Broody hen fouling nest

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10 years 6 months ago #36414 by pipjhall
Should I give up trying to hatch under this hen?
She's Roger, my broody bantam/shaver cross and has been sitting for 7 nights and I am sure she has not come out to eat at all. Her food bowl has not gone down at all, the water bowl level looks untouched, and there is no poop in the pen. (She's in a rabbit hutch on her own).

I am used to broodies coming out once per day for a quick nibble & drink, a weird poop, and straight back in, but I am sure this gal is not leaving the nest. I found she had fouled her nest. Not a large amount, it just looked like one bowel movement, but there was a smear on three of the six eggs. I took away that soiled straw from behind her. Should I give up on these dirty eggs or is it worth keeping on trying till day 21? I don't want her to starve herself! Will she finally give in and drink/eat or are some hens so stubborn they won't budge at all?
She's been broody before but this is the first time I've set eggs under her.

Oh, and she was named Roger because her previous owners thought she was a rooster.

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10 years 6 months ago #475076 by Inger
Replied by Inger on topic Broody hen fouling nest
I knew of one poultry keeper who would lift his broody hen off the nest once a day and push her out into the rabbit hutch run to eat, drink and poo. That way the nest was kept clean.

Personally, I think there are some hens that aren't clued up enough to be good mothers, so mark her as being one to avoid using next time around. Some hens are good at incubating eggs and caring for chicks, while others just aren't. (Bit like people really).

45 hectares between Whangarei and Paparoa. Registered Dexter cattle, Wiltshire sheep - black, white & pied.
New Hampshire Red poultry & Dorking poultry. Pilgrim Geese, Appleyard Ducks.
A cat called Pusscat and still looking for another heading dog.

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10 years 6 months ago #475085 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Broody hen fouling nest
Take her out each day, and if you able shut her out of where she has come from. Simply walking should get a movement! Or do your tiding, she'll get used to it after a few days. Try doing it at the same time everyday. Apparently you don't remove her after day 18. In saying that mine 2nd broody and hatch, got off everyday till they end, and hatched all the fertile eggs. I also offered food in an anathoths container, to the hen, and while she wanted to peck it away, she suddenly realised it was food and ate some, so I did that everyday when I was checking on her.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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10 years 6 months ago #475087 by tonic
Replied by tonic on topic Broody hen fouling nest
i have never bothered with removing hens from the nest, even when they do not appear to be eating. Have never had one starve to death either...

i have one sitting at the moment that gets off at feeding time each day but all her eggs are getting dirty anyway. i will leave her to finish the job as if i remove her then i will lose all the potential chicks anyway, so will take what i get. i will decide whether to use her again when i see how many hatch, i recall her being a good hen for raising chicks in the past so suspect the eggs will do ok despite her lack of house keeping.

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10 years 6 months ago #475088 by granny56r
Replied by granny56r on topic Broody hen fouling nest
Just put her out for a few minutes each day if she's fouling the nest. They usually do a huge crap as soon as you put their feet on the ground. Sometimes you just have to do this.

I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.
DOUGLAS ADAMS

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10 years 6 months ago #475106 by pipjhall
Replied by pipjhall on topic Broody hen fouling nest
Today when I put her outside she immediately sat down in the yard and started brooding there, on nothing. But I didn't try it for very long.I'll try shutting her off from the nest house for at least 15 mins to see if it forces her to poop and eat. They can be off their eggs for up to an hour, right? It's so warm here in Auckland this week. She hasn't fouled again so I guess the lack of food is helping there.

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10 years 6 months ago #475107 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Broody hen fouling nest
My silkie that hatched 9 from 9 in the early days didn't appear to come out, but later on started too, all the eggs had marks all over them, infact quite grubby really, but I never saw poopy straw.

My 2nd broody who hatched 7, with 3 unfertilised, she came out each day, and you would see her out longer on a hot day. Now the chicks are 3 weeks old, I went to clean out the nest today, its been about a week since last time, and in the corner were all her night time poops, as she is shut in with the chicks over night, for predictors. So I will have to check more often.

She will get used to being lifted, and they seem to get less 'sleepy' as the days go by, I think hunger kicks in, in the end.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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10 years 6 months ago #475176 by Stikkibeek
Replied by Stikkibeek on topic Broody hen fouling nest
My broody 10yo has just hatched most of her clutch. I always lift her off the nest every day about the same time, and she always eats and poops. (except yesterday when the chicks began to pip.) For nourishment and dehydration, I gave her a soggy sandwich this morning. Her last two eggs which haven't yet hatched have gone into the incubator, and she is now in the brooder with the 4 chicks that hatched in the incubator over night. She may yet end up with a bigger family. One of her eggs is chipped this evening. I don't know how many of the other eggs are viable.
She is the sweetest girl, well no, that's not quite true as her name has always been "Little Nasty" She has raised 6-8 chicks every year for me, from a pullet. I was hoping to get something out of her own eggs so I could get a young replacement for her, but seems my useless rooster has been jilted! Not surprising. Most of the girls don't like him at all.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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10 years 6 months ago #475181 by Deanna
Replied by Deanna on topic Broody hen fouling nest
She sounds lovely Stikkibeek. Funny you saying about the sandwich, as I took some bread soaked in water to my broodies to, in the last couple of days when they wouldnt be tempted to eat, and they loved it, I know it has little nutritional value, but at least her tummy had something in it.

25 acres, 1400 Blue Gums, Wiltshire sheep, 5 steers, 2 cows, ducks, chickens, bees, dog, cats, retired, 1 husband and 3 grandkids.

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