She is not even 7 months old and she is sitting on eggs???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hope119, Nov 17, 2010.

  1. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    When I was letting them out yesterday, she was sitting on a nest. I was not paying much attention to them during the day. At some point DD brought home 4 eggs and she said Rita (this chicken) was not sitting. Now when I went there at night to lock them up, she was back at that nest! This morning, everyone is out, she is still on that nest. She makes noise and fluffs all her feathers up (like an angry cat that tries to scary someone) when I come close to the nest. She will be 7 months old around Nov 23rd.
    We have 2 white chickens and 5 black. The first time we found 6 eggs was Nov 9th (8 days ago), the first time we found 7 eggs was Nov 13th - we believe the two white chickens were the last two to start laying and it happened very recently. Rita is white. They all are not some fancy breeds. I don't have any current pictures online, but these two are when she was little: - Rita is the only one who would let us hold her - others don't like to be held and are hard to catch.

    and here she is the white one that is closer to the camera. She is white, has few black feathers and white fluffy cheeks - there is only one more black chicken of ours that has fluffy cheeks - we believe that one is laying dark-green eggs - all others, including Rita, are laying brown eggs. We think that white chickens lay light brown eggs.

    She can't be broody, can she?

    If she is... what do I do?? I am sure DD would LOVE her to be broody and have chicks, in fact, she was talking about it for long time... like "what if Rita gets broody, and would have baby chicks..." - DD can talk about chickens for hours now, and Rita is the one that is the most special.
    We just bought an incubator few weeks ago and wanted to have some chicks again in spring (maybe)... we don't have electricity at the coop... but if she has chicks, she'll have to have a heat lamp... and if we are to run heat lamp all winter, we better hatch some more chicks... aaaa... what do I do??
  2. rcentner

    rcentner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    Le Roy, NY
    I had a hatch in March of this year and one of those chicks went broody and now has 5 chicks that are 4 weeks old now! She is our teenage mama, lol.

    You don't need to do anything, keep the babies with the mama but separate from the flock and the mama will keep them warm. Is your coop insulated? having chicks hatch in the late winter and now late fall..the only thing I have done is keep them in the coop until they are 3-4 weeks old, I think I kept the spring babies in longer cause of the snow. My 4 wk olds are now allowed in the run and they love it!

    oh, BTW...bantam chicks can fit through standard size chicken wire.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2010
  3. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Our 7 mo old hens who are laying spend time on the nest throughout the day - even when not laying at that moment. We've just figured thid was normal.
    Interested to see more replies as we also hope for a broody & chicks.
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    If she's on the nest at night, she's broody.

    My pure Ameraucana went broody at 7 months. She hatched all the eggs 8 weeks ago. She's a terrific mom, but now she feels she's done enough mothering because she's back to laying eggs. But she still lets the babies sleep with her.

    And you do not need a heat lamp for them. The broody will keep the chicks warm.
  5. pixie74943

    pixie74943 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 25, 2009
    Adelaide, Australia
    Bantam Wyandottes... [​IMG] I have two of them.. both went broody within the first month of laying eggs.... Gemma sat for about 5weeks even with me pulling her off the nest into a broody cage... Cinder has been sitting for four weeks and is still half brooding (she'll stay out for a couple of hours, then head back)

    If she's screechy and puffy then she's broody. Make sure she is eating/drinking though, my broodies are too egg-obsessed to remember important things like eating. Some extra treats like cooked egg yolk will help keep her healthy (broody hens can lose A LOT of weight)

    She should be able to handle most of the hatching/mothering without any help. Although, if she is low-ish on the pecking order, she might get booted off the nest when the others want to lay, or chased away from food when the chicks start hatching and she/they need food. If you're worried about that, fence off an area for her where the others cant get to her and she can raise her babies in peace
  6. chics in the sun

    chics in the sun Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2010
    Yep, my leghorn was born at the end of February and has gone broody TWICE (the first time I think she was not quite 6 months, and had only been laying for a month), so the second time I let her set on 8 fertile eggs. She hatched out 7 and has been a great "teen-mom" (the chicks I kept are now a month old).

    The irony of it all? My job is a School Social Worker working with pregnant and parenting teenagers...[​IMG]
    I think it must have rubbed off on her somehow.
  7. karimw

    karimw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Eastern IA
    Yep I had at least 6 of my March chicks go broody in late summer and fall. One Cochin and One Welsummer lost their clutches to a racoon, but 1 Wellie hatched 8 of 11 EE chicks and 1 Cochin hatched 5 of 12 eggs I bought. I have them separated from the flock but no heat lamp.


    I was thinking about getting an incubator, but if my flock are such good mamas, maybe I'll save myself the stress [​IMG]
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I have one who had been laying for maybe a month setting on 8 eggs. She will raise her chicks, if she is a good mama, in the coop with no heat lamp. I've watched it happen before, this time of year.
  9. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Quote:Love the setup!
  10. Hope119

    Hope119 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    Just a quick reply as I am running out of time..
    Thanks for all replies!!
    DD went into the coop today - Rita is sitting on the different nest (she probably moved her egg(s) there, if she had one or two).
    Our coop is not insulated [​IMG] - might be somewhat visible on this picture

    I am not sure how it would work without separating her... where would others lay? I hope if I make an extra nest (we have two so far - they did not start laying where we initially planned for them too - there was plenty of room there) and separate the nests so eggs can not be rolled from one nest to the other... maybe that would work...

    The first time we rented an incubator for $30 and when a chance came to buy a used one (same brand, just older, I guess) for the same $30 - we bought it. An alternative school was closing and selling and giving away lots of goodies.

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