Waiting

jadip4

Songster
Mar 6, 2018
181
558
176
South Carolina
This is probably going to be a long post ...

We have a small flock: 12 hens (about a year old) and an EE roo. I had two EE hens because I like the egg colors, but lost one of them over the winter. My second EE comes back into lay two weeks ago .. and wouldn't you know it one of the Australorps goes stubbornly broody the same week. Am I the only one that seen this as a sign??

Two nights ago (a week into incubation) we had to move Gertrude (aka Ms Grumpy Pants) to her own fenced off little suite inside the run because she had holed up in the favorite nest box. The other hens had been getting in there and adding eggs to the clutch. Originally, there were 9 eggs .. but when we looked again 5 days later we found 17. I pulled 4 out that looked infertile since she was having trouble keeping them all under her. Gracious are those EE eggs hard to candle?! I just know enough to say they had an air sac and didn't look infertile .. that's about it. I left all of those since the goal of this endeavor was to replace one EE hen. Chicken math.

Since moved, she'll sit on the eggs as long as I keep the entrance to her box blocked. When I opened it up last night to let her out to eat/drink/bathe/poop, she did as much, but then settled on top the box and didn't look like she had any notion of going back in. I ushered her back to the eggs and gave her a few minutes before I checked on her. She settled right down with that trance look on her face. Will she figure it out or do you think this will be the sum of the next couple weeks?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Welcome to BYC!

It's best to move broody and let her get settled before giving fresh fertile eggs.
If broody is going to set in main coop, mark eggs clearly at the outset and remove any freshly added eggs daily.

Hopefully she settles back in, but you might have 'broken her broody mode'.
Allowing all the other eggs to stay under her will result in a staggered hatch,
she probably won't stay setting another 5 days after the original eggs hatch,
she'll likely get up and out of nest with the chicks after a day or two,
and not finish incubating the eggs that were added later.

Best of Luck!

PS. Yes, EE eggs can be a bear to candle!!
 

jadip4

Songster
Mar 6, 2018
181
558
176
South Carolina
Weellll .. since you put it that way, it sounds like obvious management, lol. I’ll know next time. If there is a next time .. hubs is questioning my antics and I don’t wanna push my luck. This year.

Good news is she’s back at it like a champ tonight. I got home after dark and coaxed her out to eat and drink. She stayed out long enough to do what she needed to do .. went to check her eggs twice while she was eating.
 

jadip4

Songster
Mar 6, 2018
181
558
176
South Carolina
Day 15 and she's still sitting! Getting grumpier and staying on the nest more. Candled the eggs a couple nights ago and it was amazing to see that even though inside the egg was mostly dark, you could see the babies moving. Most looked good except one that was clear, so pulled it leaving an even dozen. Babies in t-minus 6 days!
 

jadip4

Songster
Mar 6, 2018
181
558
176
South Carolina
.. and more waiting. Judging by her food, she didn't come off the nest yesterday. We're in the home stretch! Now I just have to occupy myself instead of pestering her .. 3 more days.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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IKR!?
Am wondering if she will stick tighter to nest during her 'lockdown'.
Am glad she's been eating well in the past few days tho.
 

jadip4

Songster
Mar 6, 2018
181
558
176
South Carolina
Same! .. Gerty seems to have been enjoying having food all to herself. Up to yesterday she's been cleaning her bowl. (I've been throwing in extra goodies to entice her .. the mac-n-cheese yesterday didn't do it for her, though). She sat tight .. I will say, though she grumbles a lot, she's not aggressive toward us. I can reach right under her and grab an egg. She's not happy about it, but she's doesn't so much as offer to peck my hand either. Is this any inclination at all to the type of mom she's going to be?
 

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