Broody explosion

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
693
804
206
St Louis, Missouri
Apparently last year's chicks are all broody breeds. I was excited when the first became broody because I was happy I would have to.buy an incubator if I wanted to hatch eggs. But now, I feel like all I do is break broodies. One goes broody and it's like it triggers the motherly instinct of others.

Right now I have 19 adult birds, with one mama still caring for her five 4-week-old chicks, one sitting on eggs I'm hatching for a friend, and three more.that need to be broken. I have two wire breakers. Can I put more.than one broody in there together, or will the hormones make them want to.kill each other? Also, once all the broodies are broken.or finished brooding, will this stop catching at such a rapid pace? I have broken six already. I have one repeat offender.

Oh, and one mor question...regarding the hen that's ditching on eggs...once they hatch, the babies are going to my friend to raise. What about the mama? Is she going to snap out of it after the babies are gone? Should I keep one or two for her to raise, or will she be alright? I'm afraid she's going to.mourn their loss.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
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Jul 16, 2015
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I have constant broodies here too. I just keep tossing them in the pen, and releasing them 3-5 days later. The sooner they go in, the sooner they break.

Some hens get along and others will fight. I generally only see problems when a more dominant hen is in the pen.

If you are pulling the chicks when they hatch the hen will remain setting generally. If you let her raise them for a bit she won't be broody, but may get distressed when the chicks are removed. It's always best to leave them one or two if they are good moms, and if you can accommodate more. Otherwise you may need to break the hen.
 

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
693
804
206
St Louis, Missouri
Some hens get along and others will fight. I generally only see problems when a more dominant hen is in the pen.
That's good to hear. I was afraid to try it, but I have more broody hens than I do jails for them. I'll try it, although my sebright well have to be alone in one. She is a monster of a broody.
If you let her raise them for a bit she won't be broody, but may get distressed when the chicks are removed. It's always best to leave them one or two if they are good moms, and if you can accommodate more
I don't want her to be distressed, so I think I will leave her a chick to raise. She won't miss the others? I plan to take them on the second day.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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I don't want her to be distressed, so I think I will leave her a chick to raise. She won't miss the others? I plan to take them on the second day.
Might want to leave two, so when she weans them they will have a buddy....
...unless you have other chicks they could bond with.
 

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
693
804
206
St Louis, Missouri
unless you have other chicks they could bond with.
Probably will do this. I also have some four-week-old chicks that will be almost 7 weeks when the newbies hatch. Do you think they will bond? I expect their mama will be weaning them around that time.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Probably will do this. I also have some four-week-old chicks that will be almost 7 weeks when the newbies hatch. Do you think they will bond? I expect their mama will be weaning them around that time.
They might.
Had a broody hatch 3 dinners and 1 Sister. When I slaughtered the Dinners at about 14 weeks, Sis was kind of lonely. Luckily I had younger bator chicks, about 6 weeks younger, that had already been integrated into the flock, Sis ended up hanging out with them after a week or so.
 

Matzwd

Songster
Apr 9, 2018
693
804
206
St Louis, Missouri
They might.
Had a broody hatch 3 dinners and 1 Sister. When I slaughtered the Dinners at about 14 weeks, Sis was kind of lonely. Luckily I had younger bator chicks, about 6 weeks younger, that had already been integrated into the flock, Sis ended up hanging out with them after a week or so.
I'll leave two with her, but I'm interested to see how it goes.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
That's good to hear. I was afraid to try it, but I have more broody hens than I do jails for them. I'll try it, although my sebright well have to be alone in one. She is a monster of a broody.

I don't want her to be distressed, so I think I will leave her a chick to raise. She won't miss the others? I plan to take them on the second day.
She probably won't miss them as long as some are still there, but only the hen knows for sure.
 

JacinLarkwell

Free Ranging
Mar 19, 2020
11,354
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South-Eastern Montana
Usually they'll throw a fuss at first when they realize they're missing them, but then their focus should go to the remaining ones. They may just assume that a predator got the missing chicks. It's how my Pheonix flock acts when they do actually lose chicks
 

MANNA-PRO

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