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#88518 - 03/09/10 08:39 AM Broody Hens Laid Eggs 3 Feet off Ground
Coco MSU Offline
New Egg

Registered: 12/22/09
Posts: 1
Loc: Michigan
I have two hens, a Cochin and a Marans, that have laid their eggs about 3 feet off the ground. The Cochin was sitting on 17 eggs when I last counted, and I think there's more now (they're spilling out from underneath her, so I'm guessing the rest of the flock might be adding their eggs to her clutch).

They're both turning them as best they can, but as I near the 21 day mark, I wanted to know if I should move the clutch and the hen? If a majority of the eggs under the Cochin hatch, I'm afraid they'll spill out into my general flock. Should I wait until they hatch before moving momma and chicks? I have a corner of the coop that I can fence off, and I have it wired for a heat lamp (I planned on letting a hen go broody in there, but these two hens caught me off guard).


Edited by Foehn (03/10/10 09:05 PM)

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#88520 - 03/09/10 11:22 AM Re: Boody Hens Laid Eggs 3 Feet off Ground [Re: Coco MSU]
Wieslaw Offline
Moderator
Classroom Professor

Registered: 09/18/09
Posts: 3751
Loc: Denmark
Firstly, I think 17 eggs is too many. You could do yourself and the hens a favour and candle the eggs, removing all clear and dead. Secondly, in case a chick falls down and peeps, the hen will jump down to the chick, forgetting everything about the rest. It's guaranteed. A friend of mine found a hen sitting on one chick on the floor with 10 chicks in the nest, dead because of the cold.

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#88525 - 03/09/10 01:55 PM Re: Boody Hens Laid Eggs 3 Feet off Ground [Re: Wieslaw]
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
You are in trouble. Two hens in one nest? Rarely a good thing!

Other hens laying in the nest with setting hens? Yes, as Wieslaw said--candle and remove all clear eggs or eggs that have just started to develop! Those eggs spilling out from under the hen may have succumbed, if they were previously laid eggs and developing.

Can you prepare a separate pen for the setters, and move them tonight? Kind of dark and private, nest box on the floor, may keep hens on the nest until hatch. During hatch IF they are in the same nest, hens may drag chicks back and forth, each claiming them, and chicks may not survive the "tug war." Rarely can two hens in the same area care for their chicks (I know, it sometimes happens--lucky lucky). Each hen wants them all.

Wire divider may not be enough to keep the chicks safe--they can slip through very small spaces in the wire--and hens may threaten them through the wire. Solid divider, at least 12 inches or so outside the wire, might help. You are going to have to work this out RIGHT NOW to keep these hatches safe and successful.

Even in a separate pen, be sure the chicks can get in and out of the nest--not a climb or drop over the edge of the nest--open on one side toward feed and water. (Have chick-appropriate feeders and waterers ready, so no drowning of chicks.)

Good luck, CJR

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