I have a brooding hen and another hen stole her nest???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fivelittlechicks, May 13, 2009.

  1. fivelittlechicks

    fivelittlechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2009
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    I am a new member and newly chicken owner. I have four hens all different breeds and 1 (i think the breed is Giant Black?) is now broody and I let her have a nest of eggs that she has been on for a week straight, concerned that she wasnt eating or drinking and no evidence of poo, I put a cup of feed mixture in her box with her yesterday. This morning our RIR had stole her nest and is laying on her eggs. The GB is now quite confused on what to do. I'm afraid if she doesnt get the nest back the rooster will try to breed with her and cause her to abandon the nest. I'm not sure if the RIR is ready to take over these duties. What should I do? I do not want to lose these soon to be chicks. Should I kick the RIR out and put the other hen back in her rightful place. OR is it to late? My experience is nil and I don't want to overstep my coop boundaries. I know the hens know better than I but, when do I take control if they drop the ball?
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  2. Cajunsamoan

    Cajunsamoan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had the same thing happen yesterday. I moved the nest thief and gave the hen her nest back. I need to seperate her so that this doesn't happen again. Maybe you could move your broody to a private place where the other hens can't do this. I hope this helps.
     
  3. chickon

    chickon Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 6, 2008
    Hey there,

    I'm a newbie too so I have no useful advice...in fact I just posted a related question. But I do think it's funny, how we newbies have to find out about when chickens 'got it' and when they do not. I suppose after a while these things will seem obvious--but until then, I can't count the number of times I think "oh, they know what to do" or "obviously they'll know not to eat that" and been SO WRONG! And then they are attuned to other hen things I don't even notice.

    Anyway good luck with your developing chickies...
     
  4. fivelittlechicks

    fivelittlechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2009
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    Now I'm really bummed! I just went to check on the situation and the RIR left the nest and both are out free ranging. The GB is quite fluffed, anti-social with the other hens and now they are feuding. Of course she won't let me near her. So I'm having a hard time gettin her back to the coop. [​IMG] I just want some baby chicks. I guess i will have to create another spot for just the brooding hen. Ughh!
     
  5. chickon

    chickon Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 6, 2008
    [​IMG] Aww, boo!!! I'm sorry.

    You have strengthened my resolve to move my broody hen into a broody box though.
     
  6. fivelittlechicks

    fivelittlechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2009
    New York
    Okay now I'm neurotic. Now a third hen is on the nest. They were abandoned for about an hour. I don't know if she is just gonna lay an egg and bolt or what is going on. So do I leave the eggs to see what happens or dispose of them tonight if my original brooder does go back to it? I tried to candle them and cant see through those thick brown shells. Heck I don't even know what I am looking for! Just a dark mass,right? I don't even know if Roo is fertilizing them properly. He is 'mounting' all the hens. Isn't that enough? I apologize for being so seemingly LOST! Any suggestions are welcome!!![​IMG]
     
  7. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope you numbered the original eggs that have been sat on for a week. If not, I would go in and mark all the eggs that are in there right now, so you can identify them. The original eggs will hatch on schedule, the other late eggs will hatch a week later.
    You can either throw those eggs that didn't hatch or take them and put them in an incubator and try to hatch them also and give them to mom later on. I've heard of staggered hatches where you take the chicks away and keep the hen sitting till all the eegs hatch, then at night time give the chicks back to the mom.
    When I have a broody hen, I hand select the eggs I want her to hatch and number them. Since I don't seperate my broody away, whenever I see her off the nest eating and drinking I quickly go and check her nest and remove any eggs not numbered.
    The easiest is to seperate her in her own nest box like a dog carrier or milk crate, or board up the nest box opening and give her own food, water and a little soda box filled with dirt so she can dust (add some DE or sevin in the dirt becasue mites love broodies)
    Also most RIR won't go broody, its been bred out of them not to sit and just be egg laying machines. Took me many many years of raising RIR exclusively before I realize this. Got me some austrolorps and BR hens, 10 months later they all want to sit on nest all day. Now I'm trying to figure out how mo make them stop going broody.
    Good luch on you first broody, it so much fun waiting till you hear those little peeps under momma.

    ALoha,
    Cory
     
  8. fivelittlechicks

    fivelittlechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2009
    New York
    Oh my gosh, my blonde moment. I never thought of that! I did get my broody mom back on the nest though. Now I hope I can get a chance to # them. She hasnt been very nice lately, all her feathers fluffed out and a nasty disposition. Ugh, I was hoping this would all be so much easier than bator. I'm as much as a Mother Hen as my broody. I hope I get my act together quickly.

    Btw... Will she abandon them if they went bad or are infertile? I would hate for her to put in all this effort for nothing.
    Thanks so much for all the suggestions,
    Shawna
     
  9. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Yes, they aren't in a very happy mood when they are broody. Most of it is show though. I can pick my broodies up and get maybe one peck on the hand, they just don't want to be bothered.
    Letting a momma take care of the babies IS MUCH EASIER. The mom does all the work for you. You can still catch and play with the babies to get them used to you. I got my 3 week old eating out of my hand, momma stil gets a little upset when I pick them up, but she is getting used to it.
    I have had a broody push out an egg or two that did start to smell funky. The infertile ones they just sat on and nothing happens. You will probally have a couple eggs leftover that didn't hatch. Its happened on all my hatches.
    If you are brave enough and interested, I always break open the non-hatches and see what happened. You get to see how many were infertile, some that started to grow and stopped, and even some full grown chicks that just didn't pip. A little gross, but satisfies mine and my kids science/nature curiosity.
    Stop worring about her, let your momma do her job and you will probally be rewarded with with a bunch of little fluff balls.

    Aloha,
    Cory
     
  10. fivelittlechicks

    fivelittlechicks Out Of The Brooder

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    May 13, 2009
    New York
    Thanks Cory, I am hopeful that the 2 times that the eggs were abandoned was not detrimental. But, It has definitely been a learning experience for me and my broody [​IMG] We are all looking forward to a positive end result!
    Thanks Shawna
     

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