Need expert advice on hatching with a broody

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by goldeneggtees, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Hi, my 8 month old buff orpington has been broody for at least three weeks now. I finally gave in and got some fertile b/o eggs which she kindly "took under her wing" yesterday.

    I have quite a few questions and was hoping someone can help.

    1. I've read that she should be taken off her nest at approx. same time every day so she can eat, drink & poop. Is that true? She doesn't seem to get up on her own to do anything but sit on them. I have food and water right in front of her but it seems to go untouched.

    2. This leads me to another question, can I hand feed her while she sits there? I have been giving treats - grapes, yogurt and scrambled eggs and that really seems to be the only way she eats. But I noticed that she makes almost like burping sounds when it goes down, like she can't sit there and eat at the same time.

    3. If it's ok for her to be off the nest for a little while, how long is ok? Temps are in 40's right now. Can the eggs just sit there while she is off them?

    4. When she does go back in, I noticed the eggs are kinda getting pushed onto the bare floor of the nesting box, while she moves herself around trying to cover them. I have regular pine shavings in there and there are quite a few of them but in her movements, they get onto the bare wood.

    5. I have the nesting box raised off the ground by about 10 inches, should I try and insulate below it to keep the eggs warmer?

    6. We constructed her new nesting box a little hastily after the eggs arrived, and I realize it seems a little small, like around 12 inches high, it's wide enough but maybe too short? I'll take a picture of her in it later and post to this thread.

    7. If it is too short (my husband will kill me) should we transfer her and the eggs into something more suitable?

    8. When she goes out to do her business, she's been broody for so long, the other 7 hens are very mean to her. Even the runt is attacking her, what can I do to stop this? Eventually she will need to be reintroduced with some or all of her chicks (if any hatch).

    Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated, I feel like I am completely out of my league here.

    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  2. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Your doing fine ....Way back .....I posted the same questions ...

    1. Your Broody will get up off her nest when your not looking ...
    2. Yes ,that is what I do for my little Bantam mama who is at the bottom of the peckin' order...she loves it ...she became more tame with me after the first time ...
    3. Yes she can be off the nest .
    4. She naturally turns her eggs ...if you watch she'll push the egg under her with her beak ...but I am also a worry wart and will slip it under her ...and then on the other hand I think it may be a dud and she doesnt want to waste her time on it ? IMO
    5. No the hen will keep them warm .... but you can put shavings under her ....do it in the dark ...
    6. and 7
    this one is your choice ..You can leave her ...which I have done with standard hens....and I also have seperated my mama bantam from the other girls because they lay their eggs in her nest and they pick on her ... So Again in the dark ....I placed her on the ground with shavings and placed a small (depends on how much room you have) bottomless wired dog cage over her ...and provided feed and water and treats ...Now I have a broody crate already set up waiting for my next broody hen ....
    8. Do your hens free range?..which is good because she'll have more space to run .....Eventually you'll have to reintroduce them ...When the chicks hatch I place mama hen and chicks in a cage(water and feed and shelter) where the other hens can see them but not peck....

    I am very excited for you ....There is alot of other great advice on here about broody hens and what to do ...Good Luck ! and remember to mark your calender !!! so you can pace the floor waiting for your new arrivals ...
     
  3. ThePamperedPullet

    ThePamperedPullet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mama knows best. A hen will usually only get off the nest once a day to eat, drink and poo. There may be days when she doesn't leave the nest at all. She will roll her eggs up to 50 times a day to excersize the embryo and to keep it from sticking in the shell. She will usually leave the nest for up to a half an hour. She will maintain a temperature inside the egg by moving them closer or farther away from her body center so that all the eggs are developing at the same rate. If there is a dud egg she will usually move it outside the nest. You can take and place hay or straw around her to help replace the shavings as it is not really good for chicks to be directly on shavings when they are born. Shavings are fine after a few days once they learn to eat regular feed.
     
  4. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Thanks so much for the advice! Yes, my hens do free range, so that's good, she and her chicks will have room to get away. But I will try and get a cage and relocate her and babies to a place where all can get acquainted. I will consider changing the shavings to hay when it gets closer to hatching time. [​IMG] It's sooo exciting!
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2009
  5. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Here she is in her nest box┬ů

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Goose and Fig

    Goose and Fig Grateful Geese

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Fall Creek Falls TN
    That's a perfect set up. What a pretty mama-to be! After the chicks hatch, you may need to level out the box with the ground, or put hay around, in case the babies can't get back into the box. I always have that problem - especially with banties [​IMG]
     
  7. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Congrats!! Make sure to get a chick safe water container when the time gets close. The one you have is great for now, but tragedy in the making once chicks are on the ground.
     
  8. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Yes, I agree, the current water setup will not work for the babies. I will make sure to change it beforehand - thanks! [​IMG]
     
  9. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    Wonderful! See life is good when your a chicken ! She's a beauty !
    This nest box is great !
    I would just make a wood screened window for over the front .....if the other girls are bugging her
    Great job !
     
  10. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    THANKS! She currently has her own room in the coop for just that reason! Spoiled!
     

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