Is My hen broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Hopefully, Oct 18, 2009.

  1. Hopefully

    Hopefully Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2009
    I was cleaning up the yard. We have an old silver garbage can that just sits there, it's covered in dirt to the very top. Well, on top of the dirt sat my hen Lucy. When I approached her, she screeched at me and her eyes looked really wild. I called my brother and he plucked her off the can. There were 9 small eggs. Lucy screamed the entire time until we put her back down. She sat back on them and screeched at us again. Is she trying to hatch these eggs?!

    She's been missing from her normal sleeping area for 3 days. I just thought she'd picked a new spot but apparently not. We don't want to disturb her or move her at all.
    Would she sit on infertile eggs or does she know there are some fertile ones in there?
    Also, she saw my hen with her baby. Did this trigger something in her head that she wanted babies too? Because she never got broody before.

    I'm not sure if these are fertile eggs so I'm wondering if she'd waste her time sitting on infertile ones.

    Also, it's going to rain tomorrow. Should I leave her where she is? Will she keep the eggs warm enough? I do not want to move her.
  2. eggsrcool

    eggsrcool Sussex Fanatic

    She sounds broody. You can leave her outside, the eggs should be fine. She will sit on any eggs, regardless of fertility.
  3. TexasVet

    TexasVet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    Certainly sounds broody to me. But I'd move the whole trash can (or her nest) to someplace safe from predators and the elements. She's very vulnerable while sitting on the eggs, and she's going to be there for 21 days.

    Best time to move her is at night.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    If you have a rooster, assume they're fertile for now. I agree move her to someplace safe and out of the elements. As was said, if you do it at night, (have your brother or someone help by holding a dim flashlight (or cover a bright one with a rag or somesuch so it is very dim, this is important!) if you do it at night, she won't get quite so upset... well, she might, but she won't be able to do much about it because chickens are clueless in the dark.

    Prepare a box with dirt (if she seems happy with that) or some shavings or straw etc someplace under some cover from the rain and tuck her and the eggs in it. Choose a place where there isn't much traffic or noise, Reach under her carefully first, (with very very dim light!) and take as many of the eggs as you can safely manage, and place them in the chosen nest spot, then go get her and the rest of the eggs. This will wake her a bit, but she won't be able to do much about it and when she gets in the new nest spot, (keep it dark as possible) she'll probably shuffle the eggs around and settle in.

    If it rains where she's at now and water gathers in that can, the eggs will likely be ruined anyway, so even if she leaves the nest in the morning, it's probably just not meant to be.

    You can candle the eggs too if you want, or at least some of them... one way to find out how they are.

    //edit// or you could put some kind of cover over top of her! a sheet of plywood, a tarp, a combination of them??? that'd work too. I've had broodies hatch out where I never knew it and they managed.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  5. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    im having trouble picturing where your hen is setting, can you post a pic?

    but she definantly sounds broody, if you have a rooster the eggs should be fertilized, if you plan on letting her hatch the eggs, make sure that shes not in danger of bieng attacked by a predator where she is
  6. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Sounds like your hen wants to be a mom. I am thinking she is way to vunerable were she is, I would move her inside the coop, to a nest box.
  7. Hopefully

    Hopefully Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2009
    Thanks everyone!
    She's in a silver garbage can, which is pretty filled up with dirt and leaves. It was for when we raked last fall. It just happened to sit out there. Lucy, my bantam, found it a good place to lay all 9 eggs. It was out in the open but I moved the garbage can under a tree so it could be more sheltered. I don't want to move her, just looking at her makes her stressed. You can't go within 5 feet from the can, she'll just scream.
    We do have cats in our neighborhood. My cat was outside but she doesn't chase the hens. But I put her inside because of my other hen and her chick. And my dog will stay leashed up until we can finish our fence and keep her on one side and the chickens on the other. Can't wait until that's finished!

    (I'll post pics of her nest soon, but I can't even really get close.. maybe a faraway pic) For some reason she screams and then starts making movements like she's convulsing, it creeps me out.

    Here's the issue.
    We got rid of our rooster in August/September, don't quite remember. Well, our other hen, Rakki, just hatched 2 chicks about last week. Everyone thought she could hold the fertility for a while. Well, Lucy just laid eggs, so I'm thinking these eggs might be fertile as well... at least 1 or 2 since my Rakki got 2 chicks out of her nest. What do you think?

    I'll keep you guys updated! I'm worried about predators.. but then again, we have an anti cat fence on the side of the fence she's on and we also have a big whiny dog leashed up and making a racket..
    My biggest issue is squirrels. If Lucy gets off for too long, there's no doubt an egg or 2 WILL be snatched

    But I won't move her.. she's too stressed as it is.
    And it's not a lot of rain tomorrow, just a drizzle and then more sun [​IMG]
  8. austinhart123

    austinhart123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Los Angeles CA
    be carefull about moving the trashcan too far away from its origional spot or she may have trouble finding it later on
  9. Hopefully

    Hopefully Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2009
    Quote:I have my dog leashed next to the can. She doesn't seem to mind, also, since my dog doesn't even know she's in there. She hasn't left the trashcan all day today.. will she ever leave or do I need to toss in some feed? Water might be an issue.. putting a bowl of water in there is enough time for her to attack me..but I can toss in some feed without getting close.

    And if she does leave... would she be too scared to come back with the dog there?
    Maybe I should move the can one more time..
    I just finished tying up my dog (extra knotted and secure) and I don't feel like doing it again. I'll risk getting attacked to move the can..

    Just scared as how I should do that.
  10. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    If you got rid of your rooster in August/Sept.....I really don't think the eggs are fertile. I would either take them all away and stop her brood or obtain eggs from an outside source that you know to be fertile. Brooding is apparently slightly unhealthy for chickens and they have to recover from it. It would be ashamed to put her through that for nothing. In any event, within about 3 or 4 days, you will be able to candle the eggs at night to confirm can try just a few.
    The weather will be getting colder and I don't know if I would want to have babies now. It wouldn't be as good as if they would be hatched in March or April. Of course, that being said, I have never refused a hen. You might just call around and get some fertile eggs, assuming yours are not fertile.

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