Broody Hen Thread!

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

  1. AmericanMom

    AmericanMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Went to check the animals for the night and close everything up.. Checked the hen, one chick is fully out BA mix and another has pipped...The last egg she laid before going broody!1 Yeah!! I haven't been able to hatch any of her eggs so I am super excited, hope when I go out in the morning she has some more babies!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    In response to your PM and post....

    I saw the advice Fisherlady gave you, and it was excellent.

    So how many eggs have you left? 1 now left of the 2?

    If it were me, I would remove all but one broody hen, and partition your best broody off with the egg so that no one else can come in. I know there are those, fisherlady included, who can communal brood, but I have never had good luck with that to my disappointment...eggs just get broken as flock hens shuffle through and broodies compete try to steal eggs...so I have to keep my broodies separate and isolated from the flock.

    Right now, wait and see what happens with the last egg as you don't want to change any more dynamics right now. This is "lock down" and the less interruption and disturbance these last 2 days of hatching the better.

    If the 1 baby hatches, and you are happy...good. If you want to foster some with that 1 baby, which is possible, I would strongly recommend you immediately on day 1 of hatch, just as soon as the hatchling has dried and appears stable and standing, go down to the feedstore and get the youngest babies possible...probably no more than 2. If you can get a fresh shipment as it comes in...all the better...but be ready to do some quick care as those poor chicks have already had a long arduous journey and you are going to risk another stress by moving them again to a foreign situation.

    Load the fosters up with fluids and electrolytes through an eyedropper, then I recommend immediately going to the hen to add them to avoid as much transition stress as possible as they are going to be changing from heat lamp to hen environment...a big change for them.

    As fisherlady said, momma will likely be very accepting, but the "greenhouse chicks" ie store chicks incubated by heat lamps will be clueless as to what they are to do and often afraid of the big dark hen. It will take them a day or two to adapt. You do not want to out number the hatchling with fosters or the fosters with hatchlings too greatly...the hatchling will likely be very hardy and vigorous and take charge as broody hatched babies grow fast and hardy, but you still don't want to overwhelm your hatchling. The fosters may be confused, or they might run right into the feathers and overwhelm the hatchling as they may be bit older by a day or two...so it will be very important that you place and then keep a close watch.

    If the weather is colder, and it is safe, you may wish to add a heat lamp. Otherwise, you will have to keep a very close watch on things. Either way watch and wait. I don't do heat lamps anymore since I burned a coop down, so if I add fosters, I only add in warm weather so that there is less environmental stress as they figure things out. But again it is possible in cold, just a bit trickier and more time consuming on you. You may have to sit by and replace them under the hen as fisherlady suggested to make sure they graft.

    I agree with fisherlady to hold any foster chicks you place in the cup of your hand without showing them first to the hen...and I would also suggest to place from the tail end...scoop and tuck under her tail as you add the chicks. She will likely try to peck you as she is broody fussy, and you don't want her to peck at your hand while you have a chick as it will frighten the chick and cause her to fear the hen (I know from first hand experience on a muffed attempt).

    I would not wait until night to place if the foster chicks have just undertaken a big travel day, just take them right out to the hen...hiding, tucking, scooping. It is also warmer in the day this time of year and will offer less stress.

    Hopefully you will have a little baby chicked hatched in the next day or so. Let us know how it goes.

    Oh...and at this point, I would not worry about removing the hen...just put food and water nearby...the less she has to get up the better at this point...ditto for adding the fosters once the hatchling has arrived. They only need room to stretch their legs, a corner to poo (which you'll have to clean as it will be close quarters) and get back into the nest. It may be cramped, but for the first few days it works better to have small quarters...it saves a lot of heart ache as fosters attempt to escape as they are confused....and it helps with the integration.

    Lady of McCamley

    EDITED TO ADD: If no babies hatch, fostering then is easier...just go down and get 3 or 4 same age chicks, the younger the better, and load with water/electrolytes (Chick Saver) by a dropper, and add. Then watch and wait. Some will be more assertive and run into the feathers, the shyer ones will hang back and have to be coaxed. If it is warmer weather (summer), they'll be a little stressed but will get the idea before any undue harm...if it is colder weather you will have to sit by and tuck them until they get the idea....or provide a heat lamp. Again close quarters and food and water close by without tipping into the nest.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
    2 people like this.
  3. DarynA146

    DarynA146 Out Of The Brooder

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    The hen that was sitting for 20 hours is now walking around in the cage,she has been off the eggs for about half an hour to an hour,why?[​IMG]
     
  4. randerson846

    randerson846 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is probably just stretching her legs she should be sitting on the eggs again by now
     
  5. DarynA146

    DarynA146 Out Of The Brooder

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    She is[​IMG]
     
  6. pickinchicken

    pickinchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes nicely said. And good point, I'm sure they didn't realize they lost anything. I'm getting kids settled this morning because I'm ready to go out and take a peek to see if we may have the other chick. Fingers crossed
     
  7. sonderah

    sonderah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My turkey hen slept in her nest last night!!!!! She was out when I woke up this morning, so idk if she will go back or not, but she NEVER sleeps in the nest, so my fingers are crossed she's getting hormonal! This would be my 1st broody anything! I'm so looking forward to watching the process naturally!
     
  8. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My pullet that had been sleeping in a little nest she made on the floor of the coop for a few nights went back to sleeping on the roost last night. That's okay, she is young and hopefully I will have a broody at some point. if not, i'll take the good advice that someone here gave me and get myself a Silkie. [​IMG]
     
  9. sonderah

    sonderah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 Silkies now. None have went broody yet, but I haven't had them long. Got them from 3 different places so fingers crossed!!!
     
  10. chicksurreal

    chicksurreal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From what I've read, Silkies will go broody at the drop of a hat, so you have a much better chance of getting one to go broody than I do with my Hamburgs. lol!
     

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