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Hens brooding

post #1 of 9
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We have 9 hens & a rooster. Hens lay 3-7 eggs per day. How do we get the hens to brood?

post #2 of 9

What is the breed of your hens?  Some of the poultry breeds are non setters.  Meaning that they want brood their eggs.  It depends on what breed you have.  You could try to encourage them to brood the eggs by leaving the eggs to gather in the nest.  When the hen builds a clutch of eggs, usually 10-14 eggs, they will become broody and sit on the nest.  It usually takes chicken eggs 21 days to hatch.  Good luck!


Edited by soonerdog - 8/9/09 at 3:58am
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post #3 of 9

I just tried this for the first time myself, and it went wonderfully!  You do need to start with a breed that has a reputation for good mothering, however.  I used a four year old New Hampshire Red hen that has always had a great temperament. 
First, I let a couple of her own eggs build up in her nesting area.  Then I got some wooden eggs from the craft store, and stared replacing the egg she laid each day with one of the wooden ones.  She didn't pay much attention to them for the first week or so, but slowly began to sit there for longer and longer periods.  After about 10 days or so, she planted herself on that nest and was there to stay!  Then I slipped fertilized eggs under her, and  21 days later the little fluffballs were running around!
I don't have a rooster, but I imagine a broody hen wouldn't want a rooster bugging her - you may need to do something about that...
Amy

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"Think occasionally of the suffering of which you spare yourself the sight."  ~Albert Schweitzer
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post #4 of 9

I wish i could give you my broody hen now, cuz she is really annoying just sitting in the nest box all day taking up the space. I only like when they go broody and sit under the coop away from disrupting production of eggs to sell.

post #5 of 9

I always fix the broody a place by herself, maybe a fenced off place in the coop or a large dog crate, and put her and her nest in there. This accomplishes several things, first she is out of the line of egg production, second, the other hens will not keep laying in her nest adding to the eggs she's setting, third she is more likely to complete her hatch if she's not bothered all the time. Also, when the chicks hatch they will not be pecked and hurt by the other chickens. Just have plenty of feed and water with her.

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"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths" Proverbs 3:5
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post #6 of 9

You can't make a hen go broody unless she wants to anyway, but after some experience, you can sure tell the signs it is starting.
Clucking, puffing, crankiness, screaming and best of all, being chained to the nest like an invisible bungee cord. Take her off the nest and she "sproings" back into place.
I have also found that the surest way to get hens go broody is to have a list of people wanting to buy fresh eggs. Works like a charm everytime.lol

post #7 of 9

Dont know where else to post this and get a quick reply.....My hen, which I believe is a blue wyandotte...didnt lay her egg in the reg. place...usally they all do in the coop in the nest boxes...she laid it under the coop, and I happen to find the egg, when I went to go get a rake to pull it out...she was sitting on it.

Now I have taken the egg away...but will she miss it...is this bad for her?...she will she stop eating? etc....should I let her hatch it? Ive put it in the refrig. as of 5mins ago....HELP....does this mean she will do it with others?

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My Beautiful Babies  http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=230819 AND MOST IMPORTANT:
MOTHER OF TWO ARMY SOLIDERS: Daug and Son
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post #8 of 9

I recently lost a hen from one of the three roosters we ended up with (2 Bantams and
a Rhode Island Red) Have a Sussex and Ameraucana and had a Silver laced wyndotte. It seemed she wasn't allowing any of the roosters to make advances at her. She was the loner hen of the group sweet heart to... The Rhode Island Roster tore her up... will the other hens hatch her eggs if they were ever fertilized previous their behavior and should I go ahead and get Rid of the Large Rhode Island red and keep the Bantams... or will they pick up his aggressive behavior to? At this point we separated the hens, although we have a strange hen from the neighbors adopting us that they have not bothered....Or turk-in?hmm

post #9 of 9

Offer oyster shell. I have heard that an increased intake of calcium in animals will increase their motherly characteristics.

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