Missing hen presumably broody... **updated**

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ki4got, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    She's been gone overnight for 3 nights now, from a free range flock, but comes back for breakfast. Any suggestions how I can track her to find where she's going?

    Knock on wood I haven't lost any to predators yet, the dogs keep those under control somewhat, but I still worry about her.

    And hubby found some hidden eggs in the horse trailer too, but they were cold so we don't think they're Grey's. (dark brahma bantam)

    I've got too many going broody, and not enough nest boxes! [​IMG] I figured 2 boxes would be fine for 6-8 hens, but i've already got 3 broody in the '2-holer' and now another gone awol... didn't figure on 4 going broody at once I guess.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  2. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    After breakfast, follow her and see where she goes.
     
  3. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    well she didn't come back for breakfast for 2 days, but today at lunch time she was out and HUNGRY! LOL

    froze my butt off waiting for her to eat (lots) and drink (even more!), then wander around and nibble greens here and there. finally she wandered back to the nest.

    how's that saying go... 'if it'd been a snake...' LOL she's all of 5 feet from the dorkings, maybe 10' from the coop itself, up against a gree under a tangle of honeysuckle and jasmine vines. here i'd been looking in all the 'obvious' places. like under the horse trailer, IN the horse trailer (i did find another nest started by someone but the eggs were cold and nobody's brooding). I even looked in the woodshed, in the brush heap created when hubby flattenned a spot to park the tractor, etc. LOL

    so now i'm planning on relocating her tonight, but wondering about where she should go. i don't have an enclosed pen i can use, since they free range, and the nest int he coop is occupied by another broody (who won't share the nest AT ALL!) who is likely to also get relocated once i figure out where...

    she's got a HUGE pile of eggs, enough that they're leaking out around hte edges, so i'm sure not all of them will be viable, but that explains where everyone's been laying since groucho took over the nest in the coop...

    so my options for relocating are a bird cage (cockatiel/conure sized), or a brooding tub (big rubbermaid type) which would give her room to get off the nest, eat drink poop but that's it (bigger than the bird cage tho). or else i could try to relocat her to a cat carrier under our deck but that's where the cats sleep. in the old doghouse. LOL

    any other possible suggestions?
     
  4. hdowden

    hdowden Overrun With Chickens

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    i would just leave her some times moving them will cause problems
     
  5. oldorchardfarms

    oldorchardfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    woodstock
    My husband too 5 gallon pals and made box type stand with 2x4s that he screwed the buckets into and that is what we use for nesting boxes pm if you need help or anything
     
  6. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    i don't feel comfortable leaving her loose like that as she's fair game to any predator that might come along. and the coyotes have been loud the last few nights so i've worried.

    if she gets un-broody that's not a problem. i have an incubator and hatcher... but i'd like to let momma do the work for once. LOL [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

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    ok an update to my update...

    went out to check on her, it's been rain/sleet/snowing for the last several hours, (global warming? yeah right.) and she was entirely SOGGED.

    so i went back inside, took my second brooder bin (large tub), bent a metal panel (left over from wire dog crate) to fit over the top, cut the side out of a milk crate (i wanted top access too), put some shavings on the floor, stole some hay from the ponies (at least IT was under a shed... does that mean the hay was smarter than the chicken? [​IMG] ) for the nest, then took an egg crate (glad i picked an 18 count one) and stole all her eggs as quickly as i could. brought them back inside and just put the whole egg crate in the hatcher, since the chicks just left for their new home right before i checked on her. went back outside and snagged her up and ran back in. she's shivering hard, didn't complain one bit the whole time i was stealing eggs and hen. she's now in her new home (dark towel over the top to make it darker) with only 9 of her eggs. the rest wouldn't fit easily so they're in the hatcher again.

    hopefully she'll settle down and start incubating again. she's just standing over them right now. not sure how viable they are, there was water in the nest from the rain/snow crap that's coming down so they were wet muddy & cold at least in part. if she does settle in, i've got more eggs where they came from and i'll let her have them.

    i'm also keeping an eye on an auction that ends tonight. [​IMG] so maybe she'll have some babies anyways.
     

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