Broody Hen Thread!

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

  1. Searsmom

    Searsmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2014
    Dandridge, TN
    You guys are getting me so antsy!!! I had two broody hens last year and am waiting for one of them to make The Decision. I've got my eggs picked out and am rotating them on a 7-day cycle. And still they're waiting....

  2. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    I'll send some broody vibes your way!! LOL

    We have 4 already with hatches here... one more I gave eggs to over the weekend and now another hen went to the box 2 days ago and refuses to get out... so I will most likely move her tonight to a better spot (since she is in a favorite egging box) and if she tolerates moving I will probably give her eggs this weekend.

    And I have 2 more who brooded last year who haven't started yet...
  3. mollybuck

    mollybuck Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2013
    hello! i have a hen that is broody, but I havent let her sit on any eggs yet. I dont know if my coop set up would be good for her to do so. I have just 4 boxes and they are at floor level. She isnt high up in the pecking order either, i am wondering if would be ok to let her sit on some eggs. (she.. is a silkie and most of my hens are LF... so im not sure she would stick up for herself, but they have never really bothered each other...) What do you think? I dont want to cause any stress to her, and even more so.. i am not sure what to do with her and any chicks she may hatch. Can I leave them in the coop with the rest? I dont have a second coop or run or anything...

    maybe I shouldnt even try, but the kids really want Sugar to have babies! I am planning on hatching some BLRW, i could just throw a few eggs in there too...

  4. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2013
    Personally, the only way to know is to jump in and try... Perhaps separating her would be good so the other hens don't bother her to much... I had a broody last year and once she was good and broody I was able to move her (at night) to a secluded box on the other side of the coop...we kept them separated until the chicks were a couple weeks old and then allowed her out with them into the flock and just watched them, she did fine and after another week put her and them back into the coop with the others. I have heard Silkies are the best moms and very protective so even tho she is not head hen she may do ok.
  5. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    If I understand you correctly, your hen is intermittently broody...she has not sat for 20 days on eggs but 20 days ago sat on some eggs for a bit, then got up, and now is sitting a bit on eggs, but getting up?

    Some hens never fully commit to be broody. They "play" at it as weaker hormones switch on and off. Sometimes you can encourage a deep brood by making sure they have a nice dark nest, with cushy materials, some fake eggs in a warm corner (both warmth and pressure of eggs on the breast trigger brooding hormones) that is not accessible by other birds who can push them out. If they feel safe and secure with eggs, they may settle into a full brood...or not.

    Some hens are just not committed to the process and will never make good broodies. You didn't mention how old your hen is. If she is a younger pullet, she may simply be ramping up with laying hormones and coming into full laying.

    I'm not familiar with Catalana chickens other than what I can look up on Henderson's Breed chart, and that breed is listed as a non-setting breed, so you don't typically have the genetics in the breed for a broody hen. However, each bird is unique within the breeds.

    Lady of McCamley
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. AVintageLife

    AVintageLife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2012
    New Hampshire
    You could definitely give it a try! I have a mixed flock, four silkies, one banty pullet and six LF hens. My little silkie (Rosalinn) setting now is in the coop but in a corner I secured with hardware cloth and a door. She is on the small side and will have enough room to brood her chicks for some time while the rest of the flock will get to see/hear them but not touch. As they get older, they will get time to roam around the coop with mom while the others are outside and they will meet the other silkies as well. I don't think they'll be fully integrated with the LF until they are more fully grown. It will keep me busy for sure but I like to err on the side of caution for the little silkies.
  7. sonderah

    sonderah Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2013
    Hardinsburg, Ky

    Send some to me too!!!! I just got 2 Silkies!! 1 is a year & a half old, but hasn't even started laying for me yet, she's only been here 11 days. I am getting a bit impatient though! Lol
    The other I was told is between 5-7 months, but hasn't started laying at all yet!

    So impatiently I await some Sizzle eggs, or a broody girl. Either way will be AWESOME!!
  8. Searsmom

    Searsmom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2014
    Dandridge, TN
    Thank you! Last year they didn't go broody until late April. I could lose all my hair by late April....
  9. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2013
    LOl, Mine didn't until mid June!!!
  10. zmaryellen

    zmaryellen Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks so very much for the help! I'm excited, but nervous (like the mama hen??!!) I'll let you all know how things go...

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