questions on first time broody....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by smcdermott, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    7
    78
    Dec 9, 2014
    Central Fl
    Ok, I have a Buff that went broody while we were on vacation (2weeks ago) and made a nest out in the yard. I just found her nest today by following her "egg song".
    She has a nice little nest with what looks like about 8 eggs. But my nice hand fed baby growles at me when I get close. Which I understand is NORMAL.

    So, i know I need to decide if I should move her to the coop or not.
    BUT. How long does she lay eggs before they start to incubate??

    How long should I wait?

    Is egg song normal or is she still laying???

    Do I need to candle them??? Or let mom do her thing and just wait a month???

    21 days right? I have NO clue when she started this. ANY time in the last 3 weeks. Soooooo frustrating. Because I am soooo excited.

    The babies will be Buff Orpingtons mom and Lavender Orpington Dad!!!!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    A hen won't continue to lay eggs once she starts setting. See if she is out and about for more than 20 minutes or so a day. If so, she's not broody. Does she sleep in the coop? = not broody
    If she is broody, you'll have to move her and the eggs to a nest in a safe place. Predators are everywhere, whether you see them or not.
     
  3. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    7
    78
    Dec 9, 2014
    Central Fl
    She hasn't been sleeping in the coop for over 2 weeks. ""maybe more"" SO I HAVE NO CLUE HOW LONG THE EGGS HAVE BEEN BAKING
    We went on vacation and that is when the neighbors noticed that she wasn't going in.
    She is (gone) so ofter that we thought that a predator got her. Then realized that she was just showing up to eat.
    We have only had chickens for a year now and this is our first broody so it took me a while for my light bulb to come on. Since she has always laid nicely in the nesting boxes, ((even though they free range on our property)) I assumed if any of them went broody, they would do it in the boxes. Stupid me.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You want to mark all the eggs and remove any other hens volunteer to the nest.

    And get her out of predator territory.
     
  5. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    7
    78
    Dec 9, 2014
    Central Fl
    So far, none of the other hens are messing with her and they all "seem" to be only laying in my nesting boxes and leaving her alone. she is far away from the coop and all alone. We have a fenced yard and I am hoping to try and move her at night into the coop???? maybe
     
  6. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    9,279
    724
    321
    Apr 11, 2011
    Tn
    Have you tried candling the eggs? That would be the easiest way to tell if she's been sitting on them. At 2 weeks old, you'll be able to easily tell if they're developing. They should be pretty full of chick and you will see some veins. Shine a bright flashlight into the fat end of the egg and check them out :)

    I would move her at night, it seems to be much less stressful for them. But, if you don't have some way to contain her, don't be surprised if she hops right up, leaves those eggs and runs back to the original nest (perhaps to sit on nothing).

    Either way, the needs to be moved or safely contained where she is. Right now she's easy pickings for any predators that might wander through, fenced in yard or not. For example, 2 of my dogs can easily hop over a 5-6' fence (which they do often, to get into the hog pen so they can eat their slop if I don't keep them in the house when its feeding time :/ ) My third dog is smaller, medium sized. He can't jump the fence, but he'll climb up and over the top in a jiffy!

    Good luck!
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    X2
    And a fenced yard is no defense against raccoons, opossums, foxes, weasels, hawks, owls, etc..
     
  8. smcdermott

    smcdermott Chillin' With My Peeps

    195
    7
    78
    Dec 9, 2014
    Central Fl
    [​IMG]

    OK, she got off the nest to go get a drink and eat. I ran over, OMG there are 19!!!!!!! I grabbed 5, THEY R HOT, ran inside, used 3 different flash lights and tried all different ways in a pitch black bathroom and can see NOTHING! (Only took less than 10min) I can see the air pocket fine and I thought I maybe (big maybe) saw an edge of a wing or foot in one but they all look like solid black inside with a nice lit up air pocket.
    Now, we know this could have started as far back as almost 3 weeks ago. So they could be almost ready????? OR would they be bad if they r black inside?
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,686
    2,625
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm guessing they're close to hatching. They're completely dark inside when ready to hatch. No feet or wings visible.
    Do you have a means of securing her where she is?
     
  10. Kev

    Kev Overrun With Chickens

    6,511
    647
    361
    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    Congrats! You're going to be seeing [​IMG] pretty soon!

    Very dark egg with bright, contrasting airspace is a baby growing inside and closer to hatch date than earlier.

    It would have been good idea to candle ALL eggs though.... remove the ones that are all bright through the whole egg(making the airspace harder to see).

    If you see eggs with babies very plainly in earlier stages- smaller spot with lots of veining and airspace not so contrasting, then those were laid in the nest well after she started sitting by other hens. Those will not hatch with the "older" eggs... would be best to take away those too..

    Having too many eggs can actually reduce the hatch rate.. so if the eggs are reduced to 10 eggs after candling, it should be good. But if all eggs are fertile and equally dark.. well just sit and wait!
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by