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How long can I wait to give my broody fertile eggs?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm in a bit of a dilemma.  One of my hens has gone broody rather unexpectedly.  I have a source for fertile eggs of the type I want, but they will not be available until next Saturday.   How hard would it be on her to add that one extra week to her brooding period?

 

I can rustle a few eggs for her to sit on from my own flock over the next couple of days if I need to, but I'd like to use her broodiness to get some new bloodlines into my flock.   I don't want to risk her health however.  Right now she is sitting on 3 golf balls.    This is her first time being broody.

 

Thanks for any help.

post #2 of 5
She should be just fine. smile.png I actually often times wait a week or two before giving my broody hens eggs, because I want to be sure they're serious about setting. Sometimes after a few days they decide to quit. But most pass the test, and I give them eggs, I've never had a broody hen abandon the nest before hatch day, and I've also never lost a hen due to malnutrition. Just keep a nearby supply of food and water that she can visit daily and she should do just fine.

And also, during the testing period, I don't give the hen eggs to set on. She'll often set on some of the fresh eggs laid that day, but I collect those all up every day. So at night and parts of the day she's just setting on an empty nest.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzHpYyB_F3U

Currently 30 guineas & 49 chickens. Australorp, Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Easter Egger, Dark Cornish, Brown Leghorn, & American Gamefowl.

Raising 100% Grass-Fed Black Angus beef in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. No grain, GMOs, antibiotics, or hormones. Lots of green grass and sunshine, the way beef is supposed to be raised.

www.seaagri.com
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www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzHpYyB_F3U

Currently 30 guineas & 49 chickens. Australorp, Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Easter Egger, Dark Cornish, Brown Leghorn, & American Gamefowl.

Raising 100% Grass-Fed Black Angus beef in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. No grain, GMOs, antibiotics, or hormones. Lots of green grass and sunshine, the way beef is supposed to be raised.

www.seaagri.com
Reply
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cowgirl71 View Post

She should be just fine. smile.png I actually often times wait a week or two before giving my broody hens eggs, because I want to be sure they're serious about setting. Sometimes after a few days they decide to quit. But most pass the test, and I give them eggs, I've never had a broody hen abandon the nest before hatch day, and I've also never lost a hen due to malnutrition. Just keep a nearby supply of food and water that she can visit daily and she should do just fine.

And also, during the testing period, I don't give the hen eggs to set on. She'll often set on some of the fresh eggs laid that day, but I collect those all up every day. So at night and parts of the day she's just setting on an empty nest.


Ditto

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Very good advice and, with this hen, particularly so.  When I put them in for the night yesterday, she was planted on the nest.   But when I snuck up to check an hour later, she was on the roost.  This morning, she back on her golf balls puffed up and hissing like a velociraptor.  I hope she makes up her mind soon.  I found eggs on the roost this morning, as I think she is scaring the other hens away from the nest boxes.  

 

Next question:  If this broody-by-day/quit-by-night routine goes on for a few more days, would it make sense to move her to the brooding area, which doesn't have access to the roost, give her a few barnyard eggs, and see if she settles down to brood?  Does that kind of thing ever work?  I would greatly prefer her to truly commit herself to the cause, but I don't want her to stress herself and the other hens out.  

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Morrigan View Post

Next question:  If this broody-by-day/quit-by-night routine goes on for a few more days, would it make sense to move her to the brooding area, which doesn't have access to the roost, give her a few barnyard eggs, and see if she settles down to brood?  Does that kind of thing ever work?  I would greatly prefer her to truly commit herself to the cause, but I don't want her to stress herself and the other hens out.  

I'm not sure, I've never tried that, but it would probably depend on the individual hen. She'll likely either settle down to business, or it could have the opposite effect, due to the stress of being put in a new small area by herself away from her flock mates. I have had hens who are "daytime broodies," like you describe. After a few days some become 24/7/21 broodies, others remain daytime broodies, and others quit being broody and begin laying again. But often times I'll have 3 or 4 or more hens broody at once, and so I'll pick the one or two that seem the most devoted to their job, give that hen (or hens) hatching eggs, and then attempt to break the others, so that they return to laying and quit hogging all the nest boxes, LOL.
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzHpYyB_F3U

Currently 30 guineas & 49 chickens. Australorp, Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Easter Egger, Dark Cornish, Brown Leghorn, & American Gamefowl.

Raising 100% Grass-Fed Black Angus beef in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. No grain, GMOs, antibiotics, or hormones. Lots of green grass and sunshine, the way beef is supposed to be raised.

www.seaagri.com
Reply
www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzHpYyB_F3U

Currently 30 guineas & 49 chickens. Australorp, Buff Orpington, Barred Rock, Rhode Island Red, Easter Egger, Dark Cornish, Brown Leghorn, & American Gamefowl.

Raising 100% Grass-Fed Black Angus beef in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks. No grain, GMOs, antibiotics, or hormones. Lots of green grass and sunshine, the way beef is supposed to be raised.

www.seaagri.com
Reply
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