Need Advice on Broody Hen Sitting on Eggs

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Kentuckyrain, Apr 8, 2016.

  1. Kentuckyrain

    Kentuckyrain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a Showgirl that is going on 14 days sitting on some fertilized eggs from other hens. I am currently incubating eggs inside that are on day 16.

    I am new to allowing a hen to sit on eggs so I am not sure what I need to be doing for her in the coop. During the past 2 weeks, I have had to collect eggs from under her that I know were laid by other hens and I do this everyday, collecting them for eating that is. I have her eggs that she has been sitting on marked.

    Anyhow, I am new to this, was not really planning on a hen sitting on eggs since I have been incubating myself.

    So here is where I need advice.

    1. Her eggs are poopy dirty, do I need to do anything about this?
    2. All my nest boxes are about 3 feet off the ground, do I need to re locate her somewhere else with the eggs so when they hatch the babies dont fall down?
    3. I have an 8' x 12' Chicken coop, total of 13 Chickens in there, very large back yard that the get to free range in every day. What kind of preparations do I need to do before my showgirls eggs hatch?

    Any other advice or links with information would be greatly appreciated..
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Don't clean her eggs, if there are big chunks I might wipe them off otherwise I'd leave them, either they will hatch or they won't.

    I wouldn't try to move her yet, but plan on being around on hatch day, which is often day 20 for broodies. I wait until most have hatched than I move mom and kids to a temporary pen on the floor and move any unhatched eggs with her.

    I usually keep my broody in her pen for about two weeks until the chicks can keep up and run from other hens, than I start letting the group out under supervision.

    Sometimes other hens will attack the broody and her chicks, it can take a week or two sometimes to get them back into the group depending on the other hens.
     
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  3. dmanhefner

    dmanhefner Out Of The Brooder

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    I put them in their own box but one the others dont lay in. I dont keep the hens seperate from the flock, no integration ossues.
     
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  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You may still have troubles with hen fighting, it isn't about being separated, it about having chicks and being removed from the pecking order, and acting broody, some other hens sometimes fight with them. You also want to separate them after the hatch to keep the family together, sometimes chicks wander too far and can't get back.
     
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  5. Kentuckyrain

    Kentuckyrain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you both very much!
     
  6. Kentuckyrain

    Kentuckyrain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2015
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    I have a very large plastic dog cage with a front gate, It will easily fit inside the coop. I can wait until they start hatching then move my Showgirl and her eggs/chicks inside there so they will not be bothered by any of the other chickens.

    New problem and not sure what to do? I just now have another hen that went broody today, she is a tiny little Gold laced Seabright. I don't know how many eggs she is sitting on, but it's getting dark here and she is inside a nest box and I only got 2 eggs today from other boxes and I sometimes get up to 8 a day.

    I guess my question is,, should I remove her eggs and not let her sit on them, leave her alone and let it play out, or exchange her fresh eggs from today that she is sitting on and put in some of my eggs from my incubator?

    You can tell, I am new to the broody hen thing, just not sure about the timing or does it even matter?
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Your bantam will continue to go broody multiple times a year whether they hatch or not, so it really depends on how many chicks you want and how many you can raise. Many of mine, I keep collecting the eggs under them, and they keep sitting, either on nothing or the freshly laid eggs. I also had a first time sitter last season who wanted to sit but didn't want the chick she hatched and attacked it than went back to sitting on nothing. Another two hens raised it.
     
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  8. Kentuckyrain

    Kentuckyrain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh boy, lol, thank you for the info. Is there a certain amount of time I can let her sit on them before it's too late for me to eat the eggs? I mean, how long before the eggs begin to form a chick? Like 1 night might be ok ? Hope that makes sense.

    Edited to add; I don't mind letting the bantam go broody, I guess I need to go mark her eggs because the main problem I have with the Showgirl is other hens wanting and actually adding eggs to her nest everyday, I have to keep lifting her up once a day to remove the new laid eggs. I am sure they are going to be doing the same to the bantam,, this is the most annoying part so far. Any suggestions on an easy way to deal with this part?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2016
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You are okay for a few days technically, but one day would be as far as I would leave them. It takes about a week before you start to see blood vessels.

    If you have eggs in an incubator I might see if she's interested in a few chicks when they hatch by putting her with some. Some won't take them so soon into sitting, every hen is different.
     
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  10. Kentuckyrain

    Kentuckyrain Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The ones in the bator are on day 16 today, think that might be too soon for the bantam that just started sitting today?
     

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