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I think our hen is broody!!!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by thebulg, Apr 11, 2016.

  1. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    About 5 weeks ago, maybe more, our RIR Raven started laying in our barn instead of the nesting box. We tried to make that spot a new nesting box and another chicken joined her, and she was not having it, and picked another spot, that i found, and found ANOTHER spot. At this point i caught on that she was trying to go somewhere private and didn't want me taking her eggs. So we've been leaving a minimum of 5 eggs in her spot and taking some out when it got to 12. 2 days ago i realized it might help if i left some food in her private spot.

    Some time around 4 today she went into her spot, and it's now 745 and she's still there!! It's getting dark and the other girls are all on their way to the coop and the rooster has been yelling at her haha! We put some water in with her, and i'm so so nervous! I just want her to still be there tomorrow!

    We are going to get an incubator ready tomorrow just in case, but if she jumps ship before day 4 or 5, i'm just tossing them. Other than that, i dont plan to intervene much aside from scooping poo, filling water, and trying to get some padding under her. She chose a plywood shelving unit as her nest, on top of a plastic tablecloth!!!

    I'M SO EXCITED!!! And trying to calm down in case something goes wrong!
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    One thing I would do is Mark the eggs in case other hens add their to the pile, you don't want a staggered hatch. A broody will get off the nest once a day to eat, drink, poop and dust bath. Good luck.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I haven’t read that thread, I may or may not have commented on it, but take some time and read at least part of it. It’s good to get different perspectives. There are lots of different ways to do this.

    If you leave her where she is and do not build a cage around her so she can’t get out, do not provide food or water to her. She will get up to eat, drink, and poop. A broody knows to not poop in her nest. She will hold it and let out a huge smelly poop when she is off the nest. If you see something like that, it’s normal. But do not add food and water to attract predators. She needs to have a hidden nest. Yes, she is at some risk if she is not in a cage or someplace really predator-proof, but hens successfully hide their nests and hatch chicks all the time. Don’t put her at a higher risk by trying to help her.

    If her nest is where other hens can get to it, please mark all the eggs you want her to hatch and check under her late in the day after others have laid to remove any that don’t belong. As long as you check daily you can use any you find. There will not be any surprises inside when you open them. If you don’t check daily, just toss them. There are two reasons for this. Eggs that get added won’t have enough time to develop so you will have abandoned live eggs when she takes the first to hatch off the nest. You can try incubating them yourself if you wish but that’s stress you don’t need. But the big reason is if the eggs build up where the hen cannot cover all of them some get pushed out, cool off, and die. These then get pushed back under her and others are pushed out to die.

    My test to tell if a hen is truly broody is that she needs to spend two consecutive nights on the nest instead of roosting in her normal spot. There are lots of signs a hen might be broody but I rely on the two consecutive nights before I trust one with eggs.

    Welcome to the adventure. The first time or two with a broody can be stressful (if this is your first), but they are so rewarding the way they take care of the chicks.

    Good luck!
     
  5. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You guys are awesome!!!! She came off the nest some time this morning and hasn't gone back on, but she's sticking very close by. Probably 4 hours off or more.there was a dog sized poop just outside of the barn. Our barn is actually a 1.5 car storage shed, but a 500sq ft building hardly feels like a shed! She's on the very top, above my head. About 6 or 7 feet off the ground, and she is the only one who lays there. Hell, she's the only one who even tries to get up that high!

    I did realize last night that she can't get out if i cage her in, and that they don't just sit there for 3 weeks, thank goodness. But man, thank you for saying it, because in my excitement, lord knows i might have gone off the deep end and done it if i had more daylight hours.

    I'm not counting on her to get it together right now. I really hope she does, and does soon, but i dont want to stress her out by being a nutter myself. I am going to go in and get some padding under her laying area so i dont have to fight her if she's truly broody, and i might put up a short lip on the edge of the shelf so nothing can roll out.

    Thank you all so much for being on here and putting in information.
     
  6. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She slept on the eggs monday night, was off almost the entire day tuesday, and didn't sleep on them, was on and off them for large chunks of time yesterday (on 3 hours, off 3 hours) but always stayed right by the barn! There were down feathers all over the eggs, and there were dog sized poops in 2 places outside of the barn (the dog i am comparing it to is a lab). The only thing i did was to put some old towels under the table cloth so she wasn't sitting right on plywood.

    Yesterday around 5 she got on, and she hasn't gotten off since! She is growling at me, flat as a pancake, letting a feather stay in her eye, and i think she is on 4-6 eggs!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm going to mark the calendar starting with monday and just be prepared for the chicks to come any time in the next 4 weeks, assuming she stays put!
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Sure sounds like she kicked over to full broody mode. Good luck!
     
  8. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! And thank you for keeping up with the thread and responding, and for the advice on letting her be. I really appreciate it!
     
  9. thebulg

    thebulg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She hasn't gotten down in 3 days!! I'm so proud of her!haha. I went through a good bit of that thread and another and saw that broodies often fall into 2 camps- getting off once a day for 30-60 minutes, or taking a big long break once every few days. I think she's in camp number 2! :) i'm sure i will be back here in about 2 weeks when we enter the hatch watch!
     

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