If eggs left in nest, will hen go broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Leslieb118, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. Leslieb118

    Leslieb118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a hen that has been laying pretty green eggs for a few months now. I gather them quickly every day. Recently my EE rooster has matured and I've caught him covering her on several occasions. Typically, when she lays an egg and I collect it, it is fairly cool to the touch, so I know she's not sitting on it. I was running errands this morning, so I didn't let them out to play today outside of the run until I got home and could be outside. (We have a big hawk on our property). I went out this afternoon to let them out and she hadn't laid an egg yet, but was up in the nest box. So I waited to let them all out until she finished, because I figured she'd stop what she was doing and want to go play, lol. Immediately after she laid her egg, she moved it to the center of the next box, nudged it a couple of times, and then came out of the coop wanting me to open the door to the run.
    I don't have an incubator. I'm a little nervous about trying to incubate them myself. So I was wondering, if I left the eggs out there, any chance she would get that "motherly instinct" to sit on them? Thanks for any input!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I think that can (not necessarily will) work sometimes with breeds that are known for broodiness. However, in breeds that aren't known for broodiness, you could let the eggs stack up to the moon and it wouldn't mean anything except broken eggs most likely. I've never had an EE act the least broody, and can't remember reading of any here on the forum. But since EEs are mixed, maybe you'll discover that your gal comes from a breed known for broodiness???

    Cochins and silkies are highly broody. If you don't incubate, you could always look at adding a broody breed. I'd loan you my silkies if you lived nearby...lol. They're not a year old yet, and both have been broody 2X already - one sitting on unfertilized eggs right now. [​IMG]
     
  3. Leslieb118

    Leslieb118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, she's definitely a "mutt" of some sort. She's black, but in the sun has the coloring of a Japanese Beetle. Has a pea comb, slate legs and a few feathers on her feet. And actually, I'm in Louisville and Floyd's Knobs isn't that far! But, I wouldn't want to borrow anyone's chickens anyway. I'd hate for something to happen. I may take my chances and leave a couple out there and if I notice she's not taking care of them, I'll just start bringing them in again. The weather here has been beautiful lately and I've got that itch to have more baby chicks I guess!
     
  4. Melinda35

    Melinda35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had two EEs hatch eggs this summer. They just disappeared and I thought that a hawk had gotten them. Then on the exact same day both EEs appeared with babies! Now I have one EE bantam that lays little blue eggs. [​IMG]
     
  5. Leslieb118

    Leslieb118 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd be terrified if mine wandered off and did that! Glad yours came back with chicks in tow! I have an EE pullet that I got back in August as a chick and she has no interest whatsoever in laying. I can't wait to see what color her eggs are! Thanks for the input. Guess I'll give it a shot and see what happens. [​IMG]
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Ha! I didn't notice that you were in Louisville!! No guarantees, but if you're pretty sure her eggs are fertilized and you were really interested, you could run 2-3 of them over here this weekend and I'll stick them under her. She's been on the nest for about a week now. I was going to let her sit for three weeks and then give her the boot, but I can let her sit for an extra week if you wanted to give it a shot. I don't like her on the nest too long, because they tend to lose weight while broody (although I take her off the nest once a day to encourage her to eat/drink and I take her snacks here and there.
    Or I can let you know the next time my other girl goes broody if you'd want to give it a go in the future. [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2012
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    There is nothing YOU - or anyone else, for that matter - can do to "make" a hen go broody, despite what you may have heard elsewhere. It is an instinctual response to a hormonal condition. Hens can't control it, either. They don't "decide" to go broody - if they go broody it's because their genetic make-up triggers the behavior. Honest.

    Hens don't know if eggs are fertilized and can go broody on unfertilized eggs, round rocks, fake eggs, and sometimes even AIR - nothing at all in their nests.

    As teach1ruls stated, eggs could be stacked to the moon, and if a hen doesn't have the tendency bred out of her "line," she will never set on those eggs to hatch 'em. On the other hand, if a hen IS broody, it takes some work to "break" her of the session - which I find cruel and will not do - because she's reacting to the increased hormonal level and instinctual response within her body.

    For example, I have found hidden nests where the silly girls have gone to lay their eggs, several hens have contributed to the nest, and NOBODY went broody on 'em. One nest was well over twenty eggs, another was close to fifteen, and a third was around 9 eggs. Just hidden collections of eggs. That doesn't mean I'm the impirical keeper of all broody knowledge from those three examples, it just means Egg Collections don't trigger broodiness in my flock. Or most other folks' flocks, either.

    Why waste the eggs? I don't "give" hens eggs - I take them away from them. Now, if a hen goes broody, I usually let her keep her clutch, but I do mark each egg and take away any new ones she either steals or other hens lay in her nest.
     
  8. mkeawsh

    mkeawsh Woody Hollow

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    That is exactly what happened to one of my hens. I was sure a hawk had gotten it when it wasn't in the chicken house that night. About three weeks later, her she comes proud as can be. What a wonderful surprise!![​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. mkeawsh

    mkeawsh Woody Hollow

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    gryeyes - Love your Description :) Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers I can so relate and loving it! :)
     
  10. chicken-wish

    chicken-wish Out Of The Brooder

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    I had this happen to one of my bantam EE's! She went missing for about a month and suddenly, she showed up in one of our horse stalls with atleast twenty chicks! The chicks were all different mutt breeds bantam and LF, lol! What and exciting day that was. [​IMG]
     

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