Question about a first-time broodie

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lobzi, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am pretty new to owning chickens and my hen just started laying about a month ago. She seems to be spending more and more time on the nest especially more than when she first started laying. She will get off during the day and I think she still roosts with the others. I am wondering if a new mama goes through a period where she "explores" the idea of sitting on her eggs but is not totally convinced that is what she wants to do.

    In this early stage of her reproduction, is it normal for her to continue to lay eggs and not sit on the nest 100% of the time, but go back and sit on the nest occasionally even when she is not laying a new egg?

    I want to know because I will stop taking her eggs if she wants hatch them. Currently I leave 3 of her eggs at a time in the nest box, mark them, and always take the oldest one when she lays a new on each day. I have found that leaving some eggs in the box keeps her from finding new nesting spots around the yard and instead to continue to use the nest box.
     
  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, it sounds like she may be a 'broody sort' of hen, which means she will probably be a good mama eventually, but if she goes into full broody hen mode, she won't lay eggs and you'll lose that layer for the time.

    If you don't plan on having her be a mama, leaving golf balls in the nest will be just as effective as eggs. Silly bird brains really don't know the difference, no joke at all.

    I wouldn't reccomend she be let to sit on a nest untill she goes into full 'ABSOLUTELY WILL NOT leave the nest' brood mode. If you let her start to set before she's really gone full broody, she could well leave the eggs half incubated.
     
  3. Jonathanq1

    Jonathanq1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    278
    0
    119
    Jan 20, 2009
    Delaware
    [​IMG] I wish you good luck with the hen. I have this broody hen with a total of 8 eggs. On her second we she ate 2 of the eggs. The chicks are due tomorrow I checked on her and she did the same thing with another egg. This time it had the chick already developed it was sad. So now she has a total 5 eggs I hope she hatches these normally and does not decide to break anymore eggs before time. Has anyone else had this happen?
     
  4. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I tried a golf ball and you wont believe it but the box has at least a 2 inch lip and the golf ball was out of the box the next day!
     
  5. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

    448
    1
    136
    Oct 6, 2008
    Washington
    I agree with portage girl, I wouldn't ever knowingly leave real eggs in the nest. Sometimes my newest layers just like to take their sweet time. Also, you didn't mention a rooster. Does the chicken have a rooster? If not, the eggs will never hatch anyway.

    You can tell if she is hardcore broody because they can get downright attitude on you for just walking into the coop. And you will notice that she NEVER wants to get down, will never go to roost. As soon as she is off the nest, collect all the eggs and leave the nest box nice and empty, she will know to go back on it, she might just be confused that eggs seem to be piling up.

    My chickens have nice empty nest boxes to fill up every morning. Of course they have their shavings and marsh grass that they like building into nest bowls while they are waiting for mother nature to do her thing.
     
  6. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

    448
    1
    136
    Oct 6, 2008
    Washington
    Quote:Are you pulling her off the nest and putting her at food and water? How about giving her a big breakfast of cooled off fried eggs? She may just be starving herself to death if you don't remove her to some food. It seems like they just don't want to take themselves off the nest to do their business.
     
  7. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:She does have three roosters, two of which she spends time with. She is scared of me so she jumped out of the nest box this morning when I went in to clean and feed them. I would think if she was serious, even my presence would not get her off that nest. She was back on it when I went back about an hour later though.
    I will check on if she goes to roost tonight.
     
  8. Jonathanq1

    Jonathanq1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    278
    0
    119
    Jan 20, 2009
    Delaware
    I made sure she always had food and water. I have never had this happen before. I've had some eggs not hatch but never the hen doing this to the eggs. I'm just confused about the whole thing. I just hope that by tomorrow morning I will at least have 5 healthy chicks. It's really too bad I lost 3 eggs due to this. I'm thinking this may be her first time becoming broody and she may have gotten anxious. Who know? I'm just upset about the whole thing. [​IMG]
     
  9. DDRanch

    DDRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 15, 2008
    California
    If I had 3 roosters after me, I wouldn't come out of my nesting box either. Folks on this site recommend 8 hens to one rooster. Could be your ratio is out of balance, and she is not broody at all, but you didn't mention how many chickens you have in total?
     
  10. Lobzi

    Lobzi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Nope, that is not the problem. Believe me, Mama wears the pants among the two she hangs with. Roo, my Faverolle, protects her from HP who is much more aggressive about mating with her. Im not even sure her eggs are fertile.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by