Broody hen. What to do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Little Red Hen 66, Jun 14, 2011.

  1. Little Red Hen 66

    Little Red Hen 66 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2011
    Hi. We are new to keeping chickens. We recently hatched our first batch (11 chicks from 18 eggs) in our incubator and we have started collecting eggs this week to put on the incubator in the next few days. Our problem is that one of our hens looks like she has decided to go broody over the past few days. We took the eggs yesterday (4) but left todays there (presumably another 4). We are torn between experiencing hatching with a broody hen or just removing the eggs and going ahead in the incubator. If we decide to go ahead and let her sit, we are not too sure what to do. She is currently in a house with 3 other hens and a cock. Would we need to take her and the eggs out to another house on her own? Problem is that we currently don't have a free house. If we did have to move her I guess we will have to stop her for now until we get another house ready for just her and the chicks. Could she be left with the other hens and cock. Would they kill chicks if any hatched. We have another house ready except for the run, but that is for the 11 chicks we hatched recently. Thanks if anyone can advise - we weren't expecting this so we need to make a fast decision.[​IMG]
     
  2. mustangsaguaro

    mustangsaguaro Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 30, 2007
    San Martin, Ca
    Quote:I prefer to use a broody over an incubator for hatching eggs. The broodies are more reliable and I have found better hatch rates using them instead of an incubator. All my chickens free range, but are locked up at night. So whenever I end up w/ a broody hen I usually put her in a separate pen so the other birds don't bother her. Plus I have found that if I keep the door open and then she gets off the nest to go eat, drink and bath I might find another hen on her nest trying to lay eggs. Not fun trying to figure out which egg was laid especially if they are all the same color. I will usually keep the hen and her chicks in for a week or 2 by themselves. I then let them out w/ the rest of the flock. I've never had a problem w/ the other adult birds going after the chicks. Momma usually stays pretty close when they are little. As they get a bit older she's not as protective. But when little she keeps a good eye on them and if anyone gets to close she lets them know it.

    Hope this is of some help. I'm sure others will have different opinions. What works for one may not necessarily work for another. You just have to figure out what works for your flock.
     
  3. Little Red Hen 66

    Little Red Hen 66 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 27, 2011
    Thanks for the reply. We decided to let her sit. I told my husband what you had posted and he is going to do a few things over the weekend to sort it so that she can be on her own with eggs/chicks. I wonder could we quickly mark existing eggs and remove later ones if othrs go in and lay...otherwise we need to close the pen that the broody is in I presume. Thanks for the reply. We will see how it goes [​IMG]
     

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