Broody Hen Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Enchanted Sunrise Farms, Jan 13, 2008.

  1. Okay, i bought Showgirl and Silkie hatching eggs for my little broody, Dusty. She has been camped out in the back part of the converted custom rabbit hutch/chicken coop. Gave her all 12 eggs. She pushed 3 over into the corner, then sat on the rest. We are now on day three. Never had a hen hatch eggs, so want to make sure i do everything i should to make sure she is comfortable.

    i have her set up with her own water and food dish with layer mash. i read here that some folks supplement with some scratch and cat food? Haven't seen her eat, but i assume she is. Last time i checked her crop was full. Any other suggestions on food to leave near her?

    Weather, we got into the 70's today (we're in Southern California). Looks like the weather will stay in the high 60's to 70's during the day, dipping to the high 40's at night, at least for the next week. Should i think about setting her up in the garage in a cage or pen if it gets too cold?

    Also, when she gets close to hatching time, should i bring her inside or into the garage in a cage or pen or big rubbermaid brooder with paper towels so the chicks will have a clean surface to hatch on? And then once the chicks hatch, would i want to keep a heat lamp on the brooder, or does the hen keep them warm?

    Sorry for so many questions. Just want to make sure Dusty has the best chance at a good hatch, and at staying healthy, well fed, and warm herself. Thanks!
  2. Blondie

    Blondie Songster

    Just leave her where she is. Even when the chicks hatch she will keep them warm in her feathers for a couple of days. When the chicks start getting adventurous, then you can move Momma and chicks to a separate brooder/area. This is for the protection from the other chickens.

    Some people say to keep the little ones separated from the rest of the flock for a few months. I put my chickies in with everyone else at about 3 or 4 weeks and didn't have any problems.

  3. Oh, how cute! Thanks for the advice. We're on day 7 here, and sometime this afternoon i'm going to pull the eggs out and candle them to see if we have any action.

    One issue that has come up is, i appear to have several other silkies who have gone broody. So every time my Dusty gets off the nest to eat or dirt bath, someone else jumps on. Probably a good thing, as those eggs won't have a chance to cool down. But wondering if there is going to be a fight between all the potential moms once the chicks hatch.

    This will be interesting. [​IMG]

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