Broody hen questions...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by meriruka, May 5, 2008.

  1. meriruka

    meriruka Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    All three of my silkie hens are sitting on eggs. They seem to be sharing the job. When one gets up, another will beak the eggs under herself. I've decided to let them be, but I'm worried about my smallest hen. She doesn't seem to ever leave the eggs to eat or drink water. I'm not able to fit any waterers in their little area, and I'm afraid to move them all for fear they won't sit in a new location. (It's day 8). This may sound silly, but can my little hen starve to death or dehydrate?
  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    Yup, if she doesn't get up to eat or drink it can take its toll on a broody...I'd make sure she gets off by picking her up and taking her to the water and feed....not worth losing a hen over if there are two others there....
    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  3. Frizzledhen

    Frizzledhen Spear Gunnin' Coons

    Feb 17, 2007
    If she is not getting off the nest herself, take her off at least once a day. You may have to encourage her to come out of her broody stuper once off the nest but she should wake up and take care of business. Some of my cochins will just set on the floor like they are still in the nest. I stretch their wings out and stand them up and just ruffle them up until they wake up. They usually come out of their transe quickly if the roo starts his dancing.
  4. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    In my experience, you may never see the broody hen leave the nest but she will. Just trust that she is not going to starve to death. Mine all seem to sneak away and run like heck to poop, get a drink and a bite, then run back so fast you barely know they were gone.

    I would not take her off the nest personally, since you might break her broodiness or confuse the nest issue. Just trust Mother Nature that your hen will eat (as long as she has access to get to food and water).

    I also just read that broody hens are absorbing all the energy from their own (unlaid) eggs back into their body to sustain them, since they're not laying eggs during the setting period. Anyone else heard of that?
    Last edited: May 5, 2008
  5. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    If she's a silkie, I don't think you have to worry a bit about taking her off the nest to eat, drink and poop. If only it were that simple to break them!! I'd go ahead and take her off once a day just to be sure. Many here do that with no problems (myself included)!
  6. Standard Hen

    Standard Hen Songster

    May 17, 2007
    I wondered this same thing, I have my broody hen in her own little coop with food and water and have only see her off the nest once but I am also not back there 24/7 watching either. I am so afraid of disturbing her and she will get off the nest. I am going to let mother nature take it's course, this is my first time and I am to excited to blow it!

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