Our broody silkie stealing other hens eggs?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TheHalfWayCoop, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. TheHalfWayCoop

    TheHalfWayCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our silkie went broody after laying for a month [​IMG] She had been storing up a nest of six and had rolled them all to the next box a couple days ago. She shares this box with her sister and now everytime her sister goes in and lays an egg our broody rolls it underherself with the rest... should we be letting her do that? I'm almost afraid to stick my hand in there as she's growling and looking generally unhappy to see me when I 'stop by' but how would that effect who hatches when? Any ideas what we should do? If she snatches the egg before I see it's been laid I wont know which egg to take from under her and don't want to change grabbing the ones that have been under there for a few days.
     
  2. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Put an X mark on the eggs that you think she can hatch.....That way, when she steals more, you can just take them from her and you'll know which ones to leave her hatch.

    Silkies are great broodies. A friend of mine had a silkie hen who wanted babies so badly....She tried to hatch a corn cob all winter long. [​IMG]
     
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  3. TheHalfWayCoop

    TheHalfWayCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Omg, so many times I ask questions on BYC and when I read the answer it's like 'DUH!!' why didn't I think it put Xs on them [​IMG] I'll do that now. Thanks so much for pointing that out, that's awesome. That is hilarious about the corn cob!! Good thing I bought a carton of eggs from another farm this week (why am I buying other farm eggs when I have a garage full of chickens:he) because I don't think we're going to be getting much around here!
     
  4. guineahen14

    guineahen14 Out Of The Brooder

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    My Serama hen stole eggs from her neighbor's nest, and after the chicks hatched she also stole some chicks and now she is raising 15 chicks by herself. Maybe this will teach her a lesson?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  5. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    It is better to mark the eggs you want her to hatch and remove the extra eggs daily that are left by the other girls.
    Once the chicks start to hatch she should start to switch to momma mode. Normally they may sit for another 2 or 3 days and then abandon any eggs that did not hatch so they can take care of the chicks that have hatched.

    The hen needs to tend to the already hatched babies to teach them to eat, to drink, keep the babies warm, and protect the babies.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    I use a sharpie and put a couple of circles around the ones I want them to hatch. That way I can see at a glance which ones are supposed to be there.

    There are a few things not good about letting her keep new eggs. One is that they hatch after 21 days or so of incubation. Any that start late will probably wind up abandoned when she takes the chicks off the nest. The other problem is that if she cannot cover all of them, one will get pushed out, cool off, and probably die. Then it gets moved back under her and another gets pushed out to die. Or the development is delayed enough that the egg is abandoned when she takes the ones already hatched from the nest. To me, marking the eggs and checking under her daily is critical.

    When I was growing up, one of my chores was to gather the eggs daily. If we had a broody, I had to check under her daily. Some of those broodies were mean!!! It hurt when they pecked!! But you do what you have to do. No way was I going to tell my father I was afraid of a broody hen. I did not do it then, but gloves and long sleeves might make it a bit easier for you.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    I collect them for a week or so then put them all under her at once. (I just put them in a carton on the kitchen counter.) The chick won't start growing til she starts sitting on them, so hopefully you will get a 100% hatch, or at least closer to it.

    They growl at me but I just pick them up bodily, anyway. At first i would wear heavy gloves. Now I just grab hold toward the back of the body, wrapped around as far as my hands wrap, pick them up and set them on the coop floor, then do what I want with the nest or eggs. What they get upset about is when you reach under them -- not so much by being picked up bodily.
     
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  8. TheHalfWayCoop

    TheHalfWayCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alright all our eggs are sharpied and actually our broody was really good about it. I just picked her up and put her beside the next, marked everyone and took the one egg I know she stole this morning (her neighbour lays slightly pinker eggs than she does) and put her back. She seemed okay with that. I don't want to potentially ruin an entire clutch by allowing her to keep egg stealing and I would hate to think that somone of those little guys would make it to day 19/20 and then be abandoned by mum because she's already got chicks to care for, that would be awful. Hopefully this remedies it!

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  9. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Quote:LOL Sometimes the answer is just so simple, huh? You are very welcome! Hey, I love the silkie in your Avatar, very cute!
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    One more thing. Occasionally a broody won't get off the nest enough and will lose a lot of weight or even, once in a while, starve. I always pick my broodies up twice a day and nudge them til they start eating, foraging, etc. If that's two extra trips off the nest that's fine with me. They always return in a few minutes. I rarely feel any weight difference in them from when they start sitting til several weeks later. I'm probably a bit of an oddball doing this but I'll do it anyway. The few hatches I've had have been around 80% to 100%.

    They're really fun to watch when I do this. They often stay all fluffed out right through the foraging, or off and on while off the nest. They may run everyone off from wherever they are, or other odd stuff. I get a kick out of the show.
     

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