My first broodies...man am I messing this up!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by possumhunter, Aug 20, 2010.

  1. possumhunter

    possumhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband and I went out of town for our anniversary and came home to find not only one, but two of my silkies broody. These are my first broody birds and i wasn't really prepared to do the broody bird thing yet. Neither had eggs under them, as the people that were "chicken sitting" for me didn't realize they were broody and took the eggs. So after 4 days, I managed to gather enough eggs for the 2 of them to sit. The first challenge was getting them into their own nesting boxes, since they were sharing one. Well, got that done, but over the first 2 or 3 days, one of them just didn't want to stay on her nest and preferred crawling back into the other nest or just "sitting" on a pile of shavings...so not sure how well her eggs will do, since they were left for bits of time on end.

    The next problem I've had is that another one of my silkies just started laying and I didn't realize that she was....so the same silly bird that was leaving her nest, decided to move all her eggs over to combine with the freshly laid egg from the other girl. After doing this a couple of times, I realized that I should have marked the eggs, becuase now I don't know whose are whose and they are all on different days. Any suggestions how to handle that? I thought about trying to candle and put the further developed eggs under one hen and the rest under another? If I could even tell...or wait until they start hatching and place all the pipped eggs under one bird? I dunno.....

    Problem number 2...I went out yesterday to check on the birds and when I lifted one of them up I noticed a few tiny tiny black bugs moving on my arms...I think they are mites? I've never seen them before or had any problem with any sort of infestation...I immediately dusted with Permethrin since that was all I had on hand. Then panicked afterward hoping that was okay to dust a broody?

    And one last question...can you continue eating eggs after using permethrin? not sure if I should be throwing the eggs out from the other birds or if they are okay.

    Can't believe I've made such a muck of this! I guess I didn't realize that there was so much to learn with a broody! I thought they sort of took care of it all on their own [​IMG].Thanks so much for any ideas!
     
  2. LizGled628

    LizGled628 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know how to help you, but good luck! Don't be too hard on yourself either. Chickens have been doing the mama thing for a long time, I'm sure nature knows best [​IMG]

    And be sure to keep us all posted on the progress!
     
  3. atimme

    atimme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First of all it's fine if two hens share a nest. I had two silkies team up as well and it worked every time. As for the new eggs in the nest, they may or may not make it. Try candling them in a week, there should be noticeably more development in the older eggs than the younger, then you can make the call to sort them and put them under a hen. If you do that then cage the broodies to avoid the same situation or egg swapping. The black bugs may be mites, usually they are grey or white. It's always a good idea to dust broodies since they are not doing it themselves during incubation. The Permethrin is fine for dusting poultry, even broodies. The packaging should indicate a withdrawal time if any. It's the law, it's on the package. I doubt it since it's a topical drug. You can eat the eggs in that case unless it specifically indicates otherwise. Relax, you are doing fine, you'll have chicks soon!
     
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As the previous posts have said.....don't worry you are new to this and so, by the sound of it, are the hens. Things are bound to be a bit difficult, but will work out better than you think.

    I have had hens desert eggs, leave some to go (seemingly) very cold, poop on the eggs, break some of the clutch,and generally seem to make a terrible mess of things, confounded only by my interfering attempts to 'help', and STILL hatch healthy chicks. I am sure you will do the same.

    Good Luck,

    Sandie
     
  5. possumhunter

    possumhunter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 6, 2010
    Thanks so much for all the advice! I'm glad I haven't totally ruined this, lol. I walked out to the coop tonight and the only other hen that is laying (she only started laying 2 weeks ago) is now broody as well. She is now trying to hatch some pine shavings [​IMG]. I had heard that silkies like to be mommas, but I really had no idea! My other 2 hens haven't even started laying yet and they are all the same age, lol. Hopefully they start laying before they go broody too?
     
  6. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One other thing, that I read somewhere recently...your nests need to be at floor level so the chicks can get in and out after they hatch. I've never (yet) hatched any eggs, but plan to with my next (this fall) flock - I've been reading up on it so as to be prepared. Yeah, right - seems like the hens know what you've read, and find some other way to behave just to keep you humble! I envy your your upcoming chicks of your own raising!
     

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