Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by aglosser1117, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. aglosser1117

    aglosser1117 Chirping

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    I think my 1 yr old Buff is getting broody. Not sure how or if I should let her raise chick. How long does ir takw for eggs to hatch? Can I lwave just a couple of eggs undwr her? Help!
     
  2. Lauren Adams

    Lauren Adams Songster

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    If your going to hatch chicks make sure she is a determined broody. She should be making kind of a gurgling noise kind of and also hissing noises she may not make those noises though she will go down about once a day for food and water. She may try to peck you as well when she is broody. You will need to look for broody poop it is big and extra smelly because they store everything up. If you do decide to hatch an egg your chicken should sit on it for at least 21 days! Do not be surprised if they hatch later than that though. You may want to consider how warm it is at your house right now. If you have further questions let me know. I will probably have to answer tomorrow though.
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    I'm not sure what relevance this comment has to a broody hen rearing chicks??

    @aglosser1117

    Yes it is possible to just give her 2 eggs to incubate. As @Lauren Adams said, it is important to ensure that she is fully broody before you give her hatching eggs. Usually that means spending 2-3 days and nights solid on a nest and just getting off for 20 mins or so each day for food and water and to drop that disgusting broody poop that Lauren described. The incubation period is generally 21 days, but a hen is not able to count, so she will sit there until they hatch. If the eggs in the nest are not fertile, they will sometimes sit for a couple of months unless they are broken of their broodiness and can lose a lot of body condition during that time, so if you decide not to set eggs under her, then you need to break her of her broodiness. A broody buster cage is the best way to do that.... a wire floored cage with no bedding, chocked up off the ground so that there is air flow underneath the hen. This cools her body temperature down and stops the broody hormones.
    Before you set eggs it is important to bear in mind that at least 50% of your chicks will be cockerels and having a plan for what you will do with those when they grow up is important. With just 2 eggs you might get lucky and both of them be pullets but you have to be prepared for them both to be cockerels.

    If you decide to go ahead and set eggs, it is a good idea to dust her nest with either DE or Permethrin to prevent a build up of mites, as broody hens are a magnate for them. If you are going to leave her in a communal nesting box where other laying hens have access, then you need to mark the hatching eggs you give her and check and remove any others that are laid in the nest on a regular, ideally, daily basis. If you decide to move the broody to her own special quarters to incubate the eggs, this will most likely upset her and may even break her from her broodiness, so it is important to move her and get her settled in her new broody nest before you give her the hatching eggs. If you let her out, she will most likely return to her old nest because she is homed in to that location, so only let her out if you are there to supervise and guide her back to the correct nest.
     
    puffypoo22 likes this.
  4. Lauren Adams

    Lauren Adams Songster

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    Sorry I meant your yard if it is like mine it is far to cold for chicks
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    If the chicks are being raised by a broody, they'll be fine. People have had chicks running around in the snow, then back under mama to warm up. Aart let a broody hatch in the cold part of winter and that didn't go too well if I remember right, but this time of year should be OK.
     
    Lauren Adams and puffypoo22 like this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Oh, it went OK, 100% hatch, she kept eggs and chicks warm,
    tho single digit and negative F's was not ideal, to say the least :D...
    ....but it was tough on me, keeping thawed water out there.
    I certainly wouldn't do it again.
    But just had another broody hatch, chicks are 2wo,
    and all the chickens are staying inside during this freak snowstorm we are having today.
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

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    Thanks for clearing that up. It was a while ago, so I didn't remember quite how it turned out. I just remember you saying you wouldn't do it again.
     
    Lauren Adams and aart like this.
  8. aglosser1117

    aglosser1117 Chirping

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    Thanks for the help! Think I'm gonna let her set on a few eggs. I have a rooster, so I need to pick pullet eggs! Lol
     
    Lauren Adams likes this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    Make sure you have a plan for the males that are hatched.
     
    Lauren Adams and bobbi-j like this.
  10. Lauren Adams

    Lauren Adams Songster

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    Good to know just at my house there is snow on the ground right now lol!
     

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