Broody hen help, please

kana9

Songster
6 Years
Apr 11, 2015
47
61
112
I have no experience with this and would appreciate any help. One of the chicks we got this year turned out to be a cockerel. He is now five months old. We have never had a rooster before, and now that he is here, four out of my 20 hens have become broody. I have a couple of questions.
1) How can I candle olive egger eggs? I bought a Titan egg candler, but I cannot see anything with it through the F1 Eater eggers' egg shells, which are thicker than average.
2) Now that there are 4 broody hens sitting in 4 out of 6 of my nesting boxes, the other hens need more laying space. They all prefer the upper four nests, and will most often not use the lower 2. My question is, should I move the broodies with their eggs to a separate part of the coop that has its own run. It is my grow out pen that is adjacent to the main coop where they are now, separated by a chicken wire and frame wall. If so, are there suggestions for easy/quick nesting boxes that I can buy, preferably plastic. Will this disrupt the hens, or will they adjust as long as their eggs are there? And if I should move them, can I just set the new nesting boxes on the floor in case we have live chicks?

Thank you! I have always bought day old chicks and am a newbie with fertile eggs and broody hens.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
33,189
269,939
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
I have no experience with this and would appreciate any help. One of the chicks we got this year turned out to be a cockerel. He is now five months old. We have never had a rooster before, and now that he is here, four out of my 20 hens have become broody. I have a couple of questions.
1) How can I candle olive egger eggs? I bought a Titan egg candler, but I cannot see anything with it through the F1 Eater eggers' egg shells, which are thicker than average.
2) Now that there are 4 broody hens sitting in 4 out of 6 of my nesting boxes, the other hens need more laying space. They all prefer the upper four nests, and will most often not use the lower 2. My question is, should I move the broodies with their eggs to a separate part of the coop that has its own run. It is my grow out pen that is adjacent to the main coop where they are now, separated by a chicken wire and frame wall. If so, are there suggestions for easy/quick nesting boxes that I can buy, preferably plastic. Will this disrupt the hens, or will they adjust as long as their eggs are there? And if I should move them, can I just set the new nesting boxes on the floor in case we have live chicks?

Thank you! I have always bought day old chicks and am a newbie with fertile eggs and broody hens.
How many eggs are your broodies sitting on?
Do you have enough roost space and room in your coop and run for all the chicks that are going to hatch? And what will you do with the cockerels from the hatch?
How long have they been sitting?
If you intend to let them finish out what they've started, yes, you should move them to a secure area on the ground away from the rest of the flock so they can sit and hatch in peace. However, they should still be allowed to come and go from their nests to eat, drink, poop and dust bathe. They don't need to be isolated from the flock.
I would put a divider between their nests so they can't steal each others eggs.

I allowed my broody hen 4 eggs and three hatched. I never bothered to candle them. I know all the eggs I gave her were fertile as I check my eggs from each hen for fertility when I cook them.
My broody had the chicks up on the roost when they were 2 weeks old. That is something you will want to keep in mind. Chicks get integrated into the flock very quickly when a broody hen raises them.
You might also want to convert the entire flock over to Flock Raiser or something like that with oyster shell on the side for the active layers. That will make feeding this mixed flock much easier when the chicks hatch.
 

SueT

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
May 27, 2015
9,872
31,388
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SW MO
Are you sure that your eggs are fertile? A cockerel 5 months is pretty young, and are the adult hens actually allowing him to mate? My older hens want nothing to do with young cockerels. Even if so, it may take a few months to achieve consistent fertility in eggs.
 

ava april rouge

In the Brooder
Sep 1, 2019
10
3
11
Are you sure that your eggs are fertile? A cockerel 5 months is pretty young, and are the adult hens actually allowing him to mate? My older hens want nothing to do with young cockerels. Even if so, it may take a few months to achieve consistent fertility in eggs.
5 month cockerel can fertilise the egg
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
Are you sure that your eggs are fertile? A cockerel 5 months is pretty young, and are the adult hens actually allowing him to mate? My older hens want nothing to do with young cockerels. Even if so, it may take a few months to achieve consistent fertility in eggs.
I have a 4 month old cockerel and 2 hens same age and by day 2 of laying fertilized eggs and even though small eggs actually have a chick out of them by 5 months old
 

MANNA-PRO

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