Broody hen question...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MontanaDolphin, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 9 chickens...1 BR rooster, 2 BR pullets, and 6 BR cross pullets (commercial blacks). I want at least one of my girls to hatch some eggs.

    Unfortunately, none of my girls are showing any signs of being broody. I want some babies, but do NOT want to go through the process of brooding in the house again. The dust was horrible, and my youngest son has allergies, so it's not good for him to be breathing in all the dust. I don't have another place to brood...I don't have a garage or basement, so my choices are: brood in the house or let mama hen brood.

    Is there anything I can do to entice one of my girls to become broody? Should I sacrifice some eggs by allowing them to pile up in one of the nesting boxes in the hopes one of the girls will sit on them? What about if I hatch my own chicks...can I stick them under a non-broody hen...will she adopt them if she's not broody?

    I'm sure these are all silly questions, but I'm a first time chicken owner, so I won't know unless I ask, right??

    Thanks!
     
  2. Hanna8

    Hanna8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There's definitely no harm in asking! We were all newbies sometime!

    I'm afraid there isn't really anything you can do. A hen will become broody when nature tells her to (which always seem to be when you least want a broody hen! [​IMG]) Your birds probably won't start getting broody until they're a bit older.

    Definitely don't put chicks out there. A hen will not accept them as her own and there is an extremely high probability that they will be pecked and injured. Chicks only do well in flocks when they have a momma hen to protect them from the others.

    There is an alternative, however. Many people will partition an area of the coop and raise the chicks in there. That way, the other birds can't get to them but the chicks are still out of the house. Even better, introductions to the flock go much more smoothly since they've been around each other and have gotten used to each other. Could you make that work?
     
  3. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think that is an option for two reasons: First, there is no electricity out in the coop, so no way for me to plug in a heat lamp unless I run an extension cord, which I will not do (safety reasons). Second, there isn't any room in the coop to partition an area for babies...the coop is JUST big enough for the chickens I have.
     
  4. Hanna8

    Hanna8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm. You may have to start the chicks off indoors then. Maybe declare a bathroom 'The Chicken Bathroom'? Would it be possible for you to partition the run of your coop and construct a temporary shelter for them inside that? That way they could be moved outside as soon as they're old enough to manage outdoors without a heat lamp.
     
  5. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope, bathroom not an option. I might be able to build something come spring for them to be safe outside when they are old enough...but that still doesn't help with the brooding part. Sigh.

    So I guess leaving a pile of eggs in there won't help trigger broodiness then?
     
  6. Hanna8

    Hanna8 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh well. I had a feeling it wouldn't be, I've just been brainstorming and tossing out any ideas I can come up with. This one's a bit of a stretch, but do you know anybody near you who raises chickens? Somebody may have extra space in their incubator and brooder and be willing to start your chicks off. You might want to ask in your state or area's thread about that. Lots of downsides to that idea as well, but it doesn't seem like any solution will be completely ideal in this case...

    Nope. It's all hormonal. They will go broody when they're good and ready to and nothing you can do will change that. They will just lay right on top of the eggs and then go about their business as usual.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sooo...sounds like you need another coop to get more chickens anyway....maybe wait until spring and build another coop....so you CAN have more chickens.
     
  8. MontanaDolphin

    MontanaDolphin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I would, if I planned on keeping all the chickens. I do not. I plan on eating some.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Well then, butcher some, and then partition the coop to integrate the replacements?
     

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