I’m reading up on this “Broody Hen laying experience” everyday only to get more nervous about my hens health as the days go by….. I try to compare my experience to those of others – most have wonderful outcomes even if their hen successfully hatches one egg (I would be thrilled as well), and some have hens that are so dedicated die on the nest from hunger.
My hens health…. CC does not come off nest unless I remove her. She is not taking in any water and only eating small amounts of food which is getting less and less as the days go by. I understand that hens metabolism slows down in order to hatch out these babies! Even so I have chose to intervene; it’s hard to feed a chicken who does not want to eat – harder to make her drink. I do the best I can.
I’m loving every minute of this, but would be lying if I said it’s not stressful!!!! Today is day 11 with 10 or so days to go (July 6th can’t come quick enough for ME!). I have a back up incubator if she decides to jump off the nest and not go back, or if I find her health has deteriorated too much.
My concerns now: CC’s health first! Projecting ahead …. How many will hatch (I haven’t candled yet – it’s something I should do in the next day or so), and the hen to roo ratio 😜
I can’t believe it!!!! I checked on my girls about 5pm last night and noticed my Buff Orphington (CC) was acting very strangely. I didn’t pay much attention to it and closed them up as usual for the night. This morning I noticed all came out of the coop for their morning breakfast but CC (short for cupcake). I opened the nest box door and noticed she was right where I left her last night. I picked her up to find that she had NO feathers on her breast bone or belly! Here we go!!! Now my head is spinning ….
I don’t want baby chicks! I don’t have the room in the run for them (my coop can fit 30, but not my run). What do I do?!?! Of course I know I can try and brake her of this “natural thing” that comes over her, but that’s too mean – she wants to be a mommy hen. I took her out and put her down for some food and water. She clucked the entire time under her breath. I know sooner turn around, and she’s back in the coop sitting on another hens egg. That’s it.. I feel horrible! I started putting all the girls eggs one by one under her. She is now sitting on 8 beautiful eggs.
My fiancé made me (without even asking) a maternity ward in the garage for her. So this evening I will move her to a safe spot for the next month or so. I wont lie… I’m very nervous about this decision and excited at the same time. I have done all the reading today that I can to keep myself abreast of how and what to expect in the very near future.
My concerns: Will she be a good mommy hen? Will she leave the nest half way through the process (I will be getting a incubator as back up)?, Will she look to destroy the newborns? So much to think and worry about…
Pictures of set-up to follow in the morning. to be continued……