Advice needed on broody hen with hatching eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hanetreetjie, Sep 2, 2014.

  1. Hanetreetjie

    Hanetreetjie Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2014
    South Africa
    We have 2 broody hens at the moment. As first time chicken keepers we are not 100% sure on what is normal.

    Some of the eggs have started hatching under the one girl today, but she hasn't been off the nest since yesterday to eat and drink.
    She is quite stubborn and we needed to physically remove her once a day to eat and drink. When we left her she wouldn't get off the nest to drink etc.
    We are worried about her dehydrating as it is very hot at the moment. Do the hens get off the nests to eat and drink during the hatching period? We have read that they will only bring the chicks out after about 3 days, but will she be ok if she doesn't leave the nest to eat or at least drink water? [​IMG]

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated [​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,907
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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Leave her be. She'll get off the nest when she is finished hatching and ready to introduce her chicks to the world.
    Mother Nature designed chickens with the ability to sit and go long periods without eating, drinking or pooping. If there is space available to use without getting too awful close to her nest, you can add a small dish of food (crumbles, so the babies don't choke) and a chick waterer. The chick waterer should be a true chick waterer and not something so deep that a newly hatched chick could fall in and drown - mama won't be able to help it.

    I love my broody hens, they are like gold to me. All I have to do is provide them with a safe nest space with plenty of room, a source of food and water close by and they do the rest. Got a hen raising six babies for me right now. Heaven help the chicken or other pest that bothers one of her chicks...she has already stomped a few of my too curious birds into the ground for daring to look.

    Just a little FYI - I live in the South, our soil is overrun with cocci. Years ago I learned to feed medicated starter to chicks that are raised by me (in a brooder), but I don't feed the medicated to chicks being raised by a broody in the flock. They get the same immunity they would get from medicated feed from their mother and the other adult birds in the flock.

    Good luck and congrats!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Hanetreetjie

    Hanetreetjie Out Of The Brooder

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    May 25, 2014
    South Africa
    Thanks for the helpful reply [​IMG]
     

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