Broody hen, should I or shouldn't I?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sustained, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. Sustained

    Sustained Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well one of my barred rock ladies finally went broody. I honestly wasn't expecting any of them to by this point. She comes out to eat when I put out the food but goes right back into the nest box. Now that it's the beginning of October the weather is starting to cool off. It's actually fairly warm so far but is it a bad idea for her to hatch chicks this late in the year? And if so, why? I remember reading a post about hens brooding so late in the year being bad but can't remember why or what site it was on and of course can't find it now! I certainly don't mind having a few more fuzzies running around and I plan on putting a heat lamp in the coop during the winter when it starts getting a bit colder at night. Sorry, I'm a total newbie with chicks. My girls were my first experience with chicks but it was well into spring when I got them. Any advice would be great.

    I don't have a roo myself but my grandparents have a pretty barnyard mix and I can trade my unfertilized eggs for some of their fertilized ones that I could put under my broody. I'm very very tempted but didn't want to if there was good reasons not to. So of course I had to come here and ask some advice! [​IMG]
     
  2. Twistedfeather

    Twistedfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you really want more chicks than go for it. You will want to use fertile eggs though [​IMG] There are only a couple things that you need to really worry about and thats you need to be careful transporting fertile eggs from property to property and that the broody hen does not eat as much as if she wasn't broody.
     
  3. Sustained

    Sustained Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess that explains why she doesn't linger over her breakfast like the others. And doesn't come running when I give the treat whistle lol I actually went looking for her yesterday and today both times I gave the whistle. I was worried sick that something had happened to her. Today was when I figured out she's broody. Well, to be more accurate it was after I tried to reach under her to collect the eggs that I didn't get to collect yesterday and today because she's taken up post. She gave me the stink eye and pecked my hand pretty good when I tried to reach under her. She's never pecked me before so I was a little taken aback for sure.

    Thank you for the reply. I think I will stop by grandmas tomorrow. [​IMG]
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    May not work for yours, but try petting her wattles first and then reach under for the eggs…works for my Penny the Pincher..before starting this she pecked me every time I collected eggs when she gets broody.
     
  5. Sustained

    Sustained Chillin' With My Peeps

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    definitely going to try this in the morning. she's usually very gentle. guess broodiness is the chicken equivalent of PMS
     
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    You're exactly right….chicken PMS.

    When broody and fluff and cluck you could star them in a new Haloween Hens movie.
     
  7. Sustained

    Sustained Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not going to argue that one at all! I've read about chickens giving 'dirty looks' and such but never experienced it first hand. There is no mistaking the 'you take one step closer and I peck you to death, starting with your stubby fingers' look. It's like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. [​IMG]
     
  8. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Oh, goodness! I've got one of those right now. Sweet little Agatha, the chicken so gentle she "belongs" to my 8 year old granddaughter Katie, has morphed into <drum roll> Dragon Lady. She's awful! I go in the coop to clean the poop board and she lays on that nest, growling and fluffing and glaring. She says, "You can clean that poop board, but so help me you take one step near my nest and I'll peck your kneecaps off! Then when you fall I'm going straight for your eyeballs!"

    On the other broody threads I keep hearing folks talk about doing everything after dark, moving slowly and quietly. They advise candling eggs at 3 days, 7 days, etc to check for duds, quitters and whatever else. Well, first of all, the night we put the eggs under Agatha we were working in almost total darkness. We used a shaded amber solar light and none of the chickens on the roost were even disturbed. But Agatha? Well, she was awake and could see well enough to take a chunk out of my hand. I'm not about to stick another hand under Dragon Lady to check for anything.....even knowing I risk an exploding egg or other such calamity. <shudder>

    PMS is as good a description as I've heard. Gonna be a long 3 weeks!

    From this:
    [​IMG]
    To this:
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Sustained

    Sustained Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]Oh my.... yup that looks about like the change I have in Ernestine. I LOVE the pictures! She's gorgeous... when she doesn't look like she wants to tear my eyebrows off [​IMG] I'm about to add a handful of bantam EE to my flock. Well as long as everything goes well. I ordered a few eggs from mypetchicken to put under Ernestine and my grandmother wants to replenish her flock so she will be adding a few of her gorgeous barnyard mix. I just love the look of the EE. They make me smile every time I see a picture of their funny 'beards' [​IMG]

    Hmmm I didn't know that candling was recommended if you used a broody to incubate for you. Not that I mind the idea of getting to candle haha. Although, I'm a bit apprehensive about the idea of trying to reach under her again! I'm also going to move her when the eggs arrive. I'm building a brooding box for her. I figured I have about a week to mentally prepare to battle Henzilla [​IMG]
     
  10. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida Premium Member

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    Henzilla! Love it....we've taken to calling Agatha "Atilla the Hen."
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014

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