Broody hen? If yes how do i not mess this up? I dont want her to stop.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LittleMoon, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. LittleMoon

    LittleMoon Out Of The Brooder

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    She sat in a nest last night, then in a new nest today. I moved eggs from other nest and now she is just sticking with one. She came out when i fed them, ran around frantic to eat, pooped a big brown piece :hmm then went back inside moments later.

    I'm outside now and she is still in there, everyone else is out and pecking. She's been at it all day, I'm feeling pretty hopeful! :D

    Please say she will keep it up? I'm not sure if she's just 'trying it out' or what. Any ideas?
     
  2. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a couple that are frequently broody (although I don't want them to be [​IMG] ). I usually can tell if they are going into the broody state when they stay in the nest box at night instead of going up to the roost. That seems to be a sure sign that I have to put them in the broody buster cage.
     
  3. chookhead

    chookhead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    she sounds like she is broody but you shouldnt visit her much or alot or at all because she will feel less secure on her nest just leave her to her own devices but u must monitor her from afar if she poops eats drinks etc etc
     
  4. LittleMoon

    LittleMoon Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm happy to report I think she is still at it. Problem is, eggs need to be turned etc right? Well she has a lot of eggs under her, little ones and large ones. should i remove a few so they get proper turnage? Thanks.
     
  5. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hen will turn the eggs :)
     
  6. LittleMoon

    LittleMoon Out Of The Brooder

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    So it's not just her moving around? She actually moves them a lot more than that on her own?
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Exciting, isn’t it? You are dealing with living animals so problems can happen, but hens have been hatching eggs with the flock for thousands of years, so you have a pretty good chance of things working out. Not all hens that act broody really are. I’ve had a few that could fool you if you give them a chance. My test is that they have to spend two consecutive nights on the nest instead of roosting before I give them eggs. It sounds like you are beyond that point since she already has eggs.

    The hen will basically do all the work. She will turn them and keep them the right temperature. Other than what I mention below, the less you interfere, the better.

    Some people isolate broodies and some don’t. There are benefits and risks each way. You can do it either way. The biggest risk if you move one to isolate her is that you might break her from being broody. There are some things that can go wrong if you don’t isolate her, but hens have been hatching chicks with the flock for thousands of years and they are not extinct yet.

    First, I suggest you mark all the eggs you want her to hatch. I use a Sharpie and just make a circle around the egg. It is possible the other hens will lay in her nest or she may actually steal other eggs to move under her. It does not happen a lot, but some of them can actually move eggs from nest to nest, even if they are mounted on a wall. You need to check under her once a day and remove any eggs that don’t belong.

    Two different bad things can happen if you don’t remove the new eggs. They take about 21 days to hatch. If you start new eggs part-way through the hatch, she will abandon the nest when the first chicks hatch. The unhatched eggs will die. That can be rough on you emotionally.

    The other possible bad thing is that if she gets so many eggs under her that she cannot cover them all, some will get pushed out, cool off, and die. Then when she turns the eggs, these dead eggs get back under her and others are pushed out to die. If a hen gets more eggs than she can cover, you often don’t get a good hatch because of this.

    Something that can go wrong is that another hen may get on her nest to lay an egg when the broody is out for her daily constitutional. Some broodies get confused and go back to the wrong nest when this happens. It’s been really rare for me, but I have seen this happen. Sounds like you may have seen something like this. I just put her back on the right nest when I see this happen.

    It is an exciting time and it can be nerve-wracking. Things can go wrong, but in the vast majority of cases, things work out well. The hen will do the work and you will love to see her raising them.

    Good luck!!!
     
  8. LittleMoon

    LittleMoon Out Of The Brooder

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    I think because I'm 3 days in, I'll remove some eggs, it looks too crowded, what do you think? :) I think she has over 10 on the nest.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Not all hens are the same size. Not all eggs are the same size. It's really hard to give good numbers over the internet. Some bantams can only cover about 4 full sized eggs. I've seen a broody cover 18 eggs. I've had a broody raise 15 chicks.

    I generally give a full sized hen 12 eggs of the size she usually lays. She could cover more, but I don't like to push it too hard. But I can't give you a number for yours. I don't know their sizes.
     
  10. LittleMoon

    LittleMoon Out Of The Brooder

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    She's a small australorp. She poofs up to cover the whole nest and eggs tho.
     

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