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Visitor sitting on eggs

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by realboots, Sep 29, 2011.

  1. realboots

    realboots Hatching

    Sep 29, 2011
    Hi..........I've been trying to find some info and discovered your forum. Here's what's happening and I'm looking for advice. Early spring my neighbor's bantam chickens (2 roosters and 5 hens) adopted me and my horses and have been regular visitors ever since. Every so often over the past months I've been gifted with an egg or two or 5 and sometimes up to12 in one place.

    On Saturday, I was cleaning up my open air barn to make space for a half ton of hay and found a nest with 12 eggs in it. My thought was that I'd better come back, gather them up and dispose of them because they had probably been there for quite a while. I forgot and then late Sunday there was an egg on top of the stack of new hay which reminded me to collect the 12. When I went to get them, there was a hen sitting on them!!!

    So I left and the next morning she wasn't there. I figured it must have been some sort of quirk on her part. I didn't go to pick up the eggs immediately and when I went back several hours later, the hen was settled in again. The others come and go and she stays here all alone all day and all night. There's no standing water around here, so I put a bowl of water nearby and last night threw a small handful of rolled barley next to the nest. It was gone this AM, so tossed some more.

    That's the story..........here are my questions: 1. is this normal behavior (for the chicken, not me) 2. is it likely that these eggs are going to hatch or have I simply got a hen with a nesting instinct 3. is it OK to be giving her rolled barley 4. is it too late in the year for having chicks - it's going down to 40 at night here in NM - days are up in 80's right now 5. what's the best thing for me to be doing in this situation

    Thank you - thank you - I appreciate any help.

  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    First off, [​IMG]

    This hen is definitely acting "normally." She wants to hatch those eggs. If there is a rooster around, at least some of them are likely to be fertile.

    Sorry, someone else will have to answer the rest of your questions regarding the best way to handle this and whether it's a good idea for her to hatch them this time of year [​IMG]
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Howdy from Kansas, realboots and [​IMG]. Sorry I'm not much help with your mystery eggs question but welcome just the same!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. silkymom1986

    silkymom1986 The Silkie Villa

    Sep 28, 2011
    Byhalia, MS
    Wow, cool story! Rolled barley from what I have learned shouldn't be fed to chicken by itself, there are additives that need to go with it so they can digest it. As far as the weather goes, I would say if it's in the 80's during the day they should be fine, the Mom will keep them warm at night, and won't stay gone as you have seen very long during the day either. Good luck, let us know how it turns out.
  5. Daisy8s

    Daisy8s Songster

    Sep 12, 2011
    Central Michigan
    Welcome! I'm new here, too, and learning lots. What does the neighbor say about his/her bantam? Surely the neighbor would know if it's too late to be hatching chicks in your area and what they should be fed (assuming he/she has some experience since he/she is the owner of the chickens).

    Good luck! I got my chicks live but would love to watch eggs hatch and see a mother taking care of them.

    By the way--what kind of protection does the hen have from predators? She could be a victim of racoons, opossums, or skunks, not to mention dogs or cats.
  6. greymane

    greymane Songster

    Jun 2, 2011
    Snyder County, PA
    [​IMG] from the Finger Lakes of New York! Looks like you are getting good answers (which is normal here). [​IMG] Glad to have you aboard!

  7. Nmarine1057

    Nmarine1057 Songster

    May 31, 2011
    Byhalia Ms
    [​IMG] from Mississippi this is great site for answers about your birds I'd be lost without it [​IMG]

  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC.
  9. [​IMG] [​IMG] from WA. glad you joined us [​IMG] [​IMG]
  10. Since you don't have regular chicken feed, a scrambled egg would make a good meal, or soaked catfood. I don't think the temperature is a problem unless they all hatch. That's quite a few peeps to tuck in! [​IMG]

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