Question about hens that play musical nestboxes

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chicken_china_mom, Jun 22, 2010.

  1. chicken_china_mom

    chicken_china_mom Crazy for Cochins

    Apr 24, 2009
    Tab, Indiana
    I have my first broody hens. This is good, and it's not, because I don't have buyers lined up for the chicks, and I couldn't get them to give up the eggs, so I gave up trying. On the plus side, I get to see first hand how good of mamas they can be. So, it's almost like the very moment my Black Mottled hen Pebbles turned one, she went broody. She had a batch, but my daughter took her eggs away after a few days because she didn't want her to be broody, but all Pebbles did was move over one nest box, and start laying all over again. I think other hens have been crawling in there and laying their eggs too though. Anyway, Pebbles started it all. Next, my Black Silkie mixed hen Fannie went broody, only I didn't know it because she crawled under the coop to lay her eggs! I thought a hawk had gotten her, til I saw her at sunrise eating in the grass, and then watched as she slipped back under the coop. Sneaky little bird. Next, 2 of my 4 Splash Cochin hens went broody...under the coop with Fannie. [​IMG] Arrgh! Back inside the coop, my pure White Silkie hen Heidi decided it was her turn to go broody, so she picked the box right next to Pebbles, and proceeded to lay her eggs. And somehow she managed to snag a duck egg too...

    So here we have Pebbles in the 1st box, Heidi in the second. Indy, my only standard hen, comes along and evicts Pebbles so she can lay her egg. So Pebbles moves in with Heidi and they sit together for a few hours, before Heidi get pushed out. She climbs into Pebbles box which Indy has left since she has laid her egg. Ok, it's reversed. Then two more hens come along and climb in with Pebbles, and knock poor Pebbles out again. Angry, she climbs back in with Heidi, and then Heidi gets booted AGAIN. Then, Pooty, the head hen, and a Bantam Barred Cochin, comes along and evicts Heidi from the first box, and then proceeds to start destroying her eggs! I stop her, toss her out of the coop completely, and wait for my daughter to catch an upset Heidi and return her to her eggs which now total 5 instead of 6. Heidi takes right to them. I leave, come back that evening, and the girls are reversed again! Pebbles is back in box 1, and Heidi is in box 2 again! This morning my kids went out to feed and water the eggs, and my older DD comes in shaking her head. I asked what happened, and she says Pebbles has been evicted AGAIN. This time Pooty is sitting on her eggs, and Pebbles has been pushed to box 3! So poor Pebbles has been sitting on eggs on and off for over a month now, and it looks like she won't even get to raise them. I'm thinking, if the d'Uccles that I have in the incubator hatch (had a series of BAD storms last night, and power went out for 3 hours), I'll go out late at night and slip them under Pebbles. At this point, I think she deserves them! I don't know when anyone's eggs are suppose to hatch, it's too confusing to keep track of a 21 day cycle when my hens would rather play musical nest boxes. If anything hatches at all, it will be a miracle!!!

    So...with all this rotation and drama going on, does anyone think any of these eggs will actually hatch?
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  2. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    Wow, thats quite a stubble.

    Thats anyone's guess. Who knows? Maybe you'll get some chicks soon, or maybe none at all? I wouldn't worry too much. If its already been a month, the eggs probably won't hatch at all, and pretty soon, Pebbles will wrap up for the season if she hasn't seen any chicks yet.

    Maybe next year, If you choose to have your hens raise chicks, you can have your broodies in a confined area so that they won't be bothered by the other hens.

  3. Kedreeva

    Kedreeva Longfeather Lane

    Jun 10, 2010
    I have no idea if they will hatch, I am dizzy just reading about this! But good luck on it!

    And just in case, I'd keep the incubator handy in case some hatch and the broodies leave the unhatched but still good eggs in the nest to take off with the kids, since the lay dates sound so scattered.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by