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My First Broody questions!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickenfever, Apr 21, 2009.

  1. chickenfever

    chickenfever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Arizona
    OK, This is my first year to chickens and I have my first broody, a BO. She has been setting on some eggs since Friday, so about 5 days. I'm super excited! (even though I have 21 seven week old chicks in another coop [​IMG], I think all you addicts can relate) I just have a few questions:

    1. She decided to make her nest on the floor of the coop right in front of the nest boxes. She has 11 coopmates including a cochin roo. Will this be a problem? Should I move her to a secluded spot? And how do I do that, just kind of scoop everything up and tried to move in all, or just the eggs?

    2. I don't think the roo is completely doing his job. I have only been noticing about 20% fertility in my eggs. I don't really want a bunch of rotten eggs in a few weeks. Should I candle at some point to remove the non-developing eggs? If I were to get some fertile eggs from someone would I be able to swap them out and have her still set on them until they hatched?

    Thanks so much for taking the time to help me out!
     
  2. chicklady63

    chicklady63 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2009
    Isn't it exciting when a hen goes broody? I found it fascinating when my first one did!
    1. As for moving her, sometimes you must and I think it all depends on just how determined she is to set. If it isn't too far you might try moving the eggs and see if she will follow. (Show her where they are.) Mine will, but they are older hens and very comfortable with their surroundings. I have some that will set on anything, anywhere and even lost my very favorite black OE Game Bird hen that was 9 years old when fireants ate her alive on her nest. I thought I would go beserk when I found her poor body just covered with them and her dead -it broke my heart....but anyway..I got off the real subject - sorry. If you move just them or both her and the eggs, you need to watch closely for about 30 minutes to see what she will do. If she settles in happily, then all systems are go. I hope she does.
    2. If the rooster is young sometimes their inexperience can cause them to take a while to "get it right". In my experience, I think it always best to candle, but it's actually the fertile eggs that go bad for whatever reason you most have to be concerned with. The non-fertiles can be left much longer before they cause any trouble. I usually candle on day 10 and again a week later. After that, I wait until day 23 to candle again if they haven't hatched by then.
    Yopu can swap out the eggs, she'll never know. If you put babiies under her they have to be day-olds & she should have been setting for a while in order to fool her & make it work.
    This is just my way - not the way. Everyone is different, so just listen to suggestions, pick one what you feel comfortable with & give it a try.
    Good luck.
     
  3. chickenfever

    chickenfever Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 22, 2008
    Arizona
    Thanks for the reply, that's so sad about your broody hen!

    If I do leave her will the others attack or bother the babies when/if they hatch?
     

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