Broody Hen Thread!

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

  1. KinkyMKD

    KinkyMKD In the Brooder

    May 9, 2013
    i think that i will have a problem.As i said in the post above,the hen had a egg in the canal(i dont know did she laid it).I red that broody hens DONT lay eggs,but my hen sits on the eggs perfectly,doesent allow me to touch her or her eggs.So i woory that she will leave thet.
    Should i worry much,or somebody has simmilar expiriance with broody hen laying some eggs?
  2. NCChickchick

    NCChickchick In the Brooder

    Jun 7, 2013
    Greenville, NC
    Weird. Are you sure SHE laid it? My other hens laid with my broodies and I just pulled the eggs
  3. KinkyMKD

    KinkyMKD In the Brooder

    May 9, 2013
    I'm not eve sure DID she laid the egg.My other girls cant lay there because i have a lid on top of her nest.
  4. jammyjammy2112

    jammyjammy2112 Songster

    May 23, 2012
    i had a broody silkie and i separated her i put 7 eggs under her then the next day there was 9 10 11 she couldnt fit them all under her she obviously laid it i markeyed the other eggs and she kept laying for about a week
  5. KinkyMKD

    KinkyMKD In the Brooder

    May 9, 2013
    So i don't have to worry.That's a relief.Did your girl kept laying till the end of the incubation?
  6. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Crowing

    Mar 19, 2011
    NW Oregon
    What do you mean "in the canal" she egg bound? Has she laid the egg? I would check to make sure she is not egg bound....if not...then watch and wait.

    At the first stage of broodiness, hens will lay her last eggs, even gather from others, as they collect/lay their clutch, then settle in tight.

    There is a pressure point on the breast of a hen that further activates the brooding hormones when there are enough eggs present in the nest (that is why you can encourage a broody mood to settle by leaving eggs in the nest). Remember a clutch of eggs is usually 12 or so, so they are in the gathering stage until they figure that's enough and "nest down," but they will exhibit signs of broodiness and resentment at anyone touching their eggs as they go through the gathering stage. The total number of eggs necessary for "lock down" depends on the hen, but many are content with 6 or more...some with one or two....once they reach that number, they stop laying and "nest down." If the hormones are off a bit, a hen could continue to lay during the whole process of brooding, but that would be very unusual.

    Watch her....make sure she is not egg bound...and if all is good, she should stop laying and lock down and brood.

    EDITED TO ADD: I would also mark the eggs with either a circle or x's on at least 2 sides so that you can tell which eggs have been incubating from the start...otherwise you can get a staggered hatch. Pull the eggs that she steals or lays late to prevent staggering if she is 'nested down" on the first eggs.

    Lady of McCamley
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2014
  7. KinkyMKD

    KinkyMKD In the Brooder

    May 9, 2013
    By that ''in the canal'' i meant tho say that she wanted to lay an egg,but i don't know weather she laid it or not :)
    Yesterday,I was hearing her making that distinctive "cluck,cluck,cluck" sound,but she didn't lay in the nest box.Today,i saw her laying on just 2 eggs and immediately gave her 9 eggs(which she accepted very well,she instantly pushed them under her) ant that sums 11 eggs+that fantom unlaid egg :)
  8. I've found that when the hens are within sight and sound of each other they don't actively interfere in the other's brood. But I do always make sure there are numerous food and water sources spread around to reduce them becoming sources of conflict. I have a (reasonably) large yard, so the hens are all able to go their own way with their clutches, again it reduces the chances of the hens feeling there is any competition. When I give 'sweet scratch' (my mix of a fruit blend bird seed, chopped sunflower seeds, raisins and freeze dried meal worms) I end up with the whole flock at my feet. Right now that means about 60 birds from 1 week to 2+ years (29 under 10 weeks right now from 6 different broody hatches)... I scatter it over a wide area and the little ones are treated like any other flock members.

    If your broodies do tend to fuss then make sure you let them out at different times. Let the first group out for at least 10 or 15 minutes before letting the 2nd one out, this allows the broody to move her little ones off from the coop a ways and get them involved in scratching. Then let the second one out with her crew. This will allow the hens to feel they have their own group 'gathered' without the ruckus of the second group disturbing her. And when the broody hen first goes outside they tend to be very vocal. This can confuse the chicks from the other broody, so having some space between the groups will reduce the confusion.
    If the broodies just bicker constantly then you will need to have them out at separate times completely or only when you can supervise direct. It is the hens which cause the trouble... even when the hens don't get along I see very few conflicts between the chicks unless there is more than a week or two difference in their ages. I have one hen who absolutely will not tolerate any other broody near her and her group... but she will make every attempt she can to steal chicks from other broodies! When Janeway has a clutch I have to count them frequently to make sure she hasn't aquired new ones while out and about!

    They are adorable![​IMG]

    I agree with the advice Lady already gave you... your hen may till be in her 'collection' mode stage of the broody thing. I missed seeing if you mentioned whether she is in the nest overnight now and not up on the roost with the others? I have 2 young hens right now who are both showing early stages of broodiness, but they aren't committed yet and go to the roost in the evenings and are still willing to hop out of nest boxes when they see me sharing any treats with other birds... so they are just 'practicing' as I call it. Her accepting other eggs isn't a sign of broodiness, nearly all of my hens will quickly grab up any real or fake eggs I set in the nest boxes when they are in laying their daily egg. I think it is just an instinctual reaction for them to hide them somewhere safe. I don't give any of our hens eggs until I know they have been parked (day and night) for at least 3 or 4 days... even experienced broodies can sometimes take a while to truly settle, so I don't want to risk the eggs.
    1 person likes this.
  9. and BTW Lady of McCamley... funny you should mention Buckeyes... I have a Buckeye hen who was hatched with one of my broodies in late August of last year... so she is just now 8 months old and she has been broody for nearly a month. I did try to disuade her numerous times but other than being easily confused about which nest she wanted she has been very determined, so she got 8 eggs to hatch today. I know the breeder told me it was common for his Buckeye hens to go broody I was a bit surprised that she parked herself at 7 months! So if you are hatching out Buckeyes I hope the strain shows the same broody tendancies mine already are!
  10. goosegirl6

    goosegirl6 Chirping

    Nov 1, 2013
    Central Alaska
    Thanks! I just moved them to the brooder box with the hen. There is three chicks, 2 yellow and one black with a little yellow. It was really nice to see her teach them to drink. She dipped her beak in the water and dropped a little on each of their beaks. There is 3 more eggs that didn't hatch, so I put those in there and she was glad to sit on them. Maybe I will candle them tonight and see whats going on.

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