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When do chickens brood?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

This is probably a stupid question, but is there a certain time of year when hens are most likely to brood?  How long do they sit for?  Is it staggered so that you still get some eggs or should we just count on not having eggs for a month or so?  Do they normally brood in nesting boxes?  Should I make any special provision for this if I want chicks?  Should I just let the hens take care of their own chicks or should I separate them?

Thanks for the advice!

Ryan

post #2 of 5

They get broody whenever they feel like it, hopefully (and most of the time) in the warmer months. You can get layer types that rarely to never get broody and then you wont have to worry about running out of eggs. But if you get cochins or silkies... well they go broody all the time.

Jesus turned water into wine. I turned into liquor - Popcorn Sutton

We live out in the middle of nowhere with our family- the next town is 10 miles away. WE currently own a bunch of chicks and chickens, ducks, meat rabbits..

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Jesus turned water into wine. I turned into liquor - Popcorn Sutton

We live out in the middle of nowhere with our family- the next town is 10 miles away. WE currently own a bunch of chicks and chickens, ducks, meat rabbits..

Reply
post #3 of 5

Supposedly in spring, but I have a broody now, and I've had them raise chicks in January or February.  Some people separate them and some let them do the whole thing in with the flock.  I've done both, but always let mama and chicks out into the flock by 2 or 3 days of age, when they obviously want out of the broody pen (which is not small, maybe 5'x6'.)  If you leave them in with the flock, it's best to collect the eggs yourself (room temp) and keep removing new ones from under her daily.  When you collect enough, or by one week, mark them with a Sharpie and put them under her all at once.  And keep removing any new ones daily -- others will lay in her nest, and she will steal others' eggs.  The mama will abandon any unhatched eggs (to raise her chicks) about 24 hours after the first one hatches, so you will lose any still unhatched at that point.

http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html

http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218

I'll give you a link tht covers most all of the subject.  They do recommend separating the broody.

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

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Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

9 hatchery and mutt hens

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Reply
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys!  Great Links.  I have egglaying breeds and none went broody this summer, so maybe next summer....

Ryan

post #5 of 5

Mostly Spring and early Summer.  Brahamas will sit whenever they want...period.   I do not really care for incubators or brooders anymore so try to put a hen in a breeding pen in the Spring with a rooster of choice and then let her handle the job.  Much better at it than I am and much easier on me.  Does not work real well if you cannot separate her off but some manage it.  We take the rooster away just before hatching and return him a couple of days later to the family while they are out on the grass.  Many roosters make very good parents but watch as some do not.

Your egg layers may not be of a type that broods.  Research your breeds to find out.

Breeders of show quality poultry in Light Brahma large fowl, Speckled Sussex large fowl, Silkie bantams, Muscovy ducks, Embden geese, Toulouse geese,  Pomeranian Geese.  Also show quality Narragansett turkeys.  We have a good number of breeds we do not show and also keep a mixed layer flock and raise Cornish hybrid meat birds for personal use.
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Breeders of show quality poultry in Light Brahma large fowl, Speckled Sussex large fowl, Silkie bantams, Muscovy ducks, Embden geese, Toulouse geese,  Pomeranian Geese.  Also show quality Narragansett turkeys.  We have a good number of breeds we do not show and also keep a mixed layer flock and raise Cornish hybrid meat birds for personal use.
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