She REALLY wants to be a momma!many qestions????

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Dixiedoodle, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    I have a smalllish true Ameraucana who wants to be a momma...really, really badly! After three days so 'sitting' w/ no eggs, I found some eggs that were fertile. BUT were huge. Gave her 7 eggs, after a few days she kicked out an egg and if I put it back she would roll it out, so I checked and it was a double yolker... she did the same thing w/ three more.. Leaving 3 smaller eggs, one disappeared, they next day, I found another one sitting outside the RUN broken w/ a tiny 'start' of a chick, showing thru (squirrels???) then the next day the last egg was gone...She has been so good at staying on the nest.. BUT it's been 11days, and I don't know what to do.. Do we start all over? It's been high 90* for weeks. There is a fan in the coop that keeps it about 80*-85*. She will eat and drink water when I put her on the ground each night but then RUNS to the nest box where the wooden 'bait' egg is and moves it around and coos... I feel so bad for her but I don't have access to smaller eggs or chickes, I don't have a rooster , and I don't know how long she will be so determined to sit there--day after day, waiting for babies to come from that wooden egg.. I am hunting fert. eggs, close by.. Have calls out all over the county.. BUT will she be ok? I have made a secure box w/ 1/4" hardware cloth and a chainlink fencing to prevent anything from getting the new eggs.

    Thank yoiu for Suggestions, ideas, tips, any information -- Dixie
  2. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Hmmmm. This is a tough question. I've had a lot of broody hens, but I've never had one push eggs out of the nest. I'm sure they do it all the time, it's just that none of mine ever have. Some hens are just naturally better broodies than others are. I have a couple who really shine, then there some who are just okay at the job. One was a wretched mother when she was young, but I gave her another chance, and she did a great job. You just never know.

    I've used chickens to hatch muscovy duck eggs, which take 35 days. All three hens managed to hatch the eggs, so they can definitely sit for a long time. It's pretty hard on their health though. I tried to make sure they got enough to eat by giving them chick food mixed with water. It makes a mash that they love, and they eat a lot more that way. Still, one of the three started a strange off season molt. I think it may have been due to the fact that she sat so long in a semidark nestbox.

    So, as to whether or not you should start all over, I'm just not sure. If you do find some fertile eggs, she may hatch them. Or she may roll them out of the nest again. There's no way to be sure.

    You could also decide to break her of her broodiness. This is generally done by putting them in a wire cage with no bedding, just food and water, for a few days. Maybe up to a week. I've found that the longer they sit, the longer it takes to break them. If you go this route, she will probably be broody again this year, maybe in a month or so, and you will have another chance at hatching some eggs.

    I have heard of hens who only go broody once a year, but I've never seen one. My broodies are always broody! Last year my two best raised three clutches of chicks each. So if she's a young hen, a little age and experience may help her to be a better mother. It's hard to say.

    BTW, the secure nest you made for her is a good idea. I always like to have my broodies in a separate area. The only real problem I've ever had was when other hens had access to the nest. Eggs tended to get broken as hens crawled on top of the broody to lay their eggs. Or they drove her off the nest completely. Then there was the one time an egg mysteriously disappeared out of a private broody box. I have no idea what happened with that. I found no sign of it.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I also have not had that experience. It sounds a bit strange. Is the lip of your nest fairly high so she has trouble kicking them out? The only thing I can think of is that the lip is too low.

    Good luck!
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Over the years, I have only had a couple hens throw out an egg, but I have a theory. I believe that the smell of the egg is what makes the hen reject it. Chickens have a keen sense of smell and will shy away from anything that smells bad to them, so that might include strange smelling eggs, or rotting eggs, or whatever. Now I am aware that some hens will set on eggs until they explode, so there are exceptions. Well that`s my theory and I`m sticking to it, unless somebody can offer one that makes more sense..........Pop
  5. bock

    bock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2008
    Northern CA
    Maybe she didn't kick them out of the nest. I had a broody lose all of her eggs the same way. I found one of her eggs near the nest one day, and after 3 days they all disapeared. [​IMG] She had been sitting on the nest for 17 days, so I waited until day 21 and bought her some 2 day old chicks from the feed store. I put them under during the day, and she rejected them. Maybe you should buy her some 1-3 day old chicks for her on day 21 and slip them under her at night. I hope you have better luck than me! [​IMG]
  6. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Each of the eggs that she kicked out were double yolkers! I marked each one she kicked out w/ a circle on the opposite end of the X ! LOL.. When she did it twice, I would crack the egg, to see if they were fertile--not fertile and were double yolkers..

    This is her first broody cycle she is just a year old. She isn't a very mean broody, just sorta nibbles on my arm and puffs up so she looks 3x her size.. She looks like a black bowling ball..LOL
    She coos soooo sweetly to that wooden egg, tucking it under her each time she returns to the nest.. (Each time I MAKE her get off..)..
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I just recently had a first-time broody that kept 'losing' eggs, letting them go completely outside of her cover or moving her clutch 6" to the side and leaving a couple behind and things like that. My theory is, she's a total moron [​IMG] And although she did end up with 3 viable eggs, the first one that hatched, I found in the morning half-EATEN. Most definitely by her, evidently as soon as it came out of the shell.

    I fired up the incubator real fast, took the other two peeping-but-not-pipped eggs away, and have two perfectly fine chicks now.

    I don't know whether she'd do better a second time, or whether she was just behind the door when maternal instincts were being handed out, but I'm sure not going to find out. Harrumph.

    Anyhow my point is I'd be suspicious of a hen that does things like that -- although if she were truly rejecting only double-yolkers and sitting properly on viable single-yolked eggs, that's probably ok -- and you might want to at least keep a close eye on her next time.

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. grandmachicken

    grandmachicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2008
    Williamson, GA
    My Blondie (?breed - was a rescue) went broody on me earlier this year - on the shelf in my garage, where she had been laying her eggs. I didn't have a rooster at the time, so I bought her some eggs on ebay - I had wanted some Polish crested, so I found someone selling small quantities. When they arrived about a week later, Blondie was still setting, so I gave her 6 eggs and she took right to them, and hatched 3 perfect little buff top-hats exactly 21 days later. And she is a fierce mother, chases anything that moves away from her babies. Here is a picture of her roosting with them in a tree beside (not in!) the coop:


    How cute is that? Good luck with your broody. Just get her some smaller eggs.

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