Broody hen question.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jermoatc, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am fairly new to raising chickens. I have 8 hens and I have my first broody . Do I need to break her? If I dont break her, how long will she stay broody?
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I happen to think breaking a broody is cruel and unusual punishment.

    Can you not give her some fertile eggs to hatch? That would be most natural......
     
  3. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I dont have room for more chickens but I suppose I could and then sell them.
     
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Well, I don`t think breaking a broody is cruel, but I do preffer to let them run their course, usually a month, give or take, but exceptions are not uncommon. Some hens turn around in a couple weeks, but I`ve had some that set longer than 3 months on nothing but straw..........Pop
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What I do is gently lift them off the nest and shoo them out the coop door, sometimes several times a day. When I go to close up the coop at night, I'll take the hen out of the nestbox and put her up on the roost. I also try to collect eggs frequently so they have nothing to sit on. Most of them give up after a few days, but Billina, our head hen, is stubborn. She's been broody for the full 3 week incubation period twice already this spring. I keep an eye on her weight and just let her do what makes her happy.
     
  6. jermoatc

    jermoatc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lake Crystal, MN
    Thanks all for the input. I love this forum. Yall are so helpful. If I were to get her some eggs to hatch, how many is a good number clutch?
     
  7. wsmoak

    wsmoak Chillin' With My Peeps

    My Barred Rock hen is sitting on ten, and that seems to be a good number. I'd say 8-10.

    (She started with 15 because I had a couple of eggs from my other hens and then went to buy a half-dozen and came home with a full dozen -- the seller threw in extras for free to make sure I'd get a good hatch. But 15 was too many and she lost a few out the front of the nest while rearranging them.)

    -Wendy
     
  8. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a coop with 21 Buff Orpington/Barred Rock crosses. Buff Orpingtons are famous for being broodies. As they each go broody, I give them some eggs to hatch. They don't need to be chicken eggs by the way. Mine have hatched out turkey eggs, Guinea eggs, and duck eggs, in addition to chicken eggs. I hope to try goose eggs some day, LOL. But anyway, they set on the nest until the eggs hatch, at which point I take the babies away to raise myself or sell. My hens still insist to sit on their empty nests, so I take them and put them in a dog crate that I keep in the coop for that purpose. I give them a tray of food and water, and lock them in there. It varies by hen, and how long she's been broody, but 3-5 days generally does it. Locking them in this crate is the only "cure" I've found that works.
     
  9. Cowgirl71

    Cowgirl71 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:For standard size hens I do about 12 chicken eggs, 8 turkey eggs, 8 duck eggs, or 16 Guinea eggs.

    The numbers can vary a little bit by how big or small the hens are. Just try putting a couple more eggs than you think the hen can handle under her, and in the next 24 hours keep on removing any eggs that peek out from under her. Feel all around her to make sure eggs aren't peeking out the back.
     
  10. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:For standard size hens I do about 12 chicken eggs, 8 turkey eggs, 8 duck eggs, or 16 Guinea eggs.

    The numbers can vary a little bit by how big or small the hens are. Just try putting a couple more eggs than you think the hen can handle under her, and in the next 24 hours keep on removing any eggs that peek out from under her. Feel all around her to make sure eggs aren't peeking out the back.

    Good system, but don`t get greedy. If eggs aren`t comfortably covered, they can be rotated out in the cold during normal turning. Eventually a goodly number will get cold, causing a poor hatch...........Pop
     

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