REALLY bad broody behavior!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Dipsy Doodle Doo, Aug 8, 2007.

  1. I have (had) a broody hen on eggs and couldn't remember when I set the eggs. I'd candled them so I knew kinda-sorta when they were due to hatch, but not exactly.
    This morning, I heard a frantic cheeping in that coop --- hmmm, there's a still-wet chick on the coop floor. I stuck it in my shirt pocket and before I could get to the broody nestbox, the broody reached under herself and pulled out another still-wet chick, pecked it a couple of times and tossed it out of the nest (that one didn't live).

    Needless to say... The rest of the eggs are inside in the hatcher.

    What makes a hen act foolish like that? She's a 3 yr old hen and has hatched chicks before.
    She did a great job brooding the eggs, but that behavior is just BAD.

    It makes me anxious about ever letting hens hatch eggs again [​IMG]

  2. silkiebeginer

    silkiebeginer Songster

    Jul 31, 2007
    Wish i knew what advice or answer to give. But i am a newbie. My sister in law has a hen that has always done good at laying, setting and hatching. But the other day my husband saw her eating her eggs? Not all of them just a pecking at a few that were broken. I am assuming she broke them because there was no other chick in there. Still trying to figure that out. She is a free range bird so she should not be lacking in calcium. They even get oyster shell from time to time. I hope all goes well with your babies.

  3. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Lisa, The only thing I can think of is that sometimes animals will determine for themselves if the living conditions are adaquate for additions to the group, (flock). If there is overcrowding they will sometimes run off new ones. If there is reduced feed available they will not tolerate additions. Of course these situations are usually in the wild. It is there way of population control. I am not suggesting that your birds are in anyway underfed or cramped but your particualr hen may be out of sorts with changes to the environment and this is her way to control it. Also it may be the heat. She may know that she can't care for them in this heat and is not ready to sacrifice herself for new chicks.

    My grandmother always used to say that the animals knew what was best for them. She would take a very laid back attitude about things they did that I could not understand when I was young.
  4. Thanks for the input. Really, who knows what goes on in a chickens brain.
    There is another hen on eggs in another nestbox in
    that pen,
    At 3:00, this afternoon it was 107 degrees and she was off the eggs, sitting on the ledge in front of the nest, and fanning the eggs with her wings (to cool them down?).
    I saw a pipped shell when I checked last --- I'll be out early to see if the chick made it...

  5. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Songster

    Good luck with this second broody, Lisa! It sure can be frustrating when hens do things we don't understand. Let us know how it goes.


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