Part-time broody hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by soggybottomfarmer, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. soggybottomfarmer

    soggybottomfarmer Hatching

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    Feb 23, 2011
    I have a hen (RIR) that sits on the eggs during the entire day then leaves to perch at night. She did this last spring and summer. After about 5-7 days the flock eats the eggs. I'm considering segregating her and trying a forced brood. I have a 3x3 cage that coons can't reach into (I NEVER say coon proof!) that I can place in my barn. Is that cage too big? Too small? Anyone with any advice? If this has been previously covered, my apologies, I found nothing in related posts.
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

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    The 3x3 sounds perfect. Place food and water within her reach on the nest. If you have room in your coop and can fit the cage in there, that is where I would keep her.


    When she is on the nest and you or another bird approaches her, what does she do? Growl, fluff, nothing, cluck, leave the nest?


    Is the flock eating the eggs because you are feeding the eggs to them, or are they just feasting themselves?
     
  3. soggybottomfarmer

    soggybottomfarmer Hatching

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    Feb 23, 2011
    Hello horsefeatherz NV,

    1st: No, I do not intentionally let them eat the eggs. One moment the eggs are fine, later in the day, they are eating the eggs. This usually happens after several days. Unless, maybe the hens "know" the eggs are bad. The hen leaving at night would do that. Which returns to the original problem; why is she leaving the nest at night.

    2nd: I would prefer to keep her in the coop, but no room in the coop + the cage. I may try to finagle something to keep her cooped. I have 5 children, I understand "motherly comfort" in familiar surroundings. She's not young, this will be her third summer. None of her coop mates have hatched their own brood. I'm starting to wonder; a higher order hen forcing her off the clutch to destroy the eggs (chicken envy?) Competition?

    3rd: As for the hen's attitude when approached on the nest, She fluffs, she growls, she threatens, she stands her ground and has pecked me for checking the eggs.
     

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