Nest in rain outddoors?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jak2002003, Aug 14, 2016.

  1. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,759
    409
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    3 of my free range bantam flock have been secretly laying eggs in their hidden nests in the orchard.

    I found them all nesting close to each other under some bushes. They have made their own nests and they are lined with dry leaves and dead grass.

    I live in Thailand, its hot here, so not worried about the eggs getting chilled. BUT we have heavy rains several times a week this time of year.

    Will the eggs hatch if the nest get wet and damp?

    They are on a raised hill so no chance of them flooding, but the leaves and soil under the eggs are going to get wet and damp.

    I tried to put some metal sheeting over the nest, but this freaked the hens out and they would not settle back on the nests until I took it away.

    What happens to 'wild' chickens and how to they keep their nests dry? Maybe it does not matter, but I would really like some more chicks as I lost my last batch to a virus.

    Thank you for any help.
     
  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,455
    357
    228
    Mar 31, 2014
    Ohio
    If the hen is not sitting on the nest all the time, the eggs would've gotten cold at some point & not developed properly. A broody hen will sit all day, all night only getting up for approximately 15-20 minutes. You could candle the eggs to see progress if you think there is a chance. If the eggs were out in hard rains, the rain will change the temp and will wash off the bloom.

    Do the hens have a rooster with them? If so, you could get an incubator and collect her eggs and hatch them out that way. Good luck. Let me know how it turns out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2016
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,811
    5,554
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You raise some good questions.....but sorry to say, I don't have any pat answers.
    I think all you can do is wait and see.

    What was the 'virus'?

    If you really want to hatch out more bird you may have to use an incubator,
    or confine your birds and hope they go broody again.
     
  4. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,759
    409
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    Thanks for the replies.

    The hens are on the eggs all the time... they just got stressed and got off them when I tried to hang up a big sheet of metal over the bush. But they went back a few minutes later when I took the metal away.

    I am going to leave them to it and see what happens. It will be an experiment.

    As the the 'virus', it was a mystery illness that eventually killed off about 30 youngsters... all hatched under broody hen here... 3 batches at different ages, oldest just coming up to lay.

    All the adults and the previous batch of youngsters had no problems.

    the sick birds all appeared 100 percent health and acting normal, fat, perfect shiny feathers, lively and acting normal. Then suddenly turn into a 'zombie' before dying from as little as 1 hours after symptoms to 12 hours. Went of for several months before eventually all the young died.

    Don't have vets to do autopsy so can't see internal organs.

    All poops, feeding, colour, weight, etc normal. Very strange... kept chickens for over 10 years and seen most common illnesses, but nothing like that.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,522
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    The nests are under bushes, right?

    With the hens setting on the nests, the eggs should be fine. The hens may get a bit damp, but I'm thinking they'll be okay. This is pretty much how the wild birds do it.
     
  6. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,455
    357
    228
    Mar 31, 2014
    Ohio

    Sorry to hear about your losses. Not sure what it could've been that killed them off.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,494
    2,152
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Each year I have hens successfully incubate eggs on the ground in a pasture and sometime at edge of woods. Weather is only important before incubation begins. If rains heavy prior to commmencement of incubation, then hatch rate likely to be low. If dry, then hatch rate likely to much better. This pattern not unlike with Bobwhite Quail native to Midwestern US.


    Look up breeding season for your local Red Jungle Fowl. You may find similar pattern. Smaller clutch size increases odds incubation can begin before eggs get too wet.
     
  8. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

    2,759
    409
    286
    Oct 24, 2009
    Thailand
    Thanks you everyone for your interesting replies.

    I will let you know how the hatch goes.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by