Any Suggestions for Encouraging Broodiness?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aoxa, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    I want to hatch a few eggs.. But I don't want to hatch them in an incubator. I want to encourage broodiness, and am wondering if there are any tips for me?

    I have a lot of broody breeds:
    Silkie - x 3
    Buff Orpington - 1
    Cochin - x 3

    Yesterday I put all my golf balls in one place. I thought that would look like a clutch to Janet, my partridge cochin. She seems to like sitting on her already-laid egg for a couple of hours after she lays it. Is six golf balls too small of a clutch?

    I am keeping my fertile eggs in my sun room (around 55 - 65 degrees) until I get her to set. I've got a dozen since Monday I want to put under her.

    Any and all suggestions are very much appreciated!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I think you're on target and done all you can.
    Own broody breeds and leave a clutch in the nest.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Primarily I suggest patience. Whether or not they go broody is up to their hormones. I don't know what triggers those hormones. Some people report that when one goes broody, several follow. I've never seen that. It's always been an individual with me, never a group.

    While those have a reputation of going broody, don't be shocked if one of your other hens goes broody first or instead of them. Some of my Black Australorps went broody. My Buff Orps never did.

    I tried putting a dozen golf balls in one popular nest. None took the hint. I know several people on this forum think that helps trigger the hormones, and it may. But I can guarantee you it is not a guarantee. I have not tried it, but maybe you could try adding one golf ball a day insread of all at once. And try to make the nest a bit dark so they feel more hidden and protected. But don't get your hopes up.

    I don't save eggs ahead of time. If one goes broody, I let her prove to me she is serious by spending at least two nights on the nest. It usually takes me two or three days to gather enough eggs to incubate, so that works out. A hen is not going to get off eggs after 21 days anyway, so if you take a week to gather enough eggs before you start them, it is not a big deal.

    I don't know if you are saving specific eggs from specific hens or matings to where this would be a problem for you to gather enough. If you need to save them ahead of time hoping for a broody, I'd suggest you set up a line. Store them by date and once you get enough, start removing the older ones and replacing them with the newer. After a week or even more, they will still be good to eat and you always have fairly fresh eggs ready to go.

    Something else you could try is to show the hens photos of incubators and posters from Kentucky Fried, but I doubt that would work any better than my dozen golf balls did.
  4. aoxa

    aoxa Crowing

    That makes a lot of sense. Yes, I am only trying to save certain eggs. I will just keep bumping them out of line as you mentioned.

    Thanks for the advice guys! :)
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Yah, what Ridgerunner said, with the caveat that *I* think anybody who has successfully "encouraged" any hen to go broody has simply been lucky enough to hit one who was gearing up to go broody anyway.

    Because we have no control over it whatsoever.

    I also wait for the two-night test. Two nights spent off the roost and in the nest, coupled with the distinctive "Dont touch my eggs!" chittering, smashed flat body position and the ability to puff up into fluffy warning proves the hen is indeed broody.

  6. ScotianChick

    ScotianChick Songster

    Dec 27, 2010
    Hey you! I haven't been around for a while but I noticed that my girls seemed to be broodier the hotter it was out (which was so bad for them!) Maybe expose her to more light if you haven't got a lamp on yours.
  7. Bullitt

    Bullitt Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    Very funny. [​IMG]

    A heat lamp was suggested. Does this simulate that spring has arrived?

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