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Hen has finally gone broody! ...Now what do I do?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

After two years of waiting on my sweet little Booted Bantam, Layla, she has finally decided she wants to be a mom! Yesterday I let her and her rooster, Leo, out of their pen to let them forage in the backyard. Unfortunately, due to her very tiny size and because I've had brushes with hawks trying to steal my bigger girls before, they can't be let out all that often. But after a day of picking insects, she hopped into her nest and hasn't moved since! I breed Silkies, so I know what a broody hen looks like and I know what to do, but she's never gone broody before and I don't know how many eggs I should let her sit on. My Silkie girls can handle 10 eggs without an issue, but Layla is so tiny, I don't know how many she can handle. She only weighs a little over a pound, the normal weight for a female Booted Bantam. Her eggs are tiny too, a bit smaller than a Silkie's. The silly girl was trying to sit on 13 eggs and two golf balls(I let the eggs build up in hopes it'll tempt her to sit on them), and clearly she can't handle that, so I took out the oldest looking ones and the golf balls and left her with 7 newer looking eggs. None of the eggs really felt as warm as they should, I was expecting a least a couple of them to feel pretty warm. Is 7 an okay number for her to sit on, with her being so small and a first time mom? I made sure all seven were able to comfortably fit under her and not be exposed, but she's so small that I don't know if she'll be able to give off enough heat, regardless of if they can all fit under her.

 

 

Here's a picture of her(left) and Leo(right) if that helps

post #2 of 4

If she is covering the eggs completely they should be fine.  I have had OE bantam hens brood and hatch as many as a dozen eggs at a time.  I always like to provide a nice grass hay that forms a good bowl shaped nest.  Good luck with the incubation.  It will be neat to see her chicks.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sourland View Post
 

If she is covering the eggs completely they should be fine.  I have had OE bantam hens brood and hatch as many as a dozen eggs at a time.  I always like to provide a nice grass hay that forms a good bowl shaped nest.  Good luck with the incubation.  It will be neat to see her chicks.


Alright, thank you! I figured they would probably be okay, but she's got so little body mass that I didn't want to give her too many eggs and ruin the hatch. She could probably fit a couple more eggs in, but I don't like to give my new hen moms a ton of eggs on their first hatch, when they're still figuring things out. I give my hens Coastal hay as nesting material, and her particular nest is an old plastic cat litter tote. I find that they make excellent nests.

post #4 of 4

The covered cat litter boxes are great brooding boxes for sure.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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