Broody Hen Questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Eilsel, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Eilsel

    Eilsel Songster

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    Dec 15, 2017
    NE Kansas
    I have a broody hen! :celebrate

    I know a lot of people wouldn't celebrate this but I told myself that the only way I would get new chicks this year was if one of my hens went broody, I'd buy her some eggs to hatch. I figured it was unlikely but one of my BSL's (about 10 months old) has been sitting in the next box for two days straight. I don't have any roosters so she can't hatch the eggs she is currently sitting on.

    Here are my questions:
    1. How long can/should I wait to make sure she's "actually broody" before buying eggs?
    2. Can I move her to a wire dog crate on the floor of the coop now, so she's not taking up nest box space and when the chicks hatch the whole "family" is already in the brooder?
    3. What is your preferred nesting material? I've read that on bare soil is best, but that's not really an option and I assume a tray full of dirt doesn't really accomplish the same thing. I have pine shavings on the floor of my coop currently and I can easily get access to straw.

    I thiiiiink that's it for now. Oh, also, how can I get the (not fertile) eggs out from under her without losing my fingers?
     
  2. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi there. :frow

    If getting chicks from a feed store for adoption is an option, it's one of my favorites! Less chance of needing to deal with roosters and an opportunity to try different breeds. :pop

    Best way to not lose a finger... keep them tucked in and put the back of your hand out first. Really, I try to do these things at night and keep it dark. Calm is usually maintained that way. :)

    You can try moving her now... that's how I break hens. None of my hens will stay on a different nest this early in the game. I usually move mine if I'm going to, the night they are hatching. As soon as chicks are mobile mama takes them back to her original nest. But at least she is taking the family out for day trips so I just need to refresh it for other layers.

    Where are you getting your fertile eggs from?

    :fl
     
    casportpony likes this.
  3. Eilsel

    Eilsel Songster

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    Thank you! I am not decided on the fertile eggs yet... there is a semi-local hatchery that I bought my original chicks from that I was considering as they say they do offer fertile eggs, but I also know there's more variety available online.

    My main reasons for wanting to move her are that I only have one communal nest box, so I'd like her to have her own, undisturbed space to brood while my other hens can keep being productive. And the nest box is about a foot off the floor of the coop so I figured it might not be the ideal place to raise chicks once they've hatched. Also, it just has an astro-turf type liner, which I don't think is probably the most comfortable for her either.

    Maybe I will just move her and the eggs she's on tomorrow night and see if she'll continue to sit, and sacrifice them and replace them with chicks in a few weeks. I really think she's only been sitting for two days, how soon do you think I could put day-old chicks under her?
     
    Farmgirl1878 and chickens really like this.
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    I'd give her a full week of Broodiness before trying to give her Chicks. I set up a Brooder in my garage and hatch my Chicks there. I build the nest put in eggs and put Momma in. I walk way and wait about 20 minutes till she settles.
     
  5. Eilsel

    Eilsel Songster

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    Well it took a pair of thick leather gloves and a carhartt coat and my husband's more steel-like nerves than mine, but we put a dozen eggs from my parent's flock under her tonight. I decided not to move her and will try when if/the chicks hatch. For now, the rest of the flock gets a temporary nest in the coop to give her plenty of space! Hopefully she sticks with it and I have some May chicks! :fl
     
  6. AnaMarieK

    AnaMarieK Songster

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    Sep 13, 2018
    Hi all :) I've got a question. I went and got 4 new chicks last week and low and behold my chicken went broody. I've read alot about introducing the chicks at night to the broody hen and she will accept them. Has anyone done this? Does it work? I've got 2 other hens... will they hurt the chicks??.... the chicks are 2 weeks old at this point and my hen has been broody for about a week now.... would love advice....
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    The Chicks are too old to think of the Hen as Momma. Day old chicks would be better.
     
    ColtHandorf and Jbently28 like this.
  8. Jbently28

    Jbently28 Songster

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    I would not move your broody mama just yet. Moving her this early is sure to break her. I usually won't move my if I have to until at least a week and half into setting. Is there any way you could possible block off the nest for the time being and create a temporary nesting box for the others? Oh and I typically use hay as nesting material for my broodies.
     
    Eilsel likes this.
  9. RoosterML

    RoosterML Songster

    Don’t move,don’t move,and did I mention don’t move. She picked the spot let her have it. See that was easy.:thumbsup Congrats
     
    Eilsel likes this.
  10. AnaMarieK

    AnaMarieK Songster

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    Sep 13, 2018
    Thanks for your advice :) I think I'm going to leave it be.
     
    chickens really likes this.

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