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Broody Hen Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Emslilflock, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. Emslilflock

    Emslilflock In the Brooder

    May 21, 2016
    I have a couple questions about broody hens. I have one broody right now who is sitting on a mallard egg and 10 chicken eggs.
    I made sure to set my duck eggs first and then I added the chicken eggs later so that they will all have the same hatch date.

    1) Once the chicks hatch could I put a couple more ducklings under her?
    Provided the chick makes it to hatching it will be the only duckling. I intend on getting more ducklings regardless. My thought process is that it wouldn't be good to have one lone duckling.

    2) I noticed another hen must have laid in the box. Will a broody still sit eggs that have staggered hatch dates? (I know this is by no means ideal.)

    3) Will a broody hatch multiple clutches a year?

  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    1 - it may or may not work, some hens are more inclined to accept "fosters" than others
    2 - no - once the chicks start to hatch a broody will stay on the nest for a day or two waiting for stragglers (it varies by hen just how long they wait) and then abandon any unhatched eggs because she has to go care for the already hatched babies. It is best to mark the eggs you have started her with and then check the nest daily to remove any "donated" eggs that aren't marked. Also, the more eggs that get added the more chance there is she will not be able to sufficiently cover all the eggs and not only do you have the staggered hatch possibility you also have the risk of the original, viable eggs, being pushed out of prime incubation spots and being lost.
    3 - depends on the hen, some seem to be perpetually broody, others are happy to set once and may not set gain that year or the next
  3. Paganrose

    Paganrose Songster

    May 23, 2010
    Albany,, Wisconsin
    Most of the broodies I had in the past would go broody once a year, except my one GLW -Spurs- she would always broody twice a year. I found that if I snuck in a couple chicks that were the same age (within a day or two) of the hatched chicks at night within the first 2 nights of the hatch my broody mamas accepted them- after that it was hit or miss depending on the bird, Spurs would take them up to a 5 days after hatch.
  4. elenas farm

    elenas farm In the Brooder

    Feb 28, 2017
    Thomasville, NC, 27360
    Very little chances for you duck egg to hatch. The duck egg needs more humidity and less heat than a chicken egg.
  5. Emslilflock

    Emslilflock In the Brooder

    May 21, 2016
    Thank you all for the replies!

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