​IMG]
  10. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Songster

    May 9, 2010
    It would be worrisome, to me, if one of my gals sat out in the open for days on end.

    We get it hot too, but all year round - there is no winter and our birds tend to stay to the shady spots like yours; dashing over the hot dirt to find some cool grass under a tree, and I've never had one lay in the open. If they stayed out in the sun for for a day there'd be no need to start up the Barbeque.

    But they do lay in long grass, under trees, at the bottom of banana trees, on a shelf on the terrace, in the garage is a favorite, in buckets.... anywhere.... but always in the shade.

    The OP mentioned that when the hen went missing their garden was a jungle, so she probably picked a shady spot at the time, too much heat and no rain I guess has caused the shady plants around her to die down leaving her out in the open.

    Probably an older bird might not have made the same mistake.

    To the OP - the reason I would bring her into a nest box is that she'll have chicks in a few days, they can be better protected in the coop than running about in their first few days. Your dogs might not bother a grown chicken but they might find 3 inches of fluff just too tempting.​

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