Is she broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by lablover, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an EE that is a bit over 2 years old. Sunday we noticed her on the nest, either off and on, or she was there all day. They free range. I don't think she's been sitting on the nest the past few days, but she was on it when I went to lock up tonight. Sunday after getting the eggs from her and running her off of it at dusk, I put golfballs on the nest just to see if she was wanting to stay on the eggs. Tonight, she had one ball under her, and the other under her chest. One egg was laid by someone else in between the two nests they have, which tells me she had been there a while. (For nests, I cut a bucket in half and put a board in front to keep hay in it.) They were locked up all day and no other eggs were laid from the other hens. They tend to only use the one nest. She's one of the oldest hens, and isn't low in the pecking order, so I don't think that she's being kept off of the roost. Could she be going broody? The one egg that was there was not hers, so that park confuses me a bit. Yes I have a rooster, so I'm fine with her going broody.
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually wait two or so days and let them sit on the fake eggs (golf balls in this case) to make sure they are devoted before I stick the fertile eggs under them. It is possible. I've had several EEs hatch out clutches over the years. Oh, and by the way, if she's in the most popular nesting box, another hen could have squeezed in there and laid the egg. This is one reason why I always separate broodys from the rest of the flock.
     
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like it. When they hop off the nest to go grab a bit, someone else will borrow the nest, lay and egg and then when that hen gets off, she gets back on her preferred nest.
     
  4. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, thank you! I'll keep watching and hoping that she sticks with it. I do have a small box/cage I keep in case of sick hens or for when I get new chicks/pullets. It's up off the ground, and free standing, so I can stick it where ever, plus a moveable chicken tractor that I can attach to the end of the main run and block that end off. So I think I'm set if she does. Over the two years I've had chickens, this is the most attention any of them have paid to the nest!
     
  5. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She was still there this morning. Another hen was halfway under her trying to lay her egg, and yet another egg was laid between the two nests. Will all of her eggs be fertile since she's likely not going to be off of the nest long enough for the rooster to get her?
     
  6. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She should not be laying eggs once she goes broody. If you can identify each hen's eggs, you can select those that you want her to hatch. The squabbling over the nesting boxes will only lead to broken eggs so try to relocate her.
     
  7. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, is it better to put her in a small 3x2 box or the moveable chicken tractor? The box is free standing, with a tin roof, and chicken wire sides and bottom. The bottom has a few layers of wire for strength. So the box could be put inside the coop which is a 10x10 dog kennel coop. How do I know if she's really committed to the nest? She got off when the other hen kept burrowing under her, and then got back on just like you said.
     
  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you put her inside the tractor than she would be set for when the chicks hatch. You can try a medium cat carrier as her nesting box and you can even lock her in it if she fights and wants to leave the eggs. She has to get off 1-2 times a day to eat, poop and drink so don't worry about that. She's most likely in the primo nesting box so as soon as she leaves another hen hops in the box. Move her to the box after dark so she doesn't move off the eggs immediately.
     
  9. lablover

    lablover Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Should I go ahead and attach it to the end of the run (which is able to be blocked off for such situations), or just leave her in the tractor near the big coop? I have a small cat carrier, but she would hardly have room to stand up, and might get too hot. The nesting box in the tractor is about 3x1.5. It just has sides, no top, a pop door in the back, and a ramp leading to the floor. If I get this set up tonight, I'll mover her then and finally get a chance to see what is under her. How many eggs can I give her? I have 8 hens, but average about 5 eggs a day.
     
  10. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't really understand your set up but if the nesting boxes are big and the run is secure, I'd just go with that. Many people on here would just leave the hen with the flock but since she's a first time broody and you don't know how the rest of the flock will react to chicks, I'd rather take the conservative approach and put her by herself. A LF hen can easily sit on 10 eggs and keep that many chicks warm. You are going to have a certain % of loss plus 50% should be roos. How many do you want to end up with? It's not worth going through all of this for 2 more pullets.

    You can also move her, give her some golfballs to sit on for 2-3 days. Gather the eggs you want her to brood than do the old switcheroo at night. Leave them on the counter in the kitchen for no more than 2 days before you give them to her.
     

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