Not broody hens laying in brooding hens box?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Omnifowl, Jan 22, 2017.

  1. Omnifowl

    Omnifowl Just Hatched

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    Jan 22, 2017
    N.W. Florida
    I have three Buff Orpington hens that I got when a friend gave me a young R I Red roo. The hens are less than a year-old and the roo is doing his job.

    I have the hens in small EGGLU coop with a single laying box that all three have used and then they roost outside of the box in the coop.

    One went broody and started sitting January 12. She probably only had 3-5 eggs in the clutch as I usually collect every day if not every other day. I was getting the extra eggs that were being laid outside of the box but now it seems that the other hens are laying in the box with the broody.

    I haven't moved her to count the eggs. She's pretty darn defensive so just haven't bothered her. But it seems that there are eggs of different ages. And by the time the first ones hatch there potentially could be up to 40 eggs there.

    I have a Brinsea Ovation incubator and could put the extras there but of course with out candling have no idea which ones to move.

    And even if I moved them the turn schedule, hunidiity schedule, and cool down schedule are all gonna be out of sync. Recommendations? Should I leave well enough alone? Separate the non-broody? Add another box? Wait till the first hatch, take the rest and incubate and hope for the best?

    Rob
     
  2. Ameraucanas

    Ameraucanas Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want them to stop laying in the box with the broody hen, or if you think it's bothering her or stressing her out, build a couple more boxes, or at least one. Sometimes my chickens lay in the same box, just to keep each other warm, and because they like that box, so it's definately nothing to worry about.
     
  3. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Add another nest box, and mark the eggs under the broody that you want to hatch, but if you didn't mark them to begin with you won't be able to accurately tell which are the original.

    After you mark the eggs, then every day you can remove the extra eggs laid by the other hens. She should be getting off the nest every day to eat, drink and poop. If she isn't you will have to remove her for her break every day. Broody hens can be stubborn, and I often have to remove my broody hens daily.

    ETA: Another reason for another nest box is when the chicks hatch you do not want other hens going into that nest box with the mom and chicks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  4. Omnifowl

    Omnifowl Just Hatched

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    Jan 22, 2017
    N.W. Florida
    Thanks Ameraucaunas. I am not concern that they are in the same box. I've seen it many time before when I was just raising eggs. But now how a roo and want to hatch some meat birds. My concern is the uneven age of incubation from the eggs being laid in the same box every day.
     
  5. Omnifowl

    Omnifowl Just Hatched

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    Jan 22, 2017
    N.W. Florida
    Thanks JanetMarie. Yea, I should have marked them. I'm ten days into the brood now. I need to get out there and roust her out. I am not sure if she is leaving to feed or not. I have seen her out but I'm not observing every moment either. Its a horrible stormy day in NW Fl. today. Tomorrow Ill check. I can add another box but the EGLU is kind of small.

    rob
     
  6. Omnifowl

    Omnifowl Just Hatched

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    Jan 22, 2017
    N.W. Florida
    An Update. Finally added another box today and got broody off of the nest (boy she did not want to leave. She spread her wings and legs, cartoon like, and held on). Nevertheless she had 9 eggs there. I candled them all and had 2 that weren't fertile (unless just laid); 3 that I would estimate at 6-8 days old; and 5 that were solid dark with well defined air sac. Those 5 would be at approximately 12 days incubation.

    So I left the 5 and returned the box to her, and put the 3 in the incubator. All I had for marking was a felt pen and did not want to use that so I did none. I am just hoping the other hens will lay in the new box.
     
  7. JanetMarie

    JanetMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The felt pen should be okay, even just a dot would help. I use a sharpie and make a small mark on the air sac end.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017

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