Broody Hen Thread!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by FarmerBoy24, May 1, 2011.

  1. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

  2. Poohb10454

    Poohb10454 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 3, 2012
    Savannah TN
    I have a 4' x 4' area closed in for my broody since I was having other hens getting in her box. This is I think her 5th day sitting, at least 4th. I haven't seen any poop In the area. I dont think she is getting up. Is there anything I can do? Should I be concerned?
  3. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    Just make sure she has tasty treats and water close enough to reach, she will get up when she is ready... if you want you could lift her off of the nest and set her on the floor close by. She will set as if in a spell for a short bit, then suddenly 'wake up' and move around a bit, scratching and getting a drink, most likely. Just be prepared with a cat litter scoop or something similar close by... if she broody poos while you are in the area you are going to want to get rid of it QUICK!! [​IMG]

    Most of my broody hens are pretty mellow, so me moving them off the nest once in a while so I can check eggs isn't a big deal to them, especially if I happen to scatter some dried meal worms or hulled sunflowers or peanuts near them when I do it. LOL...
    If she hasn't done her broody poo in the open area there is a chance she soiled the nest, and if that is the case it has to be taken care of or eggs could be contaminated and then you will have a real mess to deal with. Just make sure you have clean bedding close by in case you need it.
  4. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2013
    My BA is that determined, will not leave the nest, I got to where I lifted her off every other day and we didn't have a problem she would just stick her butt over the side of the nest but didn't always make it, when her chicks started hatching, she fouled the nest so bad and of course the chick that had hatched and all the other eggs that had pipped... I cleaned everything including momma with warm soapy water... Didn't know anything better to do but everyone made it out fine..

    So far the Java seems to want to get off for a few minutes every morning... I sure hope she keep it up
  5. hollymh

    hollymh *A Scrambled Egg*

    Feb 8, 2009
    I intervened with my broody and pulled the eggs and chick, she did so well though especially for her first time. The other birds were wreaking havoc, crushed two eggs with one surviving and one not, another just hatched out mins ago in the bator. I am going to create a maternity ward so to speak and let her try again some time. So far Im 4 hatched of 8 all silkies so Im pretty proud of her!
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Sorry to hear of the community disaster...I can't seem to have successful community brooding either and resorted to building a separate broody hutch and run too.

    Thankfully you have the incubator close at hand to save the day.

    Lady of McCamley
  7. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Chicken Obsessed

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    Broodies do get up...just when you aren't looking. And she is pooing somewhere, you just may not notice where at the moment. I agree place food and water close by but not so that it can get tipped into the nest. She WILL get up and take care of herself when she needs to. She won't starve, although she will lose some body weight. Make sure she is on a high protein feed (chick starter is ideal). I also like to put the Chick Saver electrolytes and vitamins in the water and feed my hen yogurt periodically along with black oil sunflower seeds for fat content. And of course ACV. All that helps keep her energy up.

    As to messes in the nest, Most broodies will hang it over the edge if they have one. So supply her one with a nest box insert (you may have to wait for the next batch to add one). If they do manage to mess in the nest, I try to avoid disturbing mom and eggs if at all possible. I like to line my broody nest and box insert with deep pine shavings then layer timothy hay on top of the insert shavings. I use the kind you get at the pet store (it is more expensive, but you only need a little bag of it). It makes it really easy to clean the nest if they should poo in the nest or a bad egg should break. The timothy hay clumps around any mess and lifts off easily from the pine shavings, which in turn cushion everything, add an additional absorbant layer, and help prevent any smell.

    I would not ever wash my hatching eggs with warm water. That will breakdown the flora on the egg and allow bacteria to enter as does having a water temperature different than the inside of the egg (the effect of temperature on the rate of osmosis through the egg shell and membrane...water osmosis will carry bacteria into the egg). If they are badly soiled, I dab the eggs clean with the soft timothy hay.

    At the end of the mess clean up, I simply add more hay and shavings if needed.

    Good luck on your broody hatch.
    Lady of McCamley

    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014
  8. AVintageLife

    AVintageLife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2012
    New Hampshire
    Today is Day 19 for my little silkie currently setting on three eggs. She started with six and early on kicked three out (one was a quitter and the other two had wee little embryos). At some point she moved the eggs closer to the feed/water area. Tonight I'll add marbles to the waterer and secure it so it won't tip over (hopefully assuming we'll have little chicks running around in a couple of days). Now I just need this NH weather to stick to spring temps, they've been all over the place lately. I'm fighting the urge to bring mother and chicks into the house once they've hatched. Silkie chicks are so tiny, I feel like they'll be warmer, safer in the house but would really prefer they brood in the coop in their secured area so the rest of the flock can see/hear them. Fingers crossed for everyone to have a successful hatch!
  9. lovely guy

    lovely guy Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 17, 2014
    my hen was acting broody 20 days before but sitting 2 days on eggs she got up and now 18 days passed she just acts broody only sits for about 15 to 20 minutes and then eats and drinks and dont sit on eggs but today she made a new nest and was gathering straws and leaves and sat for about 2 hrs but when i gave her eggs she got up ...........whats the matter with this hen..............she is a catalana chicken ........i dont know if she is broody or not ................and is not laying........
  10. AliceGee

    AliceGee Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 4, 2014

    Fingers crossed for you!! My 5 silkie chicks are almost a week now and I'm so surprised by how hardy and energetic they are for such tiny, tiny chicks. They love to socialise with the other silkie hens and rooster and even push in to steal his food! They're all so patient with them which I was surprised about. Mum takes them to bed when it's still light, about 3 hours before she use to go & it's the cutest thing!! I've got another broody silkie on 7 eggs with ten days to go so I'll have two lots running around. Hopefully you have a great hatch!!

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