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I think she's gone broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mortimer, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Mortimer

    Mortimer Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    May 6, 2008
    SW of Wichita, KS
    Hello all, long-time lurker but first time poster.

    We have a flock of 5 Delaware hens, 4 Delaware roos and I recently (2 weeks ago) purchased 8 young RIR/BR pullets. Six of the RIR's are about 3 months old, the other two are older and just started laying a few weeks ago. My kids named one Dumpy Butt 'cause her tailfeathers are inverted, the other is Henny Penny (penny-colored). Funny the names kids come up with!

    I went out to gather eggs this morning around 10:00am and Penny has herself tucked away in a little "cubby-hole" between a hay bale and some old sheets of steel roofing that were laying in a corner. Our coop has some stuff laying around inside it, mostly old lumber and stuff so it's not too unusual to find an egg tucked in a corner or something every so often, rather than inside the nestboxes. Yesterday I gathered an egg from the same place so I figured it was just a new "alternate spot" the pullets were now using. I thought nothing of it.

    I went back out around noon and she was still sitting there! The dog followed me in this time (she's old and harmless to the chickens) and Penny was squawking up a storm when we got close. I put the dog up and went back to check on her and she was sitting there quietly, I gently peeked underneath and she was sitting on a single egg.

    Now what to do? Seems bizarre this would happen in the fall, I thought springtime was for chicks? I'd love to let her hatch me some chicks but if she's gone broody I'd like to get 6 or 8 out of her than just one. Should I take the one she has, save some for a few days and put 6 or 8 underneath her? We currently have 7 laying pullets and usually get 3-4 eggs per day, I could save tomorrow and Friday's and put them under her Friday night. Today's eggs have already been in the fridge a couple hours so I'd bet they're no good for setting.

    Thanks for your advice!

    Oh and here's a pic of Dumpy Butt so you can see what I mean. I laughed out loud when my kids came up with that [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    If she's truly broody then you can add eggs under her when you have the number you want her to sit on. I'd leave the one that's there (just to keep her happy) and mark it and then when you add the rest, take out this one since it will be several days older and mark the rest to leave under her.

    You do want to consider that it may be more difficult, healthwise, for chicks being hatched at this cold time of year. Can you help momma keep them warm and safe? Is she safe where she's sitting - will she be safe for the next 21 plus days (depending on when you get them under her?)

    Hopefully others with more experience will see this and give you advice.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Mortimer

    Mortimer Out Of The Brooder

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    39
    May 6, 2008
    SW of Wichita, KS
    Quote:Thanks Chripy -- that was going to be my next question, caring for the chicks this winter. Do I need to separate the mother & chicks from the older pullets to keep them from being bullied? I did this already for the 8 new ones we got last week, some of them were smaller (3 months) and I was worried they might get pecked to death, I could use the same area easily enough to segregate the mom & chicks.

    The coop is fairly well-insulated, it's a large concrete/brick building with a couple windows I keep closed in the winter. Our house is 118 years old and I think this building is close to that. Not sure what it's original purpose was but it has a low ceiling (about 6') and it's built like a bomb shelter. We've had a couple of nights in the 20's and their outside water dishes were frozen solid, but the one in the coop was still liquid in the morning.

    All that being said though, baby chicks need alot of warmth and I'm aware of that. I'm thinking I could place a radiant heat panel or 250w heat lamp in a corner and that would probably do it?
     
  4. kelliepulido

    kelliepulido Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2008
    st.john's mi
    Tthat's what I did with my broody.Collected a day's supply and then put them under her orginally I think I put 6 under her candled and was left with 3.NOw they have hatched and she is taking care of them.We will see if they make it or not since it is winter here now in Mi.we have snow on the ground and it has been in the teens at nite.The area I set up for her and the babies with the heat lamp she doesn't seem to want to stay in so she is trotting them around the whole coop.They are banties so they are very tiny but seem to be holding their own so far.I have a big coop about 18ft. by 12 ft. I have 8 broody now.
     
  5. Mortimer

    Mortimer Out Of The Brooder

    76
    0
    39
    May 6, 2008
    SW of Wichita, KS
    OK, maybe false alarm, I went out later this afternoon and she was no longer sitting on her single egg, was out & about with the others ranging. Thought maybe she was just taking a break but she hasn't returned yet, now 8:00pm and everyone's on their roosts sleeping. I'll leave her egg there for another day & see if she returns . . .
     

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