Natural Hatching w/ Broody Hen - I think I'm doing it wrong! :(

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Teegan92, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Teegan92

    Teegan92 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    1
    26
    Jan 2, 2013
    Queensland, Australia
    My sister has lent me her Frizzle roo to breed with my Silkie hens. Yesterday He (Albert) mounted one (Sylvia) and today she has laid an egg and has been very broody for the past week. Because I have other hens and they have a nasty habit of sharing nesting boxes I found her today sitting on her tiny egg and my Australorps huge egg (in comparrison)

    Sister & I did a bit of research and decided to separate Sylvia from the flock in order to be able to keep collecting the unfertilised eggs while she broods on her own.

    NOW - dilemma. I have who I call 'the twins' which is Sylvia has a sister from the same clutch so identical to herself I've had to leg tag them - stupid me, one has orange the other red. So even I confuse myself if I don't get a good look at the tag as the red has now faded into a darker orange (yes i am aware of how dumb I am, lets move on)

    So now I'm starting to doubt that it was indeed Sylvia i saw Albert mount and not in fact her sister Cillantro :|

    Other than that, the coop I've moved her too is considerably smaller than where the others are and if it was by chance NOT Sylvia he mounted then I have just put an unfertillised hen in isolation for no reason. If it were bigger I was going to put him in there with her to do the deed just incase.

    I think I am way over my head for this and any tips, hints and tricks would be most welcome. I feel so stupid even posting this but my chickens are my babies and it hurts me to have to separate them if I don't need to :(

    OPTION - I have 4 hens, 5 total with Albert visiting. They're completely free range in my backyard and they just go to the coop at night to sleep...So i'm thinking maybe I should put Albert & Sylvia together in the main coup and the others can just go to the other at night to sleep - they love squishing in together anyway to keep warm (It's the end of winter here). Do you think that would be best bet in order to really make sure she's fertilised? hmmmm
     
  2. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    Unfortunately whom ever is brooding will NOT accept the advances of a Roo. They go into a Zen broody mode and completely stop laying eggs. I have seen my large fowl hens practically lay on the ground for the silky boyz advances. So dont assume the other hens haven't been fertilized.

    So I guess the question I have is your hen in fact broody.

    Does she flatten out on the nest like a pancake?
    Does she give you the stink eye when you peek in her nest spot?
    Does she growl at you when you try to move her to peek under neath?
    Does she stay on the nest all day? With the exception of once per day to hop off to eat and drink poo and dustbath.... very hurriedly before getting back on the nest.

    One way to be certain to have silky eggs is to go a head and collect the eggs. All of them. Silkys eggs are smaller you keep those in a cool but not cold place. pointy end down in an egg carton. rotate the eggs a couple of times per day. This way you put the eggs into suspended animation. Then when you have enough eggs you bring them up to room temperature and slip them back under your broody. THEN lock out the other hens contributions to the nest.

    You can collect eggs like this for a few days to a week. After a week they will still hatch but the hatch rate goes down. Some people do this to fill an incubator but this would be good to sort out the eggs you want to hatch. And if you have a hen that Is not quite broody still laying eggs but not committed to the job you have a better chance of getting more than one or two eggs from your hen.

    By the way there is an excellent thread on this subject if you havent seen it already. LOts of friendly supportive info on it.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ody-hen-hatch-a-long-and-informational-thread

    Its huge I know I been on it from day one um er maybe week one. You dont have to read it all just hit the last few pages Post some questions you will get answers from experienced people who do all the different aspects of raising chicks with broody hens. From Store bought eggs... Yep grocery store bought eggs... to people who spend big bucks for eggs from a breeder.... to people like you and me....

    deb
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'm sorry, I've read your post and can't quite grasp what your question is?

    I do know a broody hen won't mate or lay eggs, if that's what you're getting at. Maybe if you could clarify exactly what you're needing help with?
     
  4. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    If you are referring to me... I was just asking the OP if she really had a full on broody. meaning wont get off the nest.... and those questions I asked. Or if the hen is sitting a few ours then taking off to do Stuff.

    Because if she is broody the OP wont get Any fertile eggs from that hen. Thats also why I posted the link to the Broody hatch along thread here because there are people there that can answer her questions better than me.

    I am sorry if I didnt make any sense.

    deb
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,536
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Nope, was asking the OP.
     
  6. old1953

    old1953 Out Of The Brooder

    31
    1
    23
    Mar 14, 2013
    From what I've seen of hens, including many that lived totally free range all the time, they expect several hens to contribute to the nest when they go broody. Which makes perfect sense, because it's highly unlikely you'd hatch an egg that wasn't kept in perfect condition all the time and was over a week old, but free range hens would often show up with clutches of 18 or 20 chicks. Those simply cannot have all been her eggs.
     
  7. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I had a bantam once who disappeared on me she went broody in the summer. Summers here are brutal 100 to 105 in the shade. I thought a coyote got her. This was a totally free range flock wiley and able to survive out here in the chaparal. I had a path to and fro from the coop to the house and it passed by some small low rosemary bushes.

    I heard a growl from the bush. There was a dust bath hollow under there at one time.... I froze and started looking down.... Till I saw a little beedy eye glaring up at me. My foot was two inches from her. A week later out she comes with about ten or fifteen fuzzbutts of ALL different sizes. The only way a bantam could have hatched sooo many was because they were layed in a Bowl.... LOL. and it was hot out.

    Gawd that seems it happened an Aeon ago. But it was about ten years. When I was still stupid about chickens. Still am just have learned a bit more now.

    deb
     
  8. old1953

    old1953 Out Of The Brooder

    31
    1
    23
    Mar 14, 2013
    Yes, it always seemed to me that it was perhaps three days from a free range hen going broody to her vanishing for a month. And we always seemed to be short of eggs for those three or four days. I suppose you could call them the flocks' designated setters.

    With really free range hens, you have to have dogs. Big nasty dogs that don't spend much time at the house, but do spend a lot of time keeping fear in the hearts of the varmints that eat chickens and other small farm animals. We were lucky enough to have dogs that were really good at that. While you couldn't ask them about it, you could certainly smell it, if the varmint was a skunk or a fox.
     
  9. perchie.girl

    perchie.girl Desert Dweller Premium Member

    I would love to have a livestock guardian dog..... Worth their wieght in gold and on my list for when I get my flock started again.... Long story. And I am afraid we have hijacked the OPs thread...LOL.

    Oooh I love that "Designated Setters" description. I suppose its a survival tactic.

    And By the way Old1953 Welcome to BYC [​IMG] From the San Diego High desert two miles from the Mexican Border and 1.5 miles from paved road.... LOL.

    deb
     
  10. Teegan92

    Teegan92 Out Of The Brooder

    21
    1
    26
    Jan 2, 2013
    Queensland, Australia
    Thank you both. Very good tips :)

    My girl is definately broody - the pancake is a **** good description lol - but she laid an egg so now im just confused :| I thought broody hens could lay eggs. dangit. im just putting the others eggs underneath her as i go and hopefully something comes from it. if not a leaning curve for next time.....i am an idiot lol
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by