Worried about my broody hen

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Colleen Kinzie
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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by Colleen Kinzie » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:03 am

Keep us posted on progress @Jaye
Good luck
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WLLady
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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by WLLady » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:40 pm

hows it going @Jaye ?
if nothing was alive then hen might have walked early-somehow they can tell. i do hope the warm oven thing worked....
my new stove has a bread proofing setting, and that is just about perfect....LOL.
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Jaye
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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by Jaye » Thu Jul 20, 2017 10:33 pm

Well, it appears I made yet another bad decision about this hatch. I thought if I confined Gracie to the nest box, she would keep them warm because she had nothing else to do besides sit, even if she didn't want to. I thought, just one more day and she would have the chicks she's been working so hard for. Bad idea. When she decided she was done, she meant it. All looked well this morning, but when I went down this evening I found that she had buried all the eggs in the bedding in the corner of the nest box. I water candled four, and three were wiggling, one, not anything obvious, and I was completely missing the fifth egg. I kept digging and finally came up with one recently deceased newly hatched chick. No obvious injuries, but dead, nonetheless. :'-(
No sign of the shell, yet. Weird.
Anyway, the four remaining eggs are now on a towel in a brownie pan in the oven with the light on. Temperature is up to around 35C. I'll be checking on them several times during the night. Hubby said he would macgyver the flat panel heater in the coop to work like an eco glow warmer. I'll get a brooder set up in the laundry room tomorrow after work.
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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by Ontario Chick » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:22 pm

Don't know if this helps, but you aren't the only one having bad luck with broody this summer and in many ways the problem seems almost the same, one or two chicks that didn't make it and rest complete washout.
I always assume that the broody knows more then I do, since yours abandoned the nest it's possible that she was done for a reason not obvious to us, possibly the sounds from eggs not strong enough to suggest healthy hatch?
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Jaye
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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by Jaye » Thu Jul 20, 2017 11:42 pm

It could well be that she thought they weren't strong enough, but I think there were other flock dynamic factors at play. She got trounced a few days ago by another hen insisting on laying in her nest box - still not sure how she got in, because she was fenced in at the time. Before that, she got ganged up on several times when she tried to join the others for morning treats. She's lost status and I think she's desperate to join the flock again.
I just want to try to give these chicks a chance if I can. When I did the water candling, the three that wiggled really obviously wiggled, which makes me think that they are still pretty strong.
I'll be checking every few hours tonight to make sure that the temperature is somewhat stable and not too warm.
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RIP Scooby, AKA Awesome Dog. Too well loved to ever be forgotten. "Sometime in June", 2005 - January 24, 2017. :feed ducks:

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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by Happy » Fri Jul 21, 2017 6:21 am

Oh poor Gracie. It really hasn't been a banner broody year for any of us it seems. Fingers crossed for your eggs...they've been through a lot so the do sound like little toughies.
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Jaye
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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by Jaye » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:39 am

Ok, so by way of hourly temperature checks during the night we've managed to figure out how much to leave the oven door ajar to keep the temp of the eggs at around 37C, and I did put a pan of water in the bottom of the oven, but I'm wondering if that will be enough humidity. Should we be misting the eggs with warm water every so often?
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RIP Scooby, AKA Awesome Dog. Too well loved to ever be forgotten. "Sometime in June", 2005 - January 24, 2017. :feed ducks:

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Jaye
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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by Jaye » Fri Jul 21, 2017 11:45 am

BTW, I tried one more time to reintroduce Gracie at breakfast this morning and two of the hens attacked her again. So she's back behind her brooder fence. She's got a big bare spot on her neck and on the top of her head, so I need to clean those spots up this afternoon when I get home, and maybe some Polysporin on them? I am wondering if I should try putting her on the roost tonight and go down in the morning before they wake up just to see how that goes. Failing that, I guess I'll have to figure out some segregation fencing in the run, because she needs to be out dust-bathing, etc.
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RIP Scooby, AKA Awesome Dog. Too well loved to ever be forgotten. "Sometime in June", 2005 - January 24, 2017. :feed ducks:

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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by thegawd » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:08 pm

wishing you all the best Jaye! iv had a few birds go broody this year with very limited success. im not to sure why but I've been so busy that im okay with it.

I really enjoyed all the ingenuity in this thread. hey people have been hatching eggs for a very long time without electricity or other means of a reliable heat source and also without a thermometer. I recall something about rolling them up with banana leaves and placing them in the sun or something or other.

So Jaye, I'm thinking you should lock up the other birds for a couple days and let Gracie have the run. let her get her strength back up and settle in. maybe this will help reestablish then pecking order.
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Jaye
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Re: Worried about my broody hen

Post by Jaye » Fri Jul 21, 2017 3:36 pm

Thanks, Al! Funny you should mention that: I was thinking about confining the worst offenders, but didn't think about your suggestion to just keep the rest of the flock locked up for a few days. That sounds like a good plan to me.
I'm going to be making a wool hen when I get home and set up a brooder box in the laundry in readiness for any chicks that hatch. I'm trying to stay positive.
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RIP Scooby, AKA Awesome Dog. Too well loved to ever be forgotten. "Sometime in June", 2005 - January 24, 2017. :feed ducks:

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