Broody chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PrestonSloan08, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. PrestonSloan08

    PrestonSloan08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so I bought two silkie hens yesterday!! I'm so excited about them!! But I want them for brooding!!! How do they go broody? Like if I buy some eggs and put in a nest, can I just expect her to set on them!! I'm so confused!!! Also how do I build a nest?? And I was wondering, do they just got broody all the sudden or is it a thing you can make happen?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:It would be better to do it the other way around. Wait for the hen to go broody and THEN give her eggs to sit on. There are no guarantees she will sit unless her hormones are telling her to brood so putting eggs under her when she's not broody will not likely work.
    Quote:You don't. The hen will take care of that for you.
    Quote:It is not really possible to make them go broody. However with Silkies you have a very good chance of it happening on its own (or at least, with the help of the hormones that tell them its time to brood).
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:It would be better to do it the other way around. Wait for the hen to go broody and THEN give her eggs to sit on. There are no guarantees she will sit unless her hormones are telling her to brood so putting eggs under her when she's not broody will not likely work.
    Quote:You don't. The hen will take care of that for you.
    Quote:It is not really possible to make them go broody. However with Silkies you have a very good chance of it happening on its own (or at least, with the help of the hormones that tell them its time to brood).

    Agreed. I'm in the process of trying to break a broody silkie right now. Much too hot for that nonsense.
     
  4. PrestonSloan08

    PrestonSloan08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well is it too late for them to go broody? So I don't have to build a place at all for her to have? And how do I know if she is broody?
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Too late? In the South, I don't think so. I had a hen hatch in February, our coldest month.

    You don't have to provide them with anything more than a nestbox, but you do have to make sure that the hen, her eggs and any resulting chicks are safe from predators and from being disturbed by the other chickens.

    A broody hen sits on the nest all day and all night, rarely getting up to eat drink and poo. When you try to touch her or reach under her for eggs, she'll puff up, sometimes growl and is likely to bite you.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011
  6. PrestonSloan08

    PrestonSloan08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do I build a nest box? And do I need to put hay in the box?
     
  7. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    My 'nest boxes' are 5 gal buckets with the lid cut in thirds. Attach one of the outter third sections to the bucket, put in shavings, hay, leaves, whatever & you have a cheap & easily cleanable nest box!
     
  8. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    A nest box doesn't need to be elaborate. My first nest box was just an old covered cat litter box that I didn't need for the cats any more. I put a flake of hay in it and voila. I have built other boxes, but they are basically just scrap wood screwed together to make a sort of a box shape roughly 12" for each side. You can use shavings or hay or straw in the nest. Try a few different materials and see what works best for your situation since there are people who swear by one or another as "the best" nesting material. The chooks don't really seem to care as long as it is a material they can turn into a nest.
     
  9. PrestonSloan08

    PrestonSloan08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How will they know to use the box I make? Will she just know to use them? Or will I have to persuade her somehow?
     
  10. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Some people put golf balls or plastic easter eggs in the place they want them to lay to show them "this is where the eggs go". My experience though has been that because the whole point (from the chicken's point of view) is to propagate the species, they seek out a nice, safe place to lay their eggs where they won't be vulnerable to predators or the elements. To that end, an inviting nest box is likely to be the place that most meets their criteria. If they are free-ranging, they may foil you by finding a place that - to them - seems like a better choice. However if you have them in a coop/run set up, they will probably choose the nest boxes. Don't be surprised if the first few eggs don't make it to the nest box. Like a toddler learning to use the bathroom, it sometimes takes them a few tries to figure out the timing and be "in the right place at the right time".
     

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