I made my hen really mad...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by 4Hchickenproject, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. 4Hchickenproject

    4Hchickenproject Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I made a mess of my efforts to isolate my broody hen with some eggs. Made my hen really mad.

    The first day, when I put her in, she went in the box and got the eggs under her. That evening, though, I saw her out eating and drinking. Maybe I shouldn't have left food and water in there for her the whole time?? Should I have locked her into the little crate rather than let her in and out of the crate into the small coop area??

    I left her alone, and late in the night I went out to check on her, and she was on top of the crate, not in it.

    Next morning she was in and out, in and out, and calling to the other hens constantly. I feel like she might have stayed on them if I could have left her in the coop she's used to, but I couldn't, because I have nowhere else to put the rest of the flock. Anyway, I let her out and brought the eggs in.

    Now she's back in her coop, sitting on the eggs in "her" box. So...could I leave her in the bigger coop, locked up with the others at night, and let the others out during the day and leave her locked up? Only thing is, the other hens will want in there to lay their own eggs.

    Or could I just leave her and the eggs in her box alone and see what happens? Just mark the eggs I want to try to hatch, and remove others daily. I'm not here all day to see just how often she gets out, so I won't know for sure if she's really on them ALL day and ALL night, or just mornings and afternoon when I check for eggs, and at night when I count heads again and lockup. I do know she gets off them to eat, because I count heads when I feed in the backyard, which is usually about lunchtime.

    Can you tell I'm desperate? [​IMG] Maybe I just need to give in and buy an incubator, but I thought it would be neat to hatch them naturally.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Really, once they have decided to set on some eggs, it's pretty hard to move them. I have wound up marking the eggs and removing new ones daily. As for her getting off them, if she's spending the night on them, she's hopefully on them enough.

    Ideally, collect eggs for hatching in your kitchen, move her where you want her, then put the eggs under her all at once, all after she;s gone broody. Or so I finally figured out [​IMG]

    I don't keep her separate from the flock once the chicks have hatched, anyway. When the chicks get off the nest and start exploring, a day or two after they being hatching, I open the door and let them mix, which they obviously want to do anyway. This way I don't have to keeps the chicks separate when the mama stops mothering around 4-6 weeks of age.

    Why not let her finish trying to hatch them? Nothing to lose, unless you really want an incubator (I wouldn't have one, myself.)

    You often read recommendations to separate them while they are setting on the eggs, which has its advantages -- but it also means mama gets a lot less exercise while she is broody, so she is more likely to lose weight. Most of mine have wound up doing their setting in the coop with the others, and I just marked eggs and checked daily. The pile got added to, yes, and sometimes I had to put mama back on the right nest, but I had little if any trouble with broken eggs.

    Now, realize this is the amazing amount of experience I've had: about 6 hatches [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Quote:You have two options. Do exactly as you said. Hens have been hatching eggs with the flock this way for thousands of years. Mark the eggs and check daily for new ones. The hen needs to occasionally come off the nest to eat, drink, and go poop. I've found that how often they come off and how long they stay off depends a lot on the weather. The hotter it is the longer they are likely to stay off. The eggs don't cool off instantaneously anyway. They are pretty dense. They maintain internal temperature a lot better than many people realize. That's why a spike or drop in temperature in an incubator does not necessarily kill the eggs as long as it is not for too long.

    The other option is to try again to move her. Prepare a place with a nest and just enough room for food, water, and room to go poop. Move her at night with as little light and commotion as possible. Leave her locked in the nest all the next day and only let her out to eat and drink the following morning. A broody is set up to stay on the nest for long periods of time, so this is not as mean and cruel as some people may think. There is no guarantee she will accept this new nest, but the dark seems to help her get settled. Just keep her locked in the new area and do not give her the opportunity to go back to her old nest. If she does not accept the new nest, go back to option 1.
     
  4. Razadia

    Razadia The Odd One

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    It's good to leave the food and water with her constantly. Hens will get off the eggs a few times a day to eat and relieve themselves.
     
  5. chick-among-us

    chick-among-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This sounds so weird to me! When MY hen went broody we moved one after dark...Put all the eggs we wanted under her...She sat WOULD NOT MOVE until you picked her up and took her off the nest then she would go out and potty and peck around but then would go directly back to her eggs...as time went on she would not get off at aLL,day after day she would sit and never move just to rearrange herself or the eggs. I had to put food and water within reach of her, finally to keep her from loosing weight so bad. she never would ge toff the nest and I mever saw any thing ever hold their poop that long! she only went in her kennel one time well away from the eggs. I might mention she is a BO! Here she is with her babies.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  6. chick-among-us

    chick-among-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    here they are even bigger a couple days ago....


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    Does anyone know what color the babies might turn out to be?
     
  7. 4Hchickenproject

    4Hchickenproject Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a pretty hen and pretty babies, chick-among-us! My broody hen acts the same way in the big coop...in fact she's in there now, and I went to feed and check for eggs, and I swear she looked like an angry cat the way she raised her feathers at me and got real scruffy looking, giving me the evil eye. So I'm sure there are eggs under there again, but I didn't mess with her.

    I should have moved her at night, that may have made a difference, but I forgot about that.

    And what's funny now...I went to yet another Christmas dinner, and when I got home a few minutes ago I could hear a hen doing her "I've done it again!" cackle, so I looked at the coop (I can see it well from my driveway) and the other broody hen was coming out of the small coop that I attempted to put Sue Ellen in. I figured Barbara must have laid an egg in the small coop, so I checked there too, and sure enough, she has, but there's not one egg, but three. So apparently the fact that Sue Ellen and Barbara have both used the small coop (though Sue Ellen was forced to, lol) has convinced two other hens to lay their eggs in there too. Barbara came off to eat but has already gone back into the small coop with the eggs. Sue Ellen wouldn't even come out to eat.

    So for now, I am marking a few eggs and just letting nature take its course...we'll see what happens.
     
  8. chick-among-us

    chick-among-us Chillin' With My Peeps

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    GOOD LUCK!!! [​IMG]
     
  9. Melissa Rose

    Melissa Rose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They look like maybe Splash to me - Polka Dotted Chicklets [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     

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