Hope the (Broody?) Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by raymondjames, Apr 7, 2012.

  1. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    okay so something weird just happened. went to collect eggs (no eggs, probably wait til later) and i saw my beloved little hen Hope in the box. I thought she was laying but she was puffed up and everything. So i ran inside and pulled out a few of her eggs and put them in front of her. She took the bottom of her beak and rolled them under (cutest thing you ever saw btw). Had to adjust her to be comfortable, and made sure eggs were invisible as not to be stolen. I am thinking of a cardboard construct to place there for her to enjoy herself while brooding. any ideas? i am bad with wood , nails, screw s, etc. but i rock at cardboard (started my chicken business in it).
    Also this is to keep her socially in-touch (hearing the crowing, clucking, etc) but she can still brood in her special little nest that she loves (she is very picky about nests). She is on 3 or 4 eggs (can't remember)
    so my questions are

    do you have any broody-box ideas
    when should i candle
     
  2. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She sounds like she could be broody but I would wait a couple of days to make sure she stays with it. From my experience I have never been able to move a broody til her chicks are hatching. They abandon the nest if I move them too early. You could mark the eggs if you are worried about others laying in her nest and they will when she gets up to eat and drink, then you will have all sorts of eggs at different gestation. She will only at most set on the eggs for 3 days after the first hatches and unless you have an incubator the others will die. Good luck and I hope she is broody for you.
     
  3. mcjessen

    mcjessen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What about using a Rubbermaid tote? They make clear ones so she could see out if you wanted her too. I'm not sure what time frame to candle as I don't have an fertile eggs or broody hens. I'm sure someone else will be able to give you that info. Good luck! That's exciting.
     
  4. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Broody behavior can be so cute.

    I've gotten really good at fashioning things out of cardboard, too, since I have had chickens. I think anything that is fairly small and covered with a 'lip' to keep in the nesting material should be fine.
     
  5. jandrusrn

    jandrusrn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm blown away.... it seems that your hen has done exactly the same as mine did! We heard "the egg song" from our usual non singer... and looked outside. Next thing we see is the other beauty (Barred Rock) rolling her egg and the other hen's egg underneath her. Tooooo cute. She was talking to the egg... kind of muttering to it. That may have been the sweetest little thing I'd ever seen. We may have a potential broody on our hands but I'm gonna keep watch!

    Aren't our girlies amazing????

    Jane
     
  6. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just went to The Home Depot to grab some materials. My idea is to build a construct from her box and the one before and the give her some other room with boxes and the side. It's better than it probably sounds.

    But that doesn't matter because she was off the nest today and left the eggs. There was one egg from this other hen there (distinctly a diff. color) and I wished she got off before because I got all the stuff and it took me an hour... Is she just going to lay a clutch and then sit? How many eggs are in a clutch if this is true? And is there a way I can make her brood again? She seemed to really want to and when another hen went near she SQUAAK'd at her. Se was broody for an hour... I think she might be laying a clutch from what i understand
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2012
  7. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    You can't really encourage a hen to brood. If she is still puffing and squawking like a broody maybe she will go back and sit. It is very much a hormonal thing for them. I have an OEGB who has been sitting in the nest box for a couple weeks even though I take all her eggs away and remove her from the nest every day to make sure she eats and drinks. She keeps going back to one of the nest boxes.

    If your hen decides she is not broody, then at least you will be all prepared when she or another hen shows signs of broodiness.
     
  8. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay... i was just curious because once i heard they lay a certain amount and then sit...
     
  9. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    It doesn't hurt to mark the eggs as she lays them and leave them there to see what happens. It may depend on her size, but I have seen a hen easily brood 7-10 eggs.
     
  10. raymondjames

    raymondjames Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's a great idea. Thank you. I also think she could potentially go broody again (this is her third time). I am currently preparing the broody box, which I will mount on her box and the one next to it (the other one will contain food/water and/or a dustbath). It is quite large and sturdy, and it allows a "closed door" to keep her nest dark to focus on her eggs. I believe the reason she did not stay on her eggs longer last time she brooded was because she got distracted/took break/went outside and never came back or forgot her nest. This way she can focus. This time she expressed the most broody signs (puffy, irritable, etc.) than before. I'll se how Hope is doing tomorrow. She is a great hen!
     

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