Unusual Broody Situation

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by JuicyFatHead, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. JuicyFatHead

    JuicyFatHead Chirping

    Apr 3, 2011
    To me, this seems unusual;

    Plymouth Rock goes broody on about 6 eggs. I mark the calendar "around" that time. We have two coops, one is older and smaller. This is where she starting sitting. To makes things less complicated and stressful, I closed this penned in area off from the other birds. But, long story short... some of the birds got in about 5 days later and laid 6 new eggs in the nest next to "Momma."

    Here is where it gets weird; Momma leaves her eggs and sits on the new eggs. It may have been 30 minutes, it may have been 2 hours that the old eggs sat. I candled and saw big air sacs.. but they weren't warm anymore.

    I gave her the old eggs (pushed them close) and later that night she had taken ALL of the eggs under her.

    Fast forward to today.. it's day 17 of the "new eggs" and maaaybe day 20, 21 ,22, 23 of the "old eggs." I can't be absolutely sure of the exact day she started. And I was hesitant to mark the calendar (big mistake) because I didn't think she'd stick with it.

    We have 40 layers and 4 roosters. 1 rooster doesn't mess with the hens much.. the others.. they stay busy.

    This is what I'm thinking;

    That first clutch is going to explode or hatch any day now.. at which point I couldn't decide if I should take the chicks and brood them until the new eggs hatched OR let the newer clutch die when the mother got off the nest to care for the first chicks.

    It may not be an issue now, because it's still possible that she's laying A) infertile eggs or B) eggs that chilled.

    So, should I hedge my bets on the second clutch now? Am I risking it all by leaving the first clutch in?

    I'm unsure if I should let her sit another 4 days! She eats and drinks (I put food right up to the nest.. because she won't get up to do it).

    This hen will NOT get up. And she bites! I know I should have marked those first eggs, darn!

    One last thing; I'm in Alaska.. it doesn't get dark enough to candle until about 11p. I can't seem to stay up. Now, I feel like it's far enough along it doesn't matter, and I don't want to disturb her.

    Thoughts?? I would love to hear any theories!!
  2. chfite

    chfite Songster

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    You could candle the eggs to see which ones have any chicks.

  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Free Ranging

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Do you have a dark room inside your house to candle in? By the end of incubation you should see all dark in the shell. No light except for the air sac. (but if the chick has internally pipped for hatch, you won't even see that)
  4. JuicyFatHead

    JuicyFatHead Chirping

    Apr 3, 2011
    Thank you for your replies! I was so anxious to hear opinions, and usually there is a lot of feedback! I'm guessing it's not an unusual situation and there might be a thread?

    Day 21 from the time she moved and they are pipping and peeping!! I fed the momma this morning and she was clucking along. She wouldn't budge of course, but it was like she already clicked into momma mode. So excited! Hope she gets a few!
  5. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    She might just hatch them all if it is only a few days especially if the food & water is close by. I have some do that all the time. Right now I have a momma with chicks about a week apart. They usually don't take the chicks off the nest for the first couple of days anyhow so it might work out for you. The biggest thing I see in this is when she does take them off the nest, the younger ones have a harder time keeping up with everyone. The momma with the chicks a week apart now expects me to help the younger ones in and out of the nest. LOL
  6. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Songster

    Nov 15, 2011
    Elma, Washington
    LOL [​IMG] - She's got a helper - YOU! That's cool, being momma to that many little ones has to be demanding...

    JuicyFatHead: Congratulations [​IMG][​IMG]- You have to update us and let us know what happens! I'm very curious... Mine hatch Thursday/Friday [​IMG]
  7. JuicyFatHead

    JuicyFatHead Chirping

    Apr 3, 2011
    So exciting! I haven't seen or heard anything else today.. but she's more defensive than normal. I am SO excited! My first time hatching chicks under a broody! I will definitely update.

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