My hen is sitting?? And other egg related questions.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by am040608, Nov 7, 2015.

  1. am040608

    am040608 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2015
    I consistently find one of the wyandotte hens sitting on a single egg that's been left in the roost. It was suggested we leave an egg once our first hen laid to get the rest going. We have 9 hens and a rooster. I think whomever started laying has stopped, as the eggs were dark brown and we haven't had any since the first week. However we pretty much always get 5 eggs a day. It's hard to say who's are who's other than our EEs. Hers are blue. Other than that we did get one very odd soft shelled egg and a couple very tiny eggs.
    I'm curious why she would be so guarded with one egg?
    They are just now 5.5 to 6 months old, so I'd assume most would be laying.
    One EE, one golden sexlink, two black orps, and 5 wyandottes.
  2. allosaurusrock

    allosaurusrock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2015
    Near Seattle, WA
    Sounds like you have a broody hen.
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Yes, she sounds broody...and yes she will sit on just one egg, continuously. They will often sit on air if there are no eggs and they are of the broody mind.

    Your EE is green/blue egg
    Gold Sexlinks tend to be a rich terra cotta
    Orps tend to be lighter tan
    Wyandottes generally are a light to medium tan

    My experiences


    My Barreds generally lay more like the RIR in the photo, which is from the Wilco website, and my RSL or GSL lay like what is shown as Barred Rock here, even a little darker, but not as dark as the Welsummer. Orpington and Wyandotte are pretty close to my experience, as are Welsummer and Marans.

    You can see more egg color examples on a BYC thread here that shows the rich red of a RSL/GSL:
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    As you don't have many eggs at the moment, i would suggest that you break her broodiness. There are lots of threads on this topic, including the one below:

    When hens are broody, they do not eat or drink enough to sustain them for an indefinite period, so breaking broodiness is better for the hen in terms of health and its resistance to infection.

  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    I personally never break a broody as I use them to hatch eggs and do away forever with heat lamps and artificially brooding.

    Wyandottes can be very devoted mothers and excellent brooders.

    Just provide feed and drink within a good stretch of the legs distance and occasional food treats such as chopped eggs with yogurt. I place Electrolytes and Vitamins in the water for "gatorade" type boost, and let them do their thing. Most give up in about 4 weeks. If I am not hatching babies, as you approach the 4 week mark, I begin to gently lift them out of the nest and give them food treats away from the coop several times a day. That really helps, and most break voluntarily then.

    If you never want to use a hen to brood, then you may decide to break. If you ever want to use this hen to brood, I do not recommend breaking her as you set bad habits for the hen to give up on the process.

    Often, a commercial bred hen will brood and never brood again, so you probably have nothing to worry about if you are not interested in her raising chicks. Broody prone breeds will faithfully and regularly brood, and you do need to keep a good food/nutrition regiment up for them to help them keep optimum health.

    My 2 cents.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Agrees that if you don't want her to hatch chicks, break the broody sooner rather than later.
    Hatching is fun, can be especially fun with a broody-tho there are some management issues with this.
    And you have to think about what to do with the new birds, especially the males.

    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.

    Added a nipple water bottle after pic was taken.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by