Another Broody ?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by harris farm, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. harris farm

    harris farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2010
    I told a guy at work i was incubating some eggs and his response was " why waste your time just let your hens do it " i said none were broody he said "just put the hen in a small cage with some hay and some eggs and she has no choice but set on the eggs. My ? is, would this make the hen go broody? i wouldn't try this, i think its mean.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I've never tried it so I won't say that it won't work. I don't think it would work, but I haven't tried it. Somebody on here claims they can always make a hen go broody by locking them for two days and three nights in a small pitchblack box with no food or water. That just sounds too brutal for me to try it, especially in hot weather. I noticed their hens were a breed that is known for going broody anyway. Some hens have had the broody bred out of them. In certain operations, hatcheries and commercial egg laying operations, the hen's job is to lay eggs, not hatch them. They have incubators for that. A broody hen requires extra manpower to handle her, is still eating food and not producing anything, and she can disturb the other laying hens. To them a broody hen wastes profit. If they make going broody a fatal condition, in a few generations you have hens that don't have a lot of broody left in them.

    Something I have done that worked for me the only time I tried it. I have had a few hens that would sort of act broody. Fluff up, make that clucking broody sound, sit on the nest quite a bit, but never commit to two consecutive nights on the nest. I locked one of these in an area that had a fairly dark nest with food and water available in a smalll area to the side. There was enough light for her to see and sufficient ventilation. I left her in there two nights and one day, then opened the door. She stayed and currently has a brood of one month old chicks. I think locking her up like that kicked her over the edge, but she was thinking about going broody anyway. The hormones were already acting up. I don't think this would work unless the hormones were already leaning that way. I also don't think it would work with a hen that has had the broody bred out of her.

    I like having a broody hatch eggs and raise the chicks, but I think an incubator and brooder is the only sure way of getting more chickens when you want them.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    No, not really. But I could see why he would think that if, for example, he had been exposed to a flock with a lot of broody hens in it. I personally have a lot of broody hens and it does seem like they are constantly broody. Unless I desperately want to hatch some eggs.... At that point I'm pretty much out of luck! [​IMG]

    I also have hens who aren't broody. Never have been, never will be. I could keep them in a cage with eggs forever and a day, and they would not sit on them. I'm with you, that would be cruel.

    Now, back to the broody hens. When I see that one of my broodies is starting to get in the mood, sitting on the nest day and night, puffing up and screeching at me, puck-puck-pucking around when they do come out to eat and drink, well, I do put them in a little broody house with eggs(golf balls), food and water. When they get used to it and accept it as their nest, I give them fertile eggs. And it is so easy from that point on. They take care of everything. But you have to have a hen who is naturally broody, and she has to be having a hormone flare up, or it just won't work. A lot of today's hens have had the broodiness bred out of them. A broody hen is a relatively unproductive hen, from an egglaying standpoint. So most hens that are bred for production won't be broody.

    Edited to add: Ridgerunner, we were typing at the same time!
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
  4. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    I agree with the other posts.

    Broodiness relates to hormonal change, so stuffing them in a small cage with/without eggs is not likely to work unless they were already that way inclined.

    I rely largely on broody hens for hatching at the moment as I have a couple of big Brahma hens who are always either broody or with chicks. they hatch 3-4 hatches a year, giving me lots of chicks. Before this Broodyfest I used an incubator and always keep it ready should I need it.


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