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Broody Hen and adding eggs ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mraya, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Mraya

    Mraya Songster

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    My BO hen is a year old this month I have noticed she has been staying on her nest longer and longer each day. On Apr 13 she spent all day in her nest which is outside in the run. (a covered upside down crate) She has been in there day and night and we had a storm on Sunday night so I left the pop door open to the coop so she could go in if she needed to. Monday morn she was still sitting on the nest. I set a batch of eggs in my incubator on Apr 13 would it be possible for me to take some of the egg from the incubator and put them under her for her to hatch or should I wait a little longer to see if she stays broody.
     
  2. Altfrizzle

    Altfrizzle Songster

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    Hahaha! Mine go broody every time I set eggs. It's really funny.

    I'd give her some eggs. If she's been there night and day, you should be good. I'd put the egg in front of her and watch her tuck it under, repeat as necessary. Keep an eye out just in case, since she's a first timer.
     
  3. Mraya

    Mraya Songster

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    Should I put my hand under her to see if she has any eggs, Friday was the last day I collected from he and the egg was outside the box?
     
  4. Altfrizzle

    Altfrizzle Songster

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    Yeah, I would. However, if she's been sitting on any for 4 days they will be developing. Depending on your broody, she will probably abandon the last eggs ton care for chicks when they are 2-3 days old so you might need to rescue those.
     
    Mraya likes this.
  5. Mraya

    Mraya Songster

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    Thank you for your response I will keep that in mind.:D
     
  6. Mraya

    Mraya Songster

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    Can I take some out of my incubator and put them under her?
    Edit: Then they would be the same age
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

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    My test to see if a hen is broody enough to trust her with eggs is that she spends two consecutive nights on the nest instead of roosting in her normal spot. One night is not enough, it has to be two consecutive nights. Someday that may fail me but it's worked so far.

    You absolutely can take some eggs from the incubator and place them under a broody. How many eggs do you have in the incubator? I've given one hen as many as 16 chicks the same age withing a couple of days, some she hatched and some from an incubator. I gave another hen 15 chicks.

    You have two basic ways if handling a broody hen, isolate her from the flock or let her hatch with the flock. If you isolate her, lock her up so no other chicken can get to her nest and she cannot rejoin the flock. That can be anywhere but it needs to be predator proof. A lot of people fence off a section of the coop or fix something in the run. You need a nest and room for feed and water. Keep her isolated in there until she hatches.

    If you let her hatch with the flock, clearly mark which eggs you are giving her. I use a black sharpie and make two circles, one the long way and one the short so I can see at a glance which eggs belong. Then after all the other hens have laid for the day check each day and remove any eggs that do not belong. The way I do that is to reach under her and raise her up so I can see. Some people physically toss them off the nest. They normally hunch down on the floor for a while and then may go back to the nest or they may go eat, drink, and poop before they return to the nest. if she is truly broody tossing then off the nest will not cause them to break from being broody if they have been setting a few days.

    It is important to check daily for new eggs. Other hens might lay in her nest. Some broody hens will raid other nests and carry eggs back to their nests. It is important that all her eggs start at the same time. Otherwise you get what we call a staggered hatch that is extremely stressful to you and often does not end all that well. Since you don't know if she has any eggs now or how long they have been there you need to start her over, either with fresh eggs or some form the incubator.
     
    corlissO, aart and Mraya like this.
  8. Mraya

    Mraya Songster

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    She has been sitting since Friday 13 I took an egg from her then, she had kicked it out of the nest. Her nesting spot is a upside down plastic crate in the run with an entrance hole cut in it that I used last year when I was adding new chicks to my flock. The younger smaller chicks could hide in there if need be. She took a liking to it and always lays her eggs there. How she gets in and out is beyond me but she does. She is the only one that uses it. I have not seen her move since Thursday (which has me worried a little) but when I peek in and pet her she just growls at me. I will try to take her off the nest to see if she will go back.
    I put set my eggs on Friday 13 so any eggs she has should be the same age.
     
  9. Mraya

    Mraya Songster

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    I set 18 eggs in the bator.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

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    It sounds like a good plan.

    A broody hen usually leaves the nest once or twice a day to eat, drink, and poop. They really love dust baths too. I've had a broody leave her nest for about 15 minutes once a day in cold weather. I've had broody hens leave their nest twice a day ans stay off for more than an hour each time in hot weather. A lot of the time I never see the broody off the nest. They do try to keep things hidden.

    Before a hen goes broody she stores up some excess fat. That's basically what she lives on while broody. She will lose some weight but it is weight put there for that purpose. It helps her to eat and drink some but her need to eat and even drink is greatly reduced because of that fat.

    It will be interesting to see how many total chicks hatch. A lot of the time when I have a broody I set some additional eggs in the incubator to hatch at the same time and give them all to the hen to raise. There are different techniques for that but I usually put the incubator chicks under her after dark and she wakes up to a big family.

    Good luck with it.
     
    Mraya likes this.

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