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New Broody and when to add to flock

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

So I have a 1 year old hen that is officially broody. Just to make sure she was committed, I removed all the non-fertile eggs from under her, and put two golf balls in a different non-favorite nesting box (she was previously using the hens' favorite, not allowing the other girls on). She then sat on the two golf balls all day long today. I think I'd like to order a few hatching eggs to see if she'll hatch and raise them.

 

I currently have 6 one year old hens, and 4 2-month old chicks (all girls). I was thinking about waiting a few weeks to get the eggs.

 

What are the chances of her still being broody then? And, once she hatches them, if I decide to move her into the grow-out pen that is next to the big girls' coop, but not accessible to them, when would be okay to let her integrate back into the flock with the babies?  Our could I just let her raise them in with the flock?

 

We weren't planning on getting any more chicks this year (after our 4 we already got), but wouldn't mind adding a few more, just to see if she's a reliable mother. If she is, then next year, when we decide to add to our flock, I would just get hatching eggs and let her do the raising. But if not, then I'd do it with day-old chicks and raise them with our EcoGlow.  Just c

Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
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Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
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post #2 of 3

If you are going to let a broody hatch eggs for you it's best to give her eggs to hatch as soon as possible. Due to their inactivity and little food intake, hens lose a lot of weight during the brooding period, so dragging it out for weeks longer than needed can take a toll on their heath and wellbeing.

 
And, once she hatches them, if I decide to move her into the grow-out pen that is next to the big girls' coop, but not accessible to them, when would be okay to let her integrate back into the flock with the babies?  Our could I just let her raise them in with the flock?

 

Either can work. I may in this case, let her stay in the grow out pen for a few days first with the chicks and then let them mingle with the rest of the flock when the chicks are a bit stronger.

 

“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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“Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be.” 

 

~ Shel Silverstein
 

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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sumi View Post
 

If you are going to let a broody hatch eggs for you it's best to give her eggs to hatch as soon as possible. Due to their inactivity and little food intake, hens lose a lot of weight during the brooding period, so dragging it out for weeks longer than needed can take a toll on their heath and wellbeing.

 
And, once she hatches them, if I decide to move her into the grow-out pen that is next to the big girls' coop, but not accessible to them, when would be okay to let her integrate back into the flock with the babies?  Our could I just let her raise them in with the flock?

 

Either can work. I may in this case, let her stay in the grow out pen for a few days first with the chicks and then let them mingle with the rest of the flock when the chicks are a bit stronger.

Thanks for the response. I may end up just breaking her broodiness, only because I still have 8 week old chicks in the grow out pen (but they've been there for over a month and see the other hens on a daily basis through the hardware cloth), and while I was going to start letting them mingle in two weeks, supervised, to see how it goes, it would be cutting it too close to hatch-time I think. The big girls all "free-range" in a 30ftx32ft fenced in area during the day, but I'll be going away for a long weekend soon after hatching (3 weeks). During that time, they'll be confined to a smaller run that is completely enclosed and I think it would lead to some problems, with not having as much space to roam. 

 

I guess I'll just try next year. Thanks again for the response.

Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
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Mother Hen to 2 Red Sex-Links, 1 Golden-Laced Wyandotte, 1 RIR, 1 Black Australorp, 1 Double-Laced Barnevelder, 2 Easter Eggers, 1 Swedish Flower Hen, 1 Egyptian Fayoumi, 2 Crested Cream Legbars, 1 Sapphire, and 1 Sapphire Roo (soon to be rehomed)!  RIP Chickeny
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