broody hen questions, advice??

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cartersmith, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. cartersmith

    cartersmith In the Brooder

    Feb 13, 2011
    so just want bit advice about broodys, my hen went broody couple weeks ago now so i seperated her from rest of my hens and put 6 eggs under her, after about a week she ate one!!!! i have no idea why. but anyway she has since looked after the remaining 5 i candled today but are just very dark im hoping soming in as they are due to hatch in 4days time. if they do hatch when can i put mommy hen and chicks with the rest of my hens? also do i have to supply chick starter for the chicks or do they eat moms food, any advice anyone has be great thanks

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Not sure how you know she ate one. it is possible that something else ate it. I had a snake take all eggs out from under a broody hen. At night a rat could get one. Or maybe one broke accidentally and she did eat it. A lot of hens will eat a broken egg but not crack it themselves.

    If they are due to hatch in 4 days, about all you will see is a dark mass and the air sac. If that is what you saw, it looks very promising.

    Hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. You can either stay out of it completely and let Mama handle it, ir you can get involved. To a certain extent, the more you get involved, the more likely you are to harm a chick. I do get involved a bit, but I try to keep it to not much.

    Many people just let the hen take them off the nest and take car of them with the flock from Day 1. Once Mama brings them oiff the nest, I put them in an enclosure for a day or two. I've got the enclosure so it is not a problem for me. I do this so the chicks can learn to eat and drink without any interference from the older hens. I find that if I put chick feed in a container at ground level where the chicks can get to it, my adult chickens consider that a special treat and eat it up first. I know I am babying them, but I feel better if they learn to eat before they are in a competition. After one or two days in isolation in my 4' x 8' enclosure, I let them out with the flock. I put water at ground level where they can get to it. I put feed in one of those long red feeders under this thing. The chicks can enter from the ends and the hens cannot get to the feed.

    When I have young chicks in the flock, the entire flock eats chick Starter or Grower. I put out oyster shell on the side so the laying hens can get calcium if they need it. That way the chicks do not get the Layer feed with the extra calcium which can harm them.

    Good luck!
  3. cartersmith

    cartersmith In the Brooder

    Feb 13, 2011
    Quote:thanks for the advice,
    im pretty sure she ate it as she is nesting in a large bast tray from a rabbit cage thats place in the enclosure nothing can get in the enclouse and we dont have snakes where we live also the egg was found out of the tray and looked like the hole had been pecked and inside eaten.

    on the remaing eggs yes all i can see is airsack and dark mass so fingers crossed x
  4. FeatheredObsessions

    FeatheredObsessions Songster

    May 24, 2010
    Sounds like good eggs to me [​IMG] Good Luck!

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