BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › How to ENcourage a hen to go broody
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

How to ENcourage a hen to go broody

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We have had layers for a couple of years now.  I am ready to start allowing the hens to raise their own chicks, rather than to continue purchasing chicks.  However, in 2 years of having chickens -- of all sorts of breeds and ages, hens and roosters -- we have never had one even threaten to go broody.  Some of our breeds are well known for their tendency to go broody, but we've had no sign at all.  Is there anything we can do to encourage one to go broody?  The only thing I can figure is that, perhaps, we collect eggs too often?  We live in a rather cold environment, and we have young children in charge of egg collecting.  Between those two factors, we collect eggs multiple times a day, so it isn't like we ever have piles of eggs laying around  (Except for the fake wood egg in each nest box).  Should I try to just leave the eggs and only collect at the end of the day?  Should I separate a hen or two from the rest of the group?  I am quite clueless here.  Thanks!!

mptclinics

post #2 of 12
Leave fake eggs in the nest. They will go broody when they feel they have a sufficient clutch. When they do so replace the fake eggs with real ones.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

The nests always have 1 fake.  How many should I add for them to give it a second thought?

post #4 of 12

You said you had "all sorts of" chickens for two years--do you have 2 year old birds, or do you replace them?

 

I'm in the same boat, I'm waiting for one of my current birds to go broody.  I've had birds I've given away go broody after I got rid of them--most notably Marans, but I guess some of my former Brahmas did too.

usually have between 20 and 50 chickens
Reply
usually have between 20 and 50 chickens
Reply
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Sorry for that confusing statement.  We have ordered from a hatchery twice, and been given many of all different ages (for both meat and layers).  At present, I have 20 hens.  We harvested our last rooster due to his turning aggressive, but I will be getting another rooster after an upcoming move, when I am ready to encourage a layer to go broody.  Of the 20 hens, some are hatchery chicks, some were hatched by a friend, and some were given to us as adults.  We think there are 4 ranging from 2-3 years old, 6 that are heading toward 2 years old and just finished their first molt, and the rest were hatched this past spring--one group in May, and one in June.  They are the ones just starting to lay.  The oldest group are RIR's, Buff Orps, and another I was told was a white leghorn, but due to her size, I think she is a closer to a White Rock.  She has also been consistently good at laying through this winter.  Of the mid-aged girls, there are 3 Lt. Brahmas, a Silver Spangled Hamburg, an Australorp (we think), and a RIR. The remaining younger girls are mostly crossbreds, though a couple appear to be full Americana and full Austrolorps.  I was told the other lines that were mixed included Marans, Orpingtons, and some unknowns.  Lots of fun, but all consistently not interested in brooding so far! Hope that clears up the confusion. Thanks!

post #6 of 12

Most of those breeds are not spectacularly broody. If you really want a hen to brood, look for a silkie, cochin, game hen.....something along those lines.

Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

Reply

Rachel BB

 

"At the cross You beckon me, You draw me gently to my knees and I am lost for words, so lost in love I am sweetly broken, wholly surrendered"

Reply
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by donrae View Post

Most of those breeds are not spectacularly broody. If you really want a hen to brood, look for a silkie, cochin, game hen.....something along those lines.

 

I wouldn't go out an get anything new as Brahmas and Orpingtons are known for broodiness as well just not as extreme as the breeds listed above.  Before I went in search of a bird I would set 4-5 fake eggs in a nest and see what happens.  I have also heard of people who get a few day olds and then hens go broody then sneak them in at night but have not tried that yet. I suppose it is similar to "baby fever" in people lol

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I will try the eggs first this summer.  If it doesn't work, I will be sure to order a couple of "broody" type hens in my next order if necessary. 

post #9 of 12
Both my hens have gone broody within 10 days of when ive stopped collecting their eggs. I just left them where they laid. One when broody when she had laid 7 eggs and the other after she laid her ninth. Works like a charm
post #10 of 12
Mother Nature is the only one who can encourage a hen to go broody. Some of the "broodiest" breed hens never go broody. One of my RIR hens went broody at age 3, totally to my surprise, as RIR hatchery hens are reputed to be about the least broody of breeds, next to leghorns.

My broody hens have been Cochins, brahmas, and bantam EEs.

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

Reply

-- Linda (AKA: gryeyes)
I refuse to fight a battle of wits with an unarmed person.

Buncha Outdoor PET chickens, ducks, 5 Toulouse geese, and 7 turkeys....so far. Plus 2 wiener dogs, 2 bunnies, a rescue cat which owns me and a new kitten. Oh, yeah: and a house silkie....

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying
BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying › How to ENcourage a hen to go broody