broody bantam? when do I move, and how many LG eggs can she hatch?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 2, 2009
Newnan, GA
My son has some 6 month old partridge cochin bantams. One is exhibiting some signs of broodiness. I've been wanting one to go broody, leaving eggs in the nesting box for 2 days or more at the time. One nesting box was the only one they were laying in. Finally, I decided to move a few eggs to a different nesting box to see if I could get one to go broody, and it seems to have worked. How long will she have to sit on the eggs before I know she's broody? When should I move her to a box isolated from the others? Also, when I move her, I want to swap out the eggs (the ones she is on are probably not fertile--I want to put some fertile RIR eggs under her). How do I go about doing this, and how many RIR eggs (large fowl) should I expect her to be able to incubate and hatch?

how many eggs you put under her depends on how big a bird she is. I would not put any more under her that she can not comforably hide under otherwise they probably won't hatch. it depends on how large the eggs are as well
some birds this is 4 eggs, some is 6-8 if they are small and she is larger. I don't know that I would move her, but that's up to you, that could disturb her from setting. can you put a cage around where she is?
when she goes broody she stays on the nest and fluffs her feathers, and stops laying, I have a dutch bantam and a bantam campine I don't know the size difference between your cochin and mine... mine are tiny, now they have 4 eggs each I know I'll probably get slammed for even number of eggs, but I think you might be able to fit 5 rid under yours.
Hey guys, I was thinking of trying 5 if she can fit them underneath her. She is real "floofy". The eggs would be considered a large size. Hoppy, I can't leave her where she is/put a cage around her because she is in a nesting box that if I put wire in front of will not allow her to get to the food and water. There is not enough room in the nesting box to put food and water in there for her. My husband built 2 large brooder boxes, I think 4'x4'x4', for our kids to put their 4H poultry club chicks in until they were old enough to go outside. I was thinking of moving her tomorrow night if she is still sitting on the nest to one of those. I could give her her own food and water, and I have a mobile nesting box I could put in the brooder box that would make her feel more secure/safe. What do you think? The brooder box would go in the garage which would give her and the eggs some protection from the falling temps at night.

How long do I allow her to keep the chicks if indeed she does hatch some out? It would seem rather cruel to take them away from her right away.

She can definitely handle 5 eggs. I have a bantam Cochin sitting on 11 standard Ameraucana eggs right now, and these are large eggs. Any more and she couldn't cover them. My plan was to split the eggs between two broodies, but the second hen didn't go broody as I expected her to. She is doing a good job of incubating them, because they are on day 15 and all 11 eggs were looking good when I candled them.
Don't take them away! She can do a much better job of raising them and teaching them "chicken things" than you can. Not to mention it is so much easier with her doing all of the work!
6 months and she's already broody? You're lucky. Mine just started laying 2 weeks ago and I bought her in February.
Racuda, how do I take the eggs away from her to candle them, if we indeed get that far? Would I take them out from under her one at a time and mark each one so that I would know which ones I had candled? Would you recommend I move her to the garage (which is part of my basement)? If we happened to get another one to go broody, could she be placed in a separate nesting box inside that same 4'x4'x4' brooder box? Our other brooder box is preoccupied with chickies.

We're feeling lucky so far because we were really hoping at least one would go broody because my son has just begun a science fair project that involves comparing hatch rates between 2 homemade incubators that he is making out of styrofoam coolers (still air one and a forced air one) versus a Little Giant incubator that we bought. Now he can also include, hopefully, nature (hen hatching eggs) as being another comparison. Since you told me 11 eggs for your bantam cochin hen, we might try 6 because that would be exactly half the number of eggs that he is placing in each of the incubators. If we could get another one to go broody, we could compare 12x12x12x12 eggs.

Thanks again!
There is no need to candle. Usually she will kick out or destroy any bad ones. But if you want to, just pick her up and take the egg. Some people use leather gloves if the broody is really aggressive. I just get them used to my picking them up; I get the growl and an occasional mild peck but that's it.

I never moved my broodies, just let them hatch in with the flock. This is not as safe, granted, but I figure results in wiser and stronger chicks. Anyway, if you choose to move, it is best to do so before you place eggs for hatching, like 2 or 3 days before. This gives her time to settle into the new nest and be sure she is really going to set.

You can mark eggs with most anything. Some use pencil but I think most people use Sharpies; I do. Doesn't rub off, doesn't hurt the chicks.
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im in a predicament as i have just rought a SLW from auction and she is broody i didnt know till i got her box lol she sqwarks like mad. so i decided to throw a few shop eggs in all infertile just to see and she seems pretty good at sitting so far but i did push it put 8 in bit too much.

but now i have her in a cat box in my kitchen i have made a box for her outside with a run seperate that the catbox will fit into BUT

i thought i would transfer her at night put her in, then try to remove the cat box lid so i get more access to the eggs.

The eggs are shop infertiles should i swap for fresh layed fertiles or could i drop a few eggs under that are mid wayi have 14 days and 10 days in my incubator. if i can how many? or could i swap her for day old chicks ?

do hens smell like other animals and will know they arent hers?

give me your thoughts on how to get fertile eggs and or chicks to her?
and do i definately remove the intfertile eggs for will she do that herself will she know they are duds? 4 are caged 4 free range.

Ive had her since weds night.

She is very tollerant clucks a little when i look in but when my hand goes in she does charge up and down but isnt nasty but is very noisy and noisy for 5 mins after i leave her be lolol

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