Broody Hen Thread!

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

  1. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,817
    244
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    Opened the door to the rabbit house where we have Mrs broody... She considered it for half a second and off she went, lol...So funny to watch her frantically scratching and pooping and then try to eat as much as she can ...Took the opportunity to candle a few eggs, she is at day 19 on 5/10 and the air cells have a nice dip...suspect we should have a pip by morning...the other 5 maybe a day or two behind.. Hope she sits long enough to allow them to hatch!!
     
  2. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    Hoping the time between eggs has been reduced by her temp control! She should do fine!
     
  3. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,817
    244
    188
    Aug 10, 2013
    Oregon
    Im thinking it has been.. well I am hoping... Mind you I was using a small LED light but other than the air cell getting the dip I couldn't see into that egg at all , that's what makes me think maybe only two days at the most...
     
  4. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

     
  5. zmaryellen

    zmaryellen Out Of The Brooder

    We have chicks!! [​IMG] There are 6 hatched so far... 7 to go, although one egg is questionable...

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

    6,191
    2,792
    381
    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    You can't make a hen become broody...you can only encourage a broody type to do what she would naturally do with the right set of circumstances. Dark nest, warmth and a full clutch of eggs pressing on her breast bone will help trigger the necessary hormones.

    As modern Ag science has selected for non-broodiness, since brooding hens are not laying hens, a lot of our modern breeds rarely go broody. Not that it doesn't happen as each bird is unique; however, it is the genes that drive the hormones that will determine whether a hen will brood or not. Commercial laying lines, like Red Stars, White Leghorns, etc., rarely go broody as they have been carefully selected for laying a lot and therefore those brooding genes are much rarer to find in any one bird. Some more heritage lines like Silkies, Cochins, Game Birds, are known for going broody frequently...even annoyingly frequently...and you have a high likelihood of getting a broody hen if you have that breed. (But not a sure guarantee).

    If you have a broody type, like a Silkie or Cochin, merely keeping a nice darker nest area, that is isolated in a warm place, and filled with fake eggs, will often trigger ever present hormones and encourage a broody type to sit. However, it won't do a thing for those who are just don't have the genes to brood.

    Several years ago, I wanted to get away from heat lamps and all that mess and work in my garage to brood naturally. Even with my mix of commercial line Buff Orpingtons and other layer types, I did not have a bird who ever indicated she wanted to brood...so I connected to a local chicken swap (using BYC swap forum) and purchased a known broody...a little Silkie banty that had proven herself to be a good mom and eager and frequent brooder. This Silkie has become the backbone of my chick raising as she goes broody faithfully every 3 to 4 months...gets done with one batch of chicks to turn around and start again. I've been fortunate to have several of my big hens go broody on me seasonally...usually in May/June. I NEVER discourage a sincere attempt at brooding as I always want to take advantage of a good brooder...you never know what can happen with chickens/farming...so a good broody to me is a gift from God himself.

    So, you can set up an area to entice someone's genes to kick in with the hormones, or you can purchase a known broody like I did, or you can try and grow one from chicks/eggs choosing a breed that is known to be broodier (Henderson's chicken chart is helpful). Remember though that as is with anything, it will boil down to the individual bird.

    http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/chooks/chooks.html

    Good luck,
    Lady of McCamley

    EDITED TO ADD: Welcome to Broody thread...once you start brooding naturally, you'll never go back to the old way!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. DarynA146

    DarynA146 Out Of The Brooder

    79
    2
    33
    Apr 1, 2014
    south africa
    Hey guys,my silkie has laid 8 eggs and today has been sitting on them for the last four hours?what do you think?[​IMG]
     
  8. foreverlearning

    foreverlearning Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,419
    320
    198
    Aug 4, 2013
    They are a breed that tends to go broody. I had one mixed girl that laid her first 4 ever eggs then went broody. She would stick with the chicks for 3 months where she would lay 2 eggs then go broody again. You won't know for sure until night time. If she prefers to stay on the nest then it is likely. Silkies are more prone to lice and mites so no matter what you want to keep an eye on her to make sure that isn't or won't be a problem. Hope to hear about her pulling out chest feathers in a few days [​IMG] (broodies do it to keep the eggs warmer)
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,558
    304
    226
    Dec 3, 2013
    Arizona
    I've noticed that for the last few nights one of our pullets has elected to sleep on the floor of the coop, making a small nest in the shavings. Last night she was throwing shavings onto her back until there was a little pile on there, it was so cute. I don't know what it means, but I was wondering if she was possibly trying to go broody.

    I don't expect to see a lot from our chickens in that area because I've read several times that Hamburgs are not great brooders, but I guess we'll see what happens with her. [​IMG]
     
  10. DarynA146

    DarynA146 Out Of The Brooder

    79
    2
    33
    Apr 1, 2014
    south africa
    hey,is it 21 days after she lays her first egg or 21 days after she starts sitting on her clutch
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by