Is there hope? Broody hen abandoning the nest

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by oherin, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. oherin

    oherin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    I put 5 eggs under a broody on Wed night. On Saturday night, I found that she had left her nest and was sitting in another nest box. I don't know how long she had been off, but the eggs were cool to the touch. I put her back on the eggs and have adjusted the nest box so this cannot happen again. I do not doubt that she will continue to hatch out the eggs; I believe another hen interfered. The broody now is separated from the flock and can be an expecting mama in peace.

    My question: Is there hope for these eggs? Would candling them show many anything so early on? How long should I wait, etc.

    Thanks!
     
  2. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Have faith in the broody! Most of us have gone threw the same thing and had great hatches out of them. Candle at day 13 instead of day 10 to compensate for any slow growers.
     
  3. oherin

    oherin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks. We have had several broody hatches...my method of choice for raising chicks. This time around, I believe another hen stole her nest on a rare occasion when she got off to poop and eat. So far, she is still sitting. I just wanted to make sure the eggs were still viable. fingers crossed!
     
  4. oherin

    oherin Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 25, 2010
    Asheville, NC
    UPDATE! I had two chicks hatch a week later than expected! I had given up hope and could not see anything via my candling efforts (operator error). I had fully planned on replacing her eggs with chicks the week of the delayed hatch.

    Unfortunately, after the first chick hatched, she thought she was done and abandoned her nest. The other chicks were developed inside the egg. I believe they would have hatched had she stayed on them.
     
  5. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2013
    Sorry to hear that. Next time she becomes broody lock her and the eggs in a dog crate for the hatching. You can use rabbit feed and water bowls hanging on the inside of the door for them. This will prevent her from giving up right away and improve her broody skills.
     
  6. Morrigan

    Morrigan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2014
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    That's what I did with my broody and it worked well in that she stayed broody and I got chicks. It also was nice that she could stay in the coop with the flock and maintain her spot on the pecking order.

    The only word of caution is that your hen will need to have access to spot to go to the bathroom. I first tried opening the door to the carrier for a hour a day while the other chickens were occupied, but no luck. On day 3, I saw she had soiled her nest. After that I began forcibly removing her from the carrier once a day. I was fortunate that (1) she was an easy-going chicken and let me handle her without too much fuss, and (2) she alway came back after 20 minutes. I really didn't love having to wrestle her out of the cage every day though, or waiting around for 20 minutes to make sure no one else commandeered her nest in the carrier while she was out in the yard.

    There was room in the carrier for her to step off the nest to bathroom, but she never seemed willing to do that.

    Next time a hen goes broody, I may try leaving her where she is, and put out extra nest boxes and see how that goes for comparison. That's not perfect either I know . . .
     

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