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#74660 - 06/17/05 04:29 PM Non-layer but broody
Weezie Offline
Bantam

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 56
Loc: North Carolina
I have done a search but can't find my specific question. I have an 11 mo hen. She doesn't lay at all. But she appears to be broody. She will sit on golf balls all day. She sits in the nesting box at night. I have takien her out time and time again. She goes straight back. Her comb is short and pale red. I mention that because I've seen notes regarding that and being a good layer. Anyway, if I bought fertilized eggs, what are the odds of her setting on those eggs and hatching?
I don't have a rooster.

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#74661 - 06/17/05 05:15 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
Freds Fine Fowl Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 149
Loc: Pennsylvania
Ok, so I'm taking it that she sits day and night with only trips to the drinker and for food?

If this is the case, you have a very good chance of having her hatch fertile eggs from another hen.

This, I've found, is the only way to break the broody cycle of some hens (hatching eggs).

When you place the fertile eggs beneath her, try to do it at night when she's half sleeping and also, if they have been kept in a chiller, bring them up to ambient temperature first. Remove the golf balls at the same time you place the eggs.

Then, please keep us posted as to the results.

How long has she been in this state?

Thanks for posting.

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#74662 - 06/17/05 05:17 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8489
Loc: Montana
Don't waste any time getting fertile eggs under her. Setting hens do not lay at all. You do not say if she had been laying previously or if you have other hens. If she IS setting, do not disturb her and if you really want chicks, obtain eggs asap! Good luck, CJR

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#74663 - 06/17/05 06:04 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
Weezie Offline
Bantam

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 56
Loc: North Carolina
Thanks for your answers. I have 13 other hens--brown layer assortment. I am getting 8-10 eggs a day. I didn't realize that she wasn't laying for quite a while. The girls seem to lay in different spots, or else I am just unobservant. I just thought she was broody, reading these notes, and "broke" her from it twice. Then it dawned on me that she weighed less than the other white hen, and her comb color was different. So I finally noticed she wasn't laying.
So does one usually have good luck from mailordering fertilized eggs? McMurray Hatchery doesn't sell them after the end of May. Other suggestions?

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#74664 - 06/17/05 07:44 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
Anonymous
Unregistered


its best to find someone local if not the shorter the shipping distance the better chance you have of hatching them

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#74665 - 06/17/05 10:17 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
Anonymous
Unregistered


Check out eggbid.com if you can't find any locally but rich is right, local is better. Shipping is rough on eggs as in "fragile as eggs". Frankly I wouldn't even consider McMurry-they get almost as much for eggs as they do for chicks. If all the eggs don't hatch, and they probably won't all hatch, chicks might work out to be cheaper.

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#74666 - 06/22/05 06:46 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
Weezie Offline
Bantam

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 56
Loc: North Carolina
I am getting some fertilized eggs for this hen, but how do I "get" her to stay on those eggs and not go into an empty nest box. I will switch golf balls for eggs at night as suggested, but I noticed today when she got up for food another hen went into that box to lay, so Boody just went into another nesting box. (She is really low on the chicken totem pole, I think.)

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#74667 - 06/22/05 07:10 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
Shannon Offline
Chicken

Registered: 05/21/04
Posts: 102
Loc: Washington State, San Juan Cou...
Hi Weezie,

A hen sitting on eggs really should have her own secure, darkened place, away from other chickens and predators, and protected from extreme weather. Do you have a spare pen or coop? If not, maybe you could section off part of the coop with floor-to-ceiling netting, so she is alone.

Until then, the other hens will continue to lay in her nest, causing all sorts of problems. If she does hatch her chicks in the main coop, most likely the babies will get attacked by the other adult birds, and the mother cannot defend them all at once.

If you do section off the coop, please make sure the netting goes all the way from floor to ceiling. I had a Hamburg hen fly over some 4 foot netting and attack another hen's day old chicks--there was blood and broken bones! Fortunately they all recovered, but I sure went through a guilt trip!

Good luck,

Shannon

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#74668 - 06/22/05 07:56 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
O.k..I know this sounds odd, but when my buff orpington had this problem, i remedied it by giving her food and water right by her nestbox. This way the eggs never got chilled. If another hen gets on them, she may crack them by laying eggs. What kind of chickens are with her? If you keep food and water near her, she will not get up and will become even more broody. This broodiness will be portrayed to the other hens, and they will begin to lay eggs in another nest.

If you really want to trick them, you may want to put other non fertilized eggs on another nest box filled with new hay. Keep this new nest box as far away from your broody hen as possible. I've never had a problem with chickens killing babies, but it can be possible I suppose. My roosters tend to keep this from happening though.

When I moved my hens to a different location other than the nest they were originally sitting in, they had a fit and wouldn't sit on the eggs. I was worried about her getting pecked on, because her comb was bleeding. Eventually, the other birds settled in and there were no probs. I honestly don't suggest putting her in another pen. She is used to her surroundings and she has picked that nest for a reason....she's comfortable there. She believes that would be a safe place to hatch her babies. I do suggest...however, when the chicks start hatching, to put her in another place to raise her clutch away from others in case you're worried about murder. This way, she will have already imprinted most of their sounds, and she will sit on the other eggs until they hatch or the other chicks take over her attention.

I hope this helps a little bit! Good luck!

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#74669 - 06/23/05 03:50 AM Re: Non-layer but broody
Weezie Offline
Bantam

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 56
Loc: North Carolina
Thanks!
I have a coop with an attached set of six nesting boxes raised about 18" from the floor. What could I use for a nesting box other than those? Can you have something right on the ground?

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#74670 - 06/23/05 06:26 PM Re: Non-layer but broody
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Yes, you can have something right on the ground. You can have straw just placed on the ground or inside of a box on the ground. 18" seems a bit high for chicks to jump into when coming to mamma. You can pretty much use anything you want for a nestbox. I have found that a cut 5 gallon bucket resting on the ground with straw or hay in it is sufficient. You could also just leave them on the ground if you think it is safe for them. This way, she won't have to call them to the nest and she can just have a seat anywhere. She will probably pick a spot along the edge or corner of the pen though. Just make sure all the chicks are there before turning in for the night. If you go to a store and get a box for them to sleep in at night, she should routinely return to the "safe" place and sleep there the entire night. I don't suggest leaving the carboard bare underneath the hen's or the chick's feet as it can cause leg/joint problems.

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