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Another broody hen question from a another beginner lol!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by fowlweatherfriends, Mar 14, 2007.

  1. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    Hello all,

    First, let me start by saying I am very new to the chicken world. My children and I own an Old English roo and 3 hens. We originally got them for fresh eggs, but quickly decided 3 hens was NOT going to provide enough eggs for me and 5 children lol! So.... we decided to let a hen set a clutch. It is day 16 and (novices that we are) have 21 apparently fertile eggs.

    I laugh at myself-I did NOT realize that letting the hen set 21 might be a bit too much! But, Pretty, as we like to call her, has covered each and every egg successfully (candled at 7 and 14 days). My kids and I are soaking up every bit of poulty knowledge in the past month, and are learning greatly.

    I have a question about the hen staying broody after this clutch hatches for an INCOMING group of eggs. I mail ordered silkie bantam eggs and they will be here very close (within a day) of the already (hen setting) incubating eggs. What I need to know is, will she stay broody enough to be able to hatch out my silkie mail order eggs? I plan to take the newly hatched chicks and put them in a brooder, so will I be able to keep her in the broody mood for the new set of eggs? And, should I clean her nest area and put new bedding down, or will that turn her off from brooding?

    I did not want to have her set a consecutive clutch, but my other 2 hens are not getting broody yet. One of the other girls is starting to loose some chest feathers, buts shows no interest in staying on the nest yet. I am concerned I may not have a broody hen to hatch my arriving silkie eggs (and no, I do not have an electric incubator at this time).

    Any help will be much appreictaed!
     
  2. cadman68

    cadman68 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2007
    Middle TN
    This is just my experience with a broody hen. It is not likely that she will continue to set the entire time needed, you may get lucky and have her set a few more days but more than likely she will not be interested after she hatches the first eggs. I never say anything is impossible but i don't think you should plan on her hatching the silkies. Someone else may have had better luck with this but i haven't. My advice would be to look for an incubator even if it is homemade or maybe someone with a broody hen you could use.
     
  3. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Sunny South
    So would I be able to use the hen as long as possible, and then transfer the eggs possibly to an incubator? I saw (think it's on this site) of a homemade skillet incubator. That is probably my best financial option as I had no idea how much the massive amount of chicken paraphanalia would initially cost lol!
     
  4. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    I'm afraid I can't answer your question as I have never attempted to get a broody to brood longer, I just let her take care of her chicks so I didn't have to. [​IMG] But, have you looked at incubators? You should be able get a new Little Giant still air for around $35, without the turner. You just turn the eggs by hand. But you would need a decent therm/hygrometer to put in it. Perhaps you could borrow one? It's just a thought. Or maybe you know someone who has a bator that could lend it to you or hatch your eggs for you.
     
  5. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Becky,

    I don't know a single soul that has an incubator. The local feed store has a little giant, but they want almost $50 for one with no turner. The man I got the hens from is local, and I was thinking of asking if he has a broody hen to borrow-but I would feel so weird doing it! "Hey mister, thanks for the chickens you gave us before, but can we borrow a broody hen?" Lol!

    The silkies are on their way tommorow through the post office, and I don't want to murder my silkies by not having an incubator.

    PS I do like your scripture verse.
     
  6. tnokie

    tnokie Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 13, 2007
    Lots of times a hen will continue to set. Just be sure not to leave the chicks any longer than to dry off. before last egg hatches start replacing chicks with new eggs. I've had hens do this for up to three times before I finally made them quit!
     
  7. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    Sorry it's so expensive in your area....

    The only thing I would know of to try, then, would be to talk to your friend that you got your chickens from. Explain your dilemma and see if he has a bator you could borrow or a hen beginning to set that he would be willing to put your eggs under. I question the idea of borrowing a hen because I would think that just moving her to a strange place would break her broodiness.

    However, if you decide to try to use your broody, I think I would pull each chick as it hatches, just when it comes out of the shell, still wet, and stick it in the brooder. At the same time, replace it with a new egg. If she gives up, then call your friend with chickens.

    Thanks about the Scripture verse!
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2007
  8. Llysse

    Llysse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2007
    If I were you, I'd go ahead and invest in an incubator. Even if your hen does continue to set, what if she loses interest after a few days? Then all your eggs might be lost, because it takes a while to make sure your incubator is maintaining the right temperature. Also, it may not be healthy for your broody. It can pretty hard on the hen to set for that long. They don't spend as much time eating and scratching as they would normally, and some hens may even stop eating for a while.

    Maybe other people have different experiences with this...?
     
  9. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks tnokie-I thought I had read that if you take the chicks away that the hen might stay broody. That's what I think I will try to do, because getting the hen to do it naturally seems SO much easier than the bators. Although I do think that I will check with the neighbor and see if he has a incubator. His land is filled with fowl (and setting hens) and I just wasn't thinking that he would have one-but he may.

    I appreciate the helpfulness and keep the advice coming :O).

    Off to church in a bit and will check post later.
     
  10. prariechiken

    prariechiken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May be a little late for this advice to help ya now, but to help a hen get broody, feed her whole kernel corn.It builds up the heat in em and mimics the "fever" that hens get when they become broody. Also, a light on a timer to immitate spring/summer daylight gets em started.
     

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