Misbehaving broody

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Aroha, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. Aroha

    Aroha New Egg

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    Mar 3, 2014
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    One of our chickens went broody last year and successfully sat on 6 eggs, hatched 4 chicks and we now have 3 beautiful 15 week old Silver Laced Wyandotte pullets and one stunning SLW roo. She went broody again a couple of weeks ago so I bought her 12 fertile eggs this time as she did such a good job previously.

    I moved her to her broody house in advance and she sat well on her golf balls. 24 hours later I gave her the fertile eggs and blocked her exit from the house. The next morning she sitting next to the nest, in the food area, and the eggs were cold. I put a brick in the food area so the only place to nest would be the actual nest with the eggs, and she reluctantly sat on the eggs. Whenever the door was opened she got off the eggs, whenever she had access to outside she rushed out, picking at the wire and clucking, not happy at all. She broke (and ate) 3 of the eggs, hopefully accidentally. She pooed in the nest on three days - I wiped it off and changed the straw.

    During this time, I kept her locked into the house with access to outside limited to short times, although on one occasion the door blew open and I don't know how long she was out then. She gradually began sitting better and after 5 days I was able to leave the door to the run open - she is now sitting on her eggs and just going outside to stretch her legs and do her business!

    So, my question is, are these eggs likely to be still viable? I tried candling last night (day 6 since she was given the eggs) but could see nothing - that is my first attempt at candling. Some of them appeared mottled, some of them appeared to have a dark area, but I couldn't see anything looking like veins, and couldn't be sure the dark areas weren't my fingers!

    Also, what went wrong that upset her some much? My daughter thinks she was given too many eggs - she's a good size hen and I was told she could sit on 12, but is that a lot?

    Thanks!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Your eggs may or may not still be viable. I would guess that she was not given enough time to 'imprint' on the nest site that you moved her to. When moving broody hens, I like to allow a minimum of 48 hours for acclimation. Good luck - hope that you salvage some of those eggs.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm with Sourland--you'll just have to see how things hatch out. I agree with the 48 hour thing--a broody has to be on that nest tight for minimum of 2 nights before I give her the eggs I want her to hatch. Sometimes they practice being broody for a while before they get serious.
     
  4. Aroha

    Aroha New Egg

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    Mar 3, 2014
    New Zealand
    Thanks so much. That's good to hear about the 48 hours thing - I'm disappointed that I may have screwed it up for her, but pleased that there could be an obvious reason, otherwise I would feel reluctant to try again.

    I'm still hoping that these eggs can still hatch, just another 15 days to wait - arrgghh!!!
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'll be interested to see the hatch rate also. I'm thinking they should be okay, eggs can set up to a week before being incubated and still be viable.
     
  6. Aroha

    Aroha New Egg

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    Mar 3, 2014
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    Well, broody chook was off the nest again yesterday morning and the eggs were cold. She then went back in but later we discovered an extra egg - bizarre, either my counting was wrong or she laid it. I left her that day and she was in and out of the nest all day. Today she has been out most of the day and another egg has appeared so she is definitely laying again. So that's the end of that.

    I put her back with the flock and bravely cracked open an egg to see what had happened. There was a tiny embryo about half a centimetre long and lot of veins, so it's possible that if she had continued to sit on the eggs we would have had some chicks, even after that rough start.

    Thanks for the advice and hopefully next time is more successful
     

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