My hen laid eggs outside of coop and is broody- I think

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by quiltchick, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. quiltchick

    quiltchick Out Of The Brooder

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    My Brahma has been spending days alone in the barn and nights in the coop. I just found 4 eggs on a hay stack and took them into the house. I saved the eggs from dropping as we used the hay- but now I think I may have seen something when I candle them...I never candled before- but each egg looks very different inside.
    Question- is it possible for her to have viable eggs/chicks if she only spends days in the barn and leaves the eggs at night? I do not know what to do with these eggs!
    Thank you for any advise/ help.
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    Nope, they wouldn't be viable.

    Unless it were AZ in the summer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  3. quiltchick

    quiltchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2011
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    Thanks for your speedy reply!
     
  4. Do u have a rooster?
     
  5. Chicken Master1

    Chicken Master1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    they are both right if you dont have a rooster than the answer is no and it is not warm enough for the eggs to do that on their own yet... not even in AZ. she may have had gotten broody then just left the eggs. Have you cracked one? oh and [​IMG]
     
  6. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well the eggs can show some development, and might have varying degrees of it.
    However they wont be viable unless the temp is held consistant for long periods and you have a rooster.

    We have a hen like this now and she will only sit on eggs in her little rock nest for the day, but then at night she leaves them.
    No idea why, If she wanted a big clutch she should just leave them be all day until she has the right ammount built up, then sit and stay.
    Fertile eggs can sit for 7 days or more before being incubated and grow just the same. That way all of them hatch at almost the same time.
    Maybe the broody hormones arent strong enough to keep her on, but she is feeling the urge to nest.

    Soon enough she will go full broody, or quit this behavior.
    As long as she is laying eggs, just take them from her. If she does go broody the other girls will notice and lay their eggs under her.
    Or you can even put the eggs you collected back under her. If you dont than all the half warmed eggs will likely be duds as the process started, but died off as the temp went back to normal.

    That's what happened here.
    Good luck
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2013
  7. quiltchick

    quiltchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 28, 2011
    Central NJ
    First of all, thank you all for your thoughtful replies. I have been a member for a while, but lurking and reading- not posting.

    As a quick introduction, I have a small flock of 1 year old layers (11 assorted hens) and 1 remaining rooster. The rooster is a partridge rock. They all have a nice sized coop with a smallish run and lots of free time roaming about my small farm when I am out side or able to keep a good eye on them. I also have 12 chicks growing in a brooder- again varied breeds- I love so many breeds------have 7 more chicks on order--more on that for another post.

    So yes, the eggs could be fertile. For the past week or so I have noticed this little Brahma has been hanging out in the hay room. Not always in the same place when I see her, but there was a stack of 20 plus bales for her to disappear on. As we used the hay and the pile got smaller, I noticed her on the top of two remaining stacks. As an after thought mostly, I checked her spot later on when I went out to feed the horses. Sure enough, 4 eggs clustered in the spot she was in. I took them and looked at the eggs with a flashlight in front of a computer screen page showing eggs being candled with assorted levels of development- and it looked like there may have been development in my girl's eggs. There were absolutely differences in the appearance of the inside of the eggs.

    As I mentioned, she does come into her coop at night. She is special and gets to spend a good part of her day out of the coop and run (she gets picked on).

    Not to be so winded- I apologize for that- but I would love to have her hatch eggs. Any suggestions? I have no idea about broody hens, as this is my first full year with chickens. She is my special little sweet hen, I know we should not have have favorites, but....

    Again- thanks for your input.
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tell you what, try this. Mark the eggs put them back in the nest she made. Keep checking the nest for new eggs, and remove them. Keep a set of eggs you want her to brood, rotating in new fresher eggs. If she does go broody you can switch out the old eggs with the new ones. You can use any eggs to put in the nest to keep her laying there. Of course now that you have disturbed the nest she may look for a new one, good luck finding it. She may not go broody. If she is going broody look for signs like walking around puffed out or looking distracted, besides her taking longer on the nest. I hope she doesn't go broody on the hay stack you need.
     
  9. Chambertin

    Chambertin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A seriously broody hen can be moved without her giving up the nest. Just try to get as much of it as you can.
    My broody girl, a completely different one from the half-broody nest squatter (like yours), is fine with me grabbing the towel with her on it and transporting her and the eggs wherever I so need her to be.
    Cleaning, seperation, finding a suitable place, all in all I think I moved her 5 times and she never budged an inch.
    I even had to pick her up off the eggs to candle them this last time (expected hatch really soon) and she agreed to it upon the condition I set her back exactly where she was.

    The hay nest might be more complicated, but if you can get a box with a towel out there, or a blue towel on the hay.
    Our girls fight over the nest boxes with blue towels and ignore the others for some reason.

    My guess is that girl is getting some hormones but not enough to go full broody.
    Once they do, its hard to get them off the eggs. If anyone or anything but me goes near her they are quick to recive a flurry of pecks.

    I didnt bother with marking or keeping track. I placed the best 4 girls eggs fresh eggs under her and left the other 4 she had saved, after 4 days I candled and kept the best 5.
    Everyone is due to hatch soon, getting excited.
     
  10. quiltchick

    quiltchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Central NJ
    Such great info- thanks! Chamberton I am excited for you! And how did you decide what eggs to keep? And why a blue towel? Is color actually an issue? I have 4 babies from our own girls, mixed breeds, in the brooder now! My friend actually hatched them- we did not have a hen ready to help us.

    OK, so I am combining so many ideas- I have moved her eggs, with an x on them into the actual coop along with a pile of hay. Since all the girls immediately seemed interested in the "new" bedding, I added hay to all the boxes on top of their shavings. I also added a fluffy pile of hay in one of the corners of the coop on the floor. My barn is not safe overnight, so any sitting will need to occur inside the coop.

    Now I am about to go look for a suitable cardboard box to fill with hay and a blue towel. I am happy to try all ideas. I do think this hen is not quite sure how she is feeling- she is only 11 months old. She has been wondering around alone (making me a bit nervous, as she wanders about 800 feet from the coop) like she is in a daze. The grass is just starting to pop up so she could just be searching for food. She is also frequently at my feet looking up at me- I pick her up and she just settles. I love it, but she is far more attentive than ever before.

    Oh, yes- I am having fun......

    Thanks for the advice- amazing creatures, these chickens. I will let you all know how this works out.
     

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