The broody growl and fertile pullet eggs!?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Animalian, Sep 30, 2011.

  1. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    Q1. I bought a EE pullet who has just started laying, she came from a pen that had an EE roo in with them. I'm wondering that even though she's so young, could the eggs be fertile?

    Q2. I have a PR that I think is going broody, she stays in the nest box for ages, looks 'flat' as she sits there and today she growled at me twice when I checked on her! Could this be the broody growl? Does anyone have a video of the growl? She didn't peck me but is VERY tame. I thought I could give the EE's eggs for her to sit on and maybe get some bonus chickens!

    My RIR has been broody once before, but she pecked etc so it was a little more obvious. The PR just gives me growls, stink eyes and "braces herself" when I check for the eggs!!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Q1. I bought a EE pullet who has just started laying, she came from a pen that had an EE roo in with them. I'm wondering that even though she's so young, could the eggs be fertile?

    Young has nothing to do with it. If she was laying and in with a rooster, odds are pretty good they are fertile. You can always crack one and look for the bull's eye to be sure if you wish. This thread has pictures to help with that if you need it. If you can't find the spot, it may be hiding on the bottom. Try to very gently turn the egg over. I use a teaspoon.

    Fertile Egg Photos
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16008&p=6

    A hen will usually stay fertile for about 2 weeks after a mating. Of course, that varies some for each hen.

    I'm not goin got tell you to not hatch those small pullet eggs. I've hatched them before and got a pretty good hatch rate. But a few things you might want to know. They are small so the chicks that hatch will be smaller than normal. There is less nutrients in the eggs so they don't have as many nutrients available to grow real big. I have not raised enough to get a statistically relevent number and I did not have any hatch at the same time form regular eggs, so I cannot tell you this for a fact, but it seemed when they reached adulthood, they were still a little smaller than they should be. It did not affect their egg laying so it may not matter to you. And it may have been something other than the small eggs that caused that for me. I don't know.

    I did have a higher mortality rate with the pullet eggs. As I said, the hatch rate was pretty good but I had more die within the first 24 hours than normal. The ones that made it past the first 24 hours did great, real healthy and running all over the place. As I said, I have not hatched enough to know that it was due to them coming from the smaller eggs and not caused by something else.

    With them being a little small, expect them to hatch a bit early. Not a lot, but a little. Smaller eggs from the same breed tend to hatch earlier than larger eggs. That should not bother you since the way I read your post, her eggs are the only ones that might be fertile. It probably would not be a problem even if you were mixing pullet eggs and regular eggs. Just something good to know.

    One other thing about them. When a pullet first starts to lay, her eggs may be irregular. It sometimes takes her a while to get the kinks out of her internal egg laying factory. If she has been laying a while, that should not be a problem except possibly for one thing. It is fairly common for a pullet's small egg to have extra thick shells. The shell gland makes a certain amount of shell material. If the egg is smaller than it should be, that material may go on thicker. It may be thick enough the chick has to work extra hard to get out of the shell. All the chicks with mine that got to the point did pip and zip, so the possible extra thick shell did not keep them from hatching. But maybe they were extra tired and that's why a few died after hatch? They were just worn out. But I don't know that.

    In spite of all the bad things I've said, I'd try it if they are fertile. Just because something can go wrong does not mean it will go wrong. I got some real nice chicks from my pullet eggs.


    Q2. I have a PR that I think is going broody, she stays in the nest box for ages, looks 'flat' as she sits there and today she growled at me twice when I checked on her! Could this be the broody growl? Does anyone have a video of the growl? She didn't peck me but is VERY tame. I thought I could give the EE's eggs for her to sit on and maybe get some bonus chickens!

    My rule to determine if a hen is broody and deserves some eggs is what she does at night. If a hen spends two consecutive nights on the nest instead of sleeping in her normal place, she is serious enough about being broody to get some eggs. I've had plenty that pretended to be broody but really were not committed enough to deserve eggs. And I've never had one that spent two consecutive nights on the nest fail to follow through.
     
  3. Animalian

    Animalian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2011
    Australia
    Excellent info thank you very much.

    I was wondering because of the age whether they had 'got the hang of' mating successfully yet. I will check the eggs though.

    You are right it would only be the EE's eggs, I have no roo and I have never hatched chicks before.
     
  4. suzeqf

    suzeqf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2011
    i've got a young broody oegb hen who does the broody growl she actually took over my other broody oegb hen's nest but shiv wasn't to serious about since she let it be taken over so easy but smore's is serious and she's got 7 or 8 eggs under her all at different stages of development one of my red star tore it up but once i fixed it back and made sure all the babies were still alive she hopped back on so i put up some plastic chicken wire around her nest area to enclose it so the other hen won't bother her nest box is a old plastic clothes basket with hay in it and is sitting on top of a large metal dog kennel if the chicks hatch i'm going to put a piece of plywood on top of the kennel so they don't fall off the sides at the moment i just have landscape fabric on top the hens are to big to fall between the kennel and the wall of the fridge cabinet it's in i've also got food and water for my hen in her little pen and she seems to like it the other bantys have checked it out they don't like it so much because they all are used to eating together
     

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