Broody Chicken - First Time

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mnwickens, Jun 23, 2011.

  1. mnwickens

    mnwickens Hatching

    Feb 8, 2011
    Recently I hatched several eggs using a home made incubator. They are about 8 weeks now and doing well it seems.

    However, at the weekend I noticed Honey, our Buff Orpington, had been in the nesting box for about 24 hours or more and figured she had gone broody. On a whim I bought 12 eggs from a chicken farm nearby, 6 Leghorns and 6 Faverolle. I just had a few questions and wondered if any one could help. Some may seem obvious, but I want to make sure. [​IMG]

    1. Does the appetite of a broody hen go down drastically? I have separated Honey from the other chickens and she has her own supply of food and water. However, she hardly seems to touch it.

    2. When the chicks hatch I presume the mother will provide the food for them? Will I need to give them chick crumbs. I know they don't have chick crumbs in the wild. [​IMG] So I figure they'll be okay.

    3. Does a broody hen go out of the nesting box much? The place I have for her doesn't have a WIR yet and so she has limited space. Will that be a problem? If I add a WIR will she use it?

    4. Anything else you think I should watch out for or know about would be appreciated. I hadn't planned on using a broody hen so I am much less prepared than I would like to be. [​IMG]


  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    I just want to first say [​IMG]

    I hope you get all your questions answered [​IMG] I have not had a broody hen before but I understand they will only get off the nest briefly to eat, drink and poop. Apparently, broody poops are legendary for being gross.

    What is a WIR?
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    When one of my hens went broody (1st & only, so far), she had already separated herself from the rest & made a nest in my shed. I put food & water within easy reach, but she didnt eat much. I only saw her off the eggs ONE time, but that doesn't mean she wasn't off them when I wasn't around. It was so awesome, having a broody hen, that I don't think I'll ever incubate!

    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  4. mnwickens

    mnwickens Hatching

    Feb 8, 2011
    Thank you for the replies. [​IMG]

    WIR is a Walk In Run. Its an abbreviation I have seen in some British forums. I guess its a British use.

    The water and food in her private coop was knocked over some time today so I guess she got up at least once. [​IMG]

    My home-made incubator is useful, but from what I have learned in the last few months I think the hens I have might go broody quite often, so, I am thinking this will be the easier way. We shall see...

    Thanks again.

  5. Memphisjourney2seramas

    Memphisjourney2seramas Songster

    May 19, 2011
    It has become an epidmic at my house I haven't had a broody hen in a while and know I have 5 here that have gone broody all at once! The hen will get up when see needs to. I usually put out a small water dish out for the chick, shallow enough so they cant drown and a small dish with crumble. I also leave my incubator set up just incase in problems and need to use it in a pinch. I had one hen do broody and then another joined her two weeks later. When the 1st hens eggs hatched the 2nd said that she was done too and I lost 4 serama eggs that had all signs of life. I didnt have an incubator at the time, but now I do!!

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