Broody Hen Thread!

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

  1. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    All of our broodies hatch in the coop, some in the 'broody area' which is simply the people entrance area which is separated from the chicken part of the coop by a wood framework with chickenwire on it. So the birds are routinely exposed to all of the noises within the coop. Just this past season we had 4 broodies in the 'broody area' which is 3.5 ft by 12 ft., there were 2 hens on either end (hens #2 and 3 on one end on the floor, hen #1 on the floor on the other end and hen #4 on the same end as #1 but up on a shelf 3 ft off the floor).
    Hen number 1 hatched while hens 2,3 and 4 were on various stages of their egg setting. Although the non-hatched broodies did watch hen #1 and her brood with great interest none got up off of the nest to interact. We did put a fence panel up so that the little ones couldn't run into the nests of hens 2 and 3... When hens #2 and #3 hatched on the same day they ended up raising their babies as a combined clutch... but again, hen #4 was able to hear and watch, but didn't leave her eggs.

    This was the most 'crowded' we have had it, but last spring we had 3 hatch within about 3 weeks of each other and it was similar... although all of the broodies were able to hear the new chicks none left their own eggs to interact. Though they were intensely interested in watching (But then again, after 3 or 4 weeks of setting they were probably bored stiff and just enjoyed the break in the monotony! [​IMG]) and last fall 2 hatched within 2 weeks of each other and it was the same. This has repeated time after time with the same results within the coop... but..every coop and every broody are different!

    I have never brooder raised chicks in an area near a broody though, so if the chicks vocalizations are somehow different in a brooder than with a mama hen then there is always a chance of another reaction. Observation will be the key and I am interested to hear is you have a different result than we have with ours.
     
  2. pickinchicken

    pickinchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes my double yolker is under my broody hen. Can't wait to see how it turns out. When is yours due?
     
  3. randerson846

    randerson846 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    U could have twins :eek: good luck :D
     
  4. cheepcheep riri

    cheepcheep riri Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually its funny that you ask. After a dreadful slip out of my fingers, ( my sister helped with that) my egg that was about to hatch fell and cracked on the pointy side of the egg just yesterday. Went to check on it today....... And I heard it trapping on the side of the egg!!!! Even though I wasn t supposed to be out there! Lol

    I am so excited!!!
    I had know clue they could hatch so early! But to answer your question Pickinchicken I am on day 17!
    So close!
     
  5. pickinchicken

    pickinchicken Out Of The Brooder

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    My broody hens share a nest and lost their only two that started to hatch so they are going another round. I bought some day old chicks to hopefully adopt and they have taken them in and still take turns sitting on the nest and caring for the chicks! I was worried that they may stop sitting but so far so good.
    I still have the hens and chicks in the broody pen with the nest and eggs which is rather large, and I'm concerned if I let them out then they may abandon the nest so I am thinking i may go ahead and keep them in it until the eggs hatch in another 2 weeks bc I candled and know I have some babies brewing!!!! It will be my first eggs to hatch and make it if it works out
     
  6. randerson846

    randerson846 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope it hatches for u, and how many more do u have :)
     
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    @pickinchicken

    @fisherlady

    Thank you so much! I guess I will brood the chicks where I usually brood chicks(in my bathtub), and watch my broody who is sitting so nice and tightly in a very large dog crate in that very same, very small bathroom.

    If it all works, that would be easiest for me, and safest (warmest) for the chicks.

    The chicks show up next week sometime.

    The eggs she is sitting on will hatch the end of next week.

    Hopefully, after everyone looks good, I can put her outside with all of them.

    I had a broody Marans one year, that was able to stuff 25 chicks under her skirt.

    This Cochin is pretty fluffy, so I am going to see if she can stuff a few more than that. :D
     
  8. Dianne88

    Dianne88 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My eggs are due to hatch Wed/Thur next week too! My broody has 3 of my eggs under her and I have another 18 in the incubator. I didn't want to giver her too many because this is her first time and I wasn't sure how dedicated she was going to be. I may slip a few more under her?? I haven't separated her from the other hens, she's sitting in a nest box in the coop. Should I take her and the eggs out??
     
  9. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    It would be very risky to move her at this point, though if she is an easygoing girl it may work. If she has sat this long without problems from the rest of the flock then I would let her stay where she is rather than risk upsetting her and breaking her broody mood. You could probably give her more if you think she is comfortable fitting some more, I'm pretty sure she won't complain! [​IMG]

    The other option after the hatching is done is to attempt to graft some of them to her within the first day or so, but it would be easier to just let her hatch out the number you want her to raise so that you don't have to try the adoption thing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. fisherlady

    fisherlady Overrun With Chickens

    If you are planning to mix the current chicks with the ones you hope to hatch in 2 weeks you need to be careful... chicks who are older may pick on the new hatchlings and the broodies may be confused also. Anything is possible, and it may work, but be prepared to brood one group or the other separately if they have conflicts.
     

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