my first time brooder wont leave the nest of eggs for going on four days now

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lobzi, Oct 18, 2019.

  1. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    Should I make her get off or just leave her alone to figure it out? I have been giving her food which she eats but Im worried she is pooing on the eggs and in the nest. She is tucked back between two vertical walls so I dont get much view of anything more than her head. I dont smell any poo yet. I am worried about her well-being though.
    Broody Babsey.JPG
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Pull her out, dip her beak in waterer if necessary.
    Do not feed on the nest.
    I assume she can access feed, water, and a place to stretch her legs and poop?
     
  3. HuffleClaw

    HuffleClaw Wrangling Ducks

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    Unless you are watching her 24/7... she’s probably been getting up every now and then. It’s also best if she broods in an actual nesting box, rather than between 2 walls. If she isn’t getting up on her own, you can lift her off of the "nest"..
     
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Just pull her off the nest and have feed and water close. She will poop once she gets pulled off. Toss her some treats to get her interested.
     
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  5. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    She was young when I got her, probably 1 or 2 weeks. She developed crook neck syndrome and I helped her through it. She has been with me as a house and deck chicken and chose to lay her eggs between my dresser and the wall to the outside deck area. There is no sign of poo around the area so I doubt she has been getting off. I can lift her off but I am afraid of her abandoning her eggs. They are fertile and Im hoping to get babies from her. She is adorable, a mix of silkie and frizzle feathers. Babsey 9 2019.JPG
     
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  6. Lobzi

    Lobzi Crowing

    OK, so I tried taking her off the nest and checked for poo. No poo and where I set her she sat. She didnt want to get up and stretch or go for food or drink or poo. I will offer her water today.
     
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  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    What I had to do with one broody was actually dip her beak in the waterer a couple times, then she snapped out of her trance and drank and ate like crazy, even ran out and took a huge dump then a dust bath.
    After that she got out on her own to eat drink poop.
    Is she confined to an area or free to go where all the other chickens go?
     
    slordaz likes this.
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    First, my disclaimer. Each chicken is an individual. It is always possible you get one that has its instincts screwed up. It sounds like Aart had one of those and managed to work through it. I don't know if your hen has issues or is like the vast majority of broody hens.

    Broody hens should come off the nest on their own to eat, drink, and poop. They should know to not poop in their nest and mess up their eggs. Sounds like yours has that part. I've seen broody hens come off the nest twice a day and stay off for more than an hour each time. I've seen a broody come off the nest once a day for only 15 minutes before she went back. Sometimes I never see a hen off her nest but since she is not pooping in her nest I assume she is coming off. They all had good hatches. Part of the broody instinct is to hide a nest. That might include not letting you see her when she is broody. They can be really sneaky.

    If another chicken can get to her nest it is a real good idea to mark the eggs she has and check under her once a day to check for new eggs. There are different reasons for that. I check my broody hens every day after the others have laid. I have never had a broody hen break from being broody by me taking her off once she has committed to being a full time broody. Not all hens immediately switch over to being a full time broody. Taking her off the nest might break her. But these are not committed enough to being trusted with eggs anyway. She could stop at any time. If yours has been there 4 days, I would not worry about that.

    When you take a broody hen off her nest she often squats on the ground for a while. Then she either moves back on her nest or takes ff for food, water, to poop, or maybe take a dust bath. She goes back on her nest when she finishes with all that. There is nothing wrong with taking her off the nest when you check for new eggs and setting her on the ground. If she is not pooping in the nest she is coming off anyway and you are not seeing her.

    I do not put food or water in the nest. Some people do for their own reasons. My reasons not to are that I don't want to spilled water to soak the nest and I don't want the food to attract rodents or other predators to her nest. Do as you wish on that.

    Hens have always been laying eggs and hatching chicks in all kinds of strange places. Some man-made nests are pretty poor for a broody hen. I don't see anything wrong with that location. My criteria concerns how safe is that area from predators. That's the only reason I might even consider moving her.

    The vast majority of broody hens know more about this by instinct than I ever will. I find that the less I interfere the less harm I do.

    Good luck!!!
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    This. All of it.
     
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  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Yup, she wasn't the brightest hen in the coop, and ended up soiling the nest just after hatch...other than that she did great. She was my first to let set and was the infamous 'Winter Broody'.
     
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