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First time broody and not sure what to do

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, my 1.5 year old blue orpington, Henrietta, has gone broody. Two of my olive egger chicks have turned out to be cockerels, so I'd like to replace them, and have ordered half a dozen f3 olive egger eggs for Henrietta. I've never had a broody hen, nor tried to hatch eggs with one, so I'm not sure exactly how I should go about this. She is already separated, as originally I thought she was very ill. She stopped eating and drinking and didn't want to move. It wasn't until this morning that she had a big broody poop and I figured out what was probably going on. I did place an egg under her until I get my fertile eggs, but she is not interested in it, and she hasn't laid any eggs herself in 4 days, which is unusual for her. 

So, I get my eggs on Thurs. Should I keep her separated from the others with her eggs, or should I put her back in the coop with her eggs? If she goes back in the coop with the other chickens, do I need to worry about the chicks getting hurt, or will she protect them from the other hens? She is my "alpha" bird of the flock, and doesn't take crap from any of the other hens. Is there a chance that she will stop being broody before I get my eggs, or maybe she'll give up on the eggs and then I'll be left with nothing (I don't have an incubator)? 

Anything else I should know??? Thanks in advance. 

 

Here is Henrietta. I gave her Lavender (also an orpington) for company. Yes, Lavender is sitting right on top of her. She should be a good 'momma.'

 

post #2 of 3

First time hens can be a little fickle.  She may or may not sit long enough.  If you can I would try to get an Incubator or find some who can loan you one just in case.  I would leave her where she is.  First time hen may get bullied and leave chicks behind.  

I live in Northeastern New Mexico. Live on a 2.5 acres with my husband of 38 yrs.(husband pass away 6/13/16), 2 dogs, 2 cats,    I have SLC, Blue laced Red Wy, Partridge Cochin, Blue, Black & White Cochins, Americanas, Cuckoo Marans Roo, Dominque Roo,  Blue Bar Roo, Buff Orps, Lavender Wy, Black & Blue French Cooper Marans, French Wheaton Marans, Cuckoo Marans , Dominque , Blue bar  Whiting...

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I live in Northeastern New Mexico. Live on a 2.5 acres with my husband of 38 yrs.(husband pass away 6/13/16), 2 dogs, 2 cats,    I have SLC, Blue laced Red Wy, Partridge Cochin, Blue, Black & White Cochins, Americanas, Cuckoo Marans Roo, Dominque Roo,  Blue Bar Roo, Buff Orps, Lavender Wy, Black & Blue French Cooper Marans, French Wheaton Marans, Cuckoo Marans , Dominque , Blue bar  Whiting...

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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

Thanks, any tips on getting her to accept the eggs? I have heard to sneak them under her at night time. She won't accept the egg I gave her yesterday (but it wasn't night time). She ignores it. I don't want to waste the fertilized eggs I am getting tomorrow. What should I do? 

Also, currently she is bunking with my 5.5 week old chick. Will I need to remove the chick when the new ones are born? Or do you think Henrietta will protect them from her, since it's only one chick, not a whole flock of hens...? 

 

Another interesting note -- I got Henrietta in March. Her entire saddle area is completely bald. The previous owner said she was either a "favourite" or she got picked on. The feathers have never showed any potential of growing back... She was bald as a baby's bum. Now, just since yesterday, she has the start of feathers poking through! I figure it must just be hormones? I hope her feathers grow back completely. :)

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