brooding hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mtocih, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. mtocih

    mtocih Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 15, 2013
    I finally have a broody hen. We kept moving the eggs because I wasn't sure about letting her hatch some out. But today after days of sitting I decided to let her sit on 9 eggs. I took a sharpie and marked them...and let everyone free range. Well 2 hours later she still was not back on the eggs. I have done this one other time. But marked eggs with a pencil.. I marked with sharpie today because we are going on vacation and I wanted the animal sitter to be able to decipher the difference easier.

    So do you think the eggs are OK? I did not check on her this evening. Son locked them up for me and I forgot to mention it to him (as we had a surprise for other son and I was distracted. Lol) any thoughts or advice? I don't have an incubator.. and won't soon.. but need some younger chicks in the crowd. :)
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It sounds like she is not broody. They should stay on the nest 24/7 except for a short period once a day to eat, drink, etc., usually only 10 to 20 minutes or so.

    I have hatched some chicks using the Sharpie method, but the hen will probably return to the wrong nest, she may steal other eggs, others may lay theirs on her nest (even if she is in it, which can lead to broken eggs from scuffling with each other,) etc. I now separate a broody while she is setting, then let the mama raise the chicks in with the flock, and feed everyone chick starter.
  3. mtocih

    mtocih Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 15, 2013
    This was the first time in days she did not rush back to the nest. :(
  4. gimmie birdies

    gimmie birdies Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 12, 2013
    Eastern WA
    they are probably okay. sometimes they take a break, they have to eat, drink, sometimes another hen will take over for a bit as they lay an egg. the hen enjoys her freedom then has an "oh, Yah MY eggs!!" moment.

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