Broody Hen Thread!

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

  1. Ours usually don't go into a true lockdown till late on the day before hatch. I have never seen any of ours get up during the hatching itself, once their is a pip ours are parked till they are all out and fluffed. .... but we always set a clutch all at one time, so the hens don't have to deal with staggered hatches. The hen would have to behave different if the hatch was extended over multiple days.
  2. Hope they all hatch for her after she's been so faithful!
  3. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    My understanding, from research I've seen, is that broody hen hatch rates are overall superior than incubator hatch rates...of course it depends upon the hen and the quality of the incubator and the person running the incubator. I've heard hen hatch rates are typically 80% or better, while incubators run around 50% unless you have a top of the line one.

    Personally, I've experienced 50% and better. I've had lower than the 80 to 100% but have had some extenuating circumstances like age of eggs, etc. Also, I personally know that what the hen hatches, she keeps alive with no pasty butt, coccidiosis, or other common incubator chick problems.

    Here is an interesting article that compares the two:

    and sources that site the 80 to 100% hatch rate for broody hens, while unless you have a top of the line incubator you are likely at 50% (also includes starting a method of starting eggs in the incubator and swapping out eggs with broody hen to get 2 hatches for the brood)

    Good question!
    Lady of McCamley
    1 person likes this.
  4. DarynA146

    DarynA146 In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2014
    south africa
    my broody silkie[​IMG]
  5. K Spot

    K Spot Songster

    Apr 14, 2013
    SE Qld, Australia
    My Silver Pencilled Plymouth Rock bantams started hatching yesterday! [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  6. [​IMG]Congrats K Spot! They are sweet!
  7. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Songster

    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    Thanks Fisherlady. I set the eggs all the same day so they should hatch together. Today is Day 19, hoping to hear some peeping by tomorrow. The nest box is 2 ft off the ground, once the chicks dry, will they follow mom when she leaves the nest? I am going to set up a small, shallow box with hay in the corner for her to sleep in with the chicks. Will that work?
  8. cwhittington

    cwhittington Chirping

    Feb 4, 2014
    Bahama, NC
    Not so hopeful about my broody hen that is supposed to have hatchlings over the weekend. I couldn't find the cause of the bad smell coming from her nest so I left all the eggs. I had to put her on a clean nest early on because there was a broken egg so I'm thinking the other eggs may have been contaminated. I guess I could be surprised though. In the meantime, I have another broody hen that started sitting on Wednesday!
  9. love2grinchicke

    love2grinchicke Chirping

    Oct 5, 2013
    Daisy is hatching at least one egg right now.
  10. chickenlickin8

    chickenlickin8 Songster

    Jun 26, 2008
    Valrico, Florida
    My Coop
    My broody broke an egg too. I cleaned up the nest and wiped yoke off the remaining eggs. Her eggs are due to hatch on Sunday. There is still a good chance they will hatch. My broody nest didn't have a bad smell though. I candled the eggs and all are dark. Good Luck! Hope we both have chicks hatch [​IMG][​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by