Is my broody hen eating???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Leisa1968, Mar 22, 2013.

  1. Leisa1968

    Leisa1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hen sitting on eggs tomorrow will be day 5. Haven't seen her eat or drink.
     
  2. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, she will get off the nest to eat a bit, relieve her colon and get a drink - she'll be off the nest anywhere from 2 to 15min...no longer. So, it's hard to 'catch' her off her nest.

    You can try giving her treats on the nest, if she'll take them from your hand. I give my broodies any of the following while they're on the nest (not daily, but offered something daily) - mealworms (protein), fresh grapes (water), 1/2 leaves of spinach (greens), sunflower seeds, cooled scrambled eggs, yogurt (messy!), canteloupe seeds - you get the idea. Whatever daily treat the rest of the flock is getting, I withhold a bit and take it in to the broodies to hand-feed them. I KNOW they appreciate it; as the ones who generally won't take treats from my hand suddenly will when they're hungry enough. Further, it helps the hen know I'm not going after her eggs! (I do mark the eggs on the second day she's sitting, so I know if someone added one later on).
     
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  3. Leisa1968

    Leisa1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok great advice... THANKS! I started giving her a little yogurt yesterday and this morning.Thanks so much! I feel better now[​IMG]
     
  4. Mtn Margie

    Mtn Margie Overrun With Chickens

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    You can also offer her a drink of water from a saucer. My broody would drink sometimes when I did that.
     
  5. Leisa1968

    Leisa1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok Thanks! I will definately try that:)
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They will get off the nest to eat, drink and relieve themselves. If you hand feed and water them or place the food and water too close to the nest the risk of them relieving themselves in the nest goes way up. A dirty nest means the eggs get dirty, which lowers the rate of hatch. Plus she never needs to stretch her legs. which means she is weaker when the eggs hatch. Just something for you to think on.
     
  7. pcreel

    pcreel Out Of The Brooder

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    I had the same question, thanks for the info. I was taking her meal worms and water too.

    Also,I found my polish under a shed, she was missing for five days :( Oh my she has 6 eggs on plain concrete. One was broken and she had yolk on her feathers and the rest of the eggs. Should I clean her and move her and the eggs to the nesting boxes where another brooby is? Will she continue to sit? Are the other eggs ruined due to the broken egg contamination? Crazy Girl...
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd attempt to move the polish. Move her at night while she is asleep. I wouldn't clean her if I wanted her to remain broody, washing her could lower her temperature and break her brood. If the eggs are really dirty they have much less chance to hatch as the chick needs the pores of the egg to breath. If they are not too badly soiled they still may hatch. At five days into her brood she will accept new eggs if that's what you want.

    On getting off the nest to eat and drink. They will often not want to be observed while doing it so as not to lead predators back to the nest, So while you are watching they may well be waiting for you to leave. Strange how some instincts are carried yet in such a domesticated animal.
     
  9. pcreel

    pcreel Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds good thanks.
    I did move her but Put her I'm a travel petcarrier pretty large also i placed food and water for her so she can't get to far from her eggs. Hopeful she'll sit again then I'll open the kennel in a few days. I did write her with a clean wash rag and made sure she was dry. Her eggs are not that bad i guess. I hear how some people sand them. Is that something too consider? I could show pics of the eggs
     
  10. bumpercarr

    bumpercarr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I too have a broody hen that doesn't seem to be eating or drinking. I put a little food in her box and she ate like she was starving (of course, she might also have been just mad). She's not doing a very good job of keeping her eggs under her, I usually find one out in front of her, she's backed herself all of the way into a corner. I don't think it is a new egg, she still has three under her. It's her first time being broody, so I'm not sure what her success rate will be. Does anyone have any thoughts? BTW, she's a silkie mix, the rest are sex-linked, RIRs and barred Rock, I don't think they will sit on eggs. Good thing that she wants to do it for them [​IMG]
     

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