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Broody Hen sitting for a week

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DottieMarie, May 18, 2009.

  1. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    What do I do? She's been broody for months off and on and usually I find her in a different nest box so I steal the eggs within 24 hours. But now she's finding her way back to the same nest every day so I figured I'd already sacrificed the eggs to her and that I'd end up just throwing them away. But is it possible she'd actually be able to hatch them in the coop with all the other chickens in there? Should I move her and the nest somewhere or just boot her off and take the eggs. I'm not opposed to having the chicks but I know nothing about letting a hen hatch them.
    Any advice?? (she's sitting on 5 but who knows if any of them are fertile) [​IMG]
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    While you *can* have a hen incubate & hatch chicks in the coop with everyone else, it's optimal to either fence off a little area around her or move her to her own private little pen. Otherwise she'll continue to get interrupted by other hens wanting to lay their eggs in her nest, or she'll get lost on her way back from a break and go to set in another nest.

    If you do move her, do it after dark for best results. Make sure to provide food & water for her, and enough space for her to get up and poop. You may want to wait a few days for her to get good & settled in her new location, then swap out those eggs for a fresh clutch for her to incubate.

    I wish you & your hen great success!
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    I agree with Sunny_Side_Up. I'm having my own first experience with a broody. She is a Buff Orpington. After 2 days of having to steal the eggs from her, I decided to let her sit them. So I moved her to a small pen. I set up a nice nest place on one end of the pen, but she rolled all 5 eggs to the middle of the pen and sits there. [​IMG] Today is only her 3rd day on the nest, so we'll see how it goes.
  4. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    Thank you both for the replies. She too is a BO, sounds like they make good broodies?? I'll see if I can fence off an area for her this afternoon. If she does hatch eggs, do I have to keep her the babies in another pen or can they all stay in the same coop? Also, newbie question....how long for eggs to hatch?
  5. Attack Chicken

    Attack Chicken [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG] Hu

    Sep 25, 2008
    Indianapolis, IN
    It take 21 days for the eggs to hatch. Good luck!
  6. BeccaOH

    BeccaOH Morning Gem Farm

    Oct 3, 2008
    east central Ohio
    It will take around 21 days to hatch. I'm new to this too, but I'd keep mom and the chicks away from the main flock for the first couple weeks after hatch. Then you could allow them access with the others as long as there is still a place for the chicks to go hide from any adult that might want to pick at them. Be sure too that the chicks have their own place to get food and water.

    This should be fun! [​IMG]
  7. HobbyChickener

    HobbyChickener Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2007
    central KY
    I have 2 that have gone broody. It is kind of odd because they are not sitting on anything and haven't ever been. I am not sure if they will give up or not and I have thought about putting some quail or chucker eggs under them just to see if it will work or not.
  8. DottieMarie

    DottieMarie Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2008
    South East MI
    Looks like I need to come up with some way to isolate them from the rest, hmmmm. We only have one coop (8 x 10) and a 80 x 80 run, any suggestions?
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:There are varying opinions on this here. Some feel they do best with the flock, at least after a day or two, or after all are hatched. A good Mama will teach the others to leave the chicks alone OR ELSE. A good roo will help Mama protect and feed the chicks. It is said the chicks develop better immunity from being with the flock. Obviously, things don't always go this well. You can play it safe, or you can try to monitor and see how it goes, or you can just let nature take its course. Personal choice.

    Before I found BYC, I had 3 hens share duties to set on and raise one lone chick. The roo protected the hens, but I never saw him pay any attention to the chick. Never occurred to me to separate them.

    BTW, don't give up on the eggs on the AM of the 22nd day; they might even go 24 days! Or only 19....

    Good luck!
  10. cparian

    cparian Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2008
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I am by no means an expert but I just had my first broody. I ended up letting her set on 9 eggs in the nest box she chose. The other hens did keep stealing her nest & my Brahma's are so fat & clumsy they would break her eggs when getting off the nest. I should have isolated her & the nest earlier but my only pen I had was being used at the time for baby chicks. Once the chicks were out I put her & her 5 remaining eggs in it without much fuss from her. (I think she was happy not to be harrassed by the other hens anymore) Wouldn't you know the next day she had a baby chicks under her!...Just in time. She only ended up hatching 2 & I left momma & babies in the cage for a week by themselves. They are now in with the adult flock & are fine. There were a few fights the first day but they were short & not serious.

    If you don't have a pen to separate her into, you can also just partition a corner of the coop off for her with hardware cloth & bird netting. I did this when I added some chicks that were 2 weeks behind in age from some others so they could get used to each other before I put them all together.

    I swear since I got chickens I can make anything with a staple gun, hardware cloth, & zip ties:lol:

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