Whitey's First Clutch - She is so young...

Enchanted1s

Songster
Sep 25, 2017
426
538
166
New Mexico
So, please allow me to introduce Whitey. It is a long story as to how we acquired her. I was told she was Amerecana (Sp) and Flowery 55 mix. She was supposed to be the same age as the cockerel she was replacing when we got her (9 weeks) but I always estimated her to be about a month younger - based on her size and weight. I think my guess was probably closer than the seller as she stared laying about 3 ½ to 4 weeks later than her adopted litter mates. So she has always been the smallest and most picked on. When she came to us, we had our first -raised as babies- girls that were born 27 Nov 17 - two Crested Cream Legbar hens and one Buff Orpington. And, this group of 4 babies that were 9 weeks, born 1 March 18, when Whitey joined them - two Black Sexlinks and one Crested Cream Legbar Cockerel.

Whitey laid her first egg on 9 Sept 18. Her egg was neither white nor blue, as the seller had promised, but yet another shade if brown. So e are clueless what breed(s) she is, but just a couple weeks later, she went broody! I was still healing from the sting of a different long sad story of trying to break our broody and swore never to try that again, so on 26 Sept 18 we gave her six fertilized Crested Cream Legbar eggs. Of course she chose everyone's favorite nest box. We let her stay there for about a week to be sure she was going to stay. But, Buffey (Buff Orpington) was making Whitey leave her nest - and not nicely. So - we moved Whitey to her own maternity ward. Worrying about her not being able to go out and stretch, we tried leaving the small door open so she could go out if needed - but again, Buffey came in and forced her out. I think this is when two eggs may have been broken. We then stopped leaving that door open unless we were there to supervise, but it wasn't until the next day or so I noticed a bit of yolk while cleaning and learned that there were only four eggs remaining and egg yuck all over Whitey. Too late to see well when noticed, the following day we inspected her more closely and used scissors to clip most of the egg yuck off of her. Since moving her to the maternity ward ?about a week ago? she has only been outside when forced to leave the nest. Each time, she has returned to her favorite nest box instead of her clutch in the maternity ward! She happily stays when I move her back to her clutch.

Should we force her to go out and stretch her legs? She has access to food and water in the maternity ward. We have no idea if she will be a good mother or not, so we have a camera on her and plan to set up a brooder in the house - just in case. Thanks for reading our story. Here are some pictures for your enjoyment...

We have not been chicken tenders very long - just over one year now. Here is there casa. On the left is the original coop in a box that I used for part of their original coop / run in Oct. 2017. In December, we broke ground on the Hen House addition - on the right. The two are connected with one roof. I used the coop in a box section for the maternity ward, where the red light is
. She is in the nest box section with both straw and shavings. I have since winterized the structure, so the only entrance/exit is the small chicken door, inside the run. There is one small chicken door that can allow access (or deny) to the Hen House.
10Oct2018.jpg

Here are a couple of pictures of our Whitey...
9WKS.Whitey1.jpg Whitey.6June18.jpg Whitey.31July18.jpg Whitey.Standing.15July18.jpg
Whitey.Wings.15June18.jpg
And Whitey's remaining clutch.
Whitey.Clutch.Oct2018.jpg
The rest of the flock.
SnackTime.jpg
 

nebulathechicken

Chirping
Jun 9, 2018
152
129
96
Bigfork MT
I had a broody chicken hatch some duck eggs before, and I was worried that she wasn’t leaving the nesting box, but in the end she was fine and I was happy I didn’t force her to walk around. Sometimes when they are broody there super committed. Haha
 

Enchanted1s

Songster
Sep 25, 2017
426
538
166
New Mexico
QUESTION - Whitey has not left the nest to poop for 2+ days now. How worried should we be? Should I force her off the nest for a few minutes this afternoon? The chicks are due on the 17th. It is the coldest day that it has been yet today. High of 46, wet and cloudy. I am 100% certain there has been no broody poo - this is the 3rd day. She is eating and drinking as I have that where she can reach it without leaving the nest.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
103,595
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SW Michigan
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QUESTION - Whitey has not left the nest to poop for 2+ days now. How worried should we be? Should I force her off the nest for a few minutes this afternoon? The chicks are due on the 17th. It is the coldest day that it has been yet today. High of 46, wet and cloudy. I am 100% certain there has been no broody poo - this is the 3rd day. She is eating and drinking as I have that where she can reach it without leaving the nest.
Best to leave feed and water out of reach of the nest so she has to get up to partake....2 days isn't bad, on the 3rd I'd lift her off the nest dip her beak in the water and hopefully she will eat, drink, poop, then back on nest.
ETA: just re-read more carefully.....didn't realize eggs are due to hatch in a couple days, they will often stick tight to nest when hatching is near, just leave her be...still leave feed away fro nest, maybe check under her make sure she hasn't pooped in nest.
 
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Enchanted1s

Songster
Sep 25, 2017
426
538
166
New Mexico
Thanks @aart . I was wondering if we should move the food and water. I wasn't sure - I did move the water earlier (it was blocking the camera's view LOL). I will head out there soon and move the food too. I did also lift her enough to confirm there are still 4 eggs - no poop - although you could smell broody poo a mile away! This is day 3 with no poop - at least when I last checked at noon.

I tried a gentle nudge or three, the past two days, but she just growls at me and stays on the nest. For the most part, we are leaving her alone and watching from a camera's view.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
103,595
154,345
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I tried a gentle nudge or three, the past two days, but she just growls at me and stays on the nest. For the most part, we are leaving her alone and watching from a camera's view.
I have pulled the broody right off the nest, once dipped her beak to break the trance and she guzzled water and did everything else, but first and last 3 days of incubation it's best to leave them alone...most know what they're doing.
 

Enchanted1s

Songster
Sep 25, 2017
426
538
166
New Mexico
I have pulled the broody right off the nest, once dipped her beak to break the trance and she guzzled water and did everything else, but first and last 3 days of incubation it's best to leave them alone...most know what they're doing.
You are more optimistic than I. I would guess that Whitey just hatched herself around April 1st. Twice she fled instead of defending her clutch. We have a brooder ready (almost) in case she isn't a good mother - I just hope we see it in time. Our camera signal is not great inside the maternity ward.

If she is going to be a good mother, I was thinking I would put the ladder seen in the picture, inside and giving Mom and babies that side to themselves. I'm hoping to sell the babies within a couple of ?? days to weeks depending on what Whitey does.
 

Enchanted1s

Songster
Sep 25, 2017
426
538
166
New Mexico
Yeah! Whitey finally relieved herself. I moved her food and water to where she had to get up to eat / drink and that did the trick. Her 3 day movement has passed. Tomorrow is day 21. I got a very quick look at the clutch and all four eggs are still in tact. Any way of estimating the time they will begin to hatch? We gave her the eggs at around 6:30pm on Sept. 26th.
 

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