Broody hen?

Coolbreeze89

Songster
Apr 7, 2018
97
123
103
Central Texas
I have had chickens for 7 months. They’ve been laying for a few months now (I even just finished my first incubator hatch!). The last couple days, I’ve noticed the same BCM hen has been hunkered in the same nest box every time I check for eggs. I know I collected eggs from that box 3 (no more than 4) days ago, so she can’t have too many under there. Is this “broody”? Do I do anything differently? I don’t at all mind if she hatches some chicks. The nest box has some pine shavings in it, and is about 16” off the ground (3”ridge on front of shelf; pine shavings on the ground below). I’ve tried not to disturb her the last couple days when collecting the boxes near her (there’s a row of 6 nest boxes, she’s in #5). Do I just leave her alone? Thanks
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,858
1,225
522
central Ohio
I personally don't bother the broodies at all unless they go broody outside. I figure they know what they are doing. You might have some extras laid in there; I guess if you want to remove them, that's ok, but I don't, unless there's a lot of them and it's becoming a problem for the hen to move them around and keep them all under her. If she's in a false brood, you'll know soon enough when she gets up, and if she's not setting on any eggs, you can either stick some under her or stick her in a pen for a couple of days away from the nest, to break her broody spell.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,357
129,648
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Do I just leave her alone?
Up to you how you want to 'manage' it.

I personally don't like a broody taking up a nest nor do I want to deal with the problems that can occur in that situation....staggered hatch from other hens eggs being deposited in broody's nest, broken eggs from 'nest fighting', broody going back to wrong nest after her daily constitutional.

If I want them to hatch a batch I put them in a separate area of coop(partitioned off with wire) with fake eggs in a floor nest, then if they stick to the nest for a couple days there I give them fresh fertile eggs and start the countdown. I also handle/touch my broody regularly(make 'friends' with her) so if there's problem she'll let me handle it.

Are you sure you want her to hatch..what with the new chicks you just incubated??

Here's my notes on broodies, maybe it will help you with your decisions:
You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.

Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?

Do you have the space needed? Both for more chickens and she may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.

Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?

If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.

It's a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread



If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop with feed and water.

I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.
Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
upload_2018-11-10_7-52-33.png


And when I let them hatch:
upload_2018-11-10_7-53-7.png
 

Coolbreeze89

Songster
Apr 7, 2018
97
123
103
Central Texas
Up to you how you want to 'manage' it.

I personally don't like a broody taking up a nest nor do I want to deal with the problems that can occur in that situation....staggered hatch from other hens eggs being deposited in broody's nest, broken eggs from 'nest fighting', broody going back to wrong nest after her daily constitutional.

If I want them to hatch a batch I put them in a separate area of coop(partitioned off with wire) with fake eggs in a floor nest, then if they stick to the nest for a couple days there I give them fresh fertile eggs and start the countdown. I also handle/touch my broody regularly(make 'friends' with her) so if there's problem she'll let me handle it.

Are you sure you want her to hatch..what with the new chicks you just incubated??

Here's my notes on broodies, maybe it will help you with your decisions:
You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.

Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?

Do you have the space needed? Both for more chickens and she may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.

Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?

If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.

It's a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread



If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop with feed and water.

I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.
Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
View attachment 1586064

And when I let them hatch:
View attachment 1586065

Thanks for the detailed reply. I have started reading that thread..lots of great info!

I have room for more chicks, and will butcher any cockerels (the couple Roos I have seem to be behaving “well” by the standards I’ve read here, so no need for more or to replace).

This morning, she seems to have gotten confused about which nest box was “hers”, as I found her sitting in the box next to hers. I will take your advice and give her her own private space to hatch. I was curious as to broody hatch versus incubator experience, so I guess I’ll learn now.

Thanks again!
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,858
1,225
522
central Ohio
To each his own. We have had lots of broodies hatch lots of healthy chicks, and we never seem to have the problems described above. One she hatches them, we do put the mother and babies in their own private pen til the chicks reach the age of five to seven weeks; then they go out with the flock.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,357
129,648
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
One she hatches them, we do put the mother and babies in their own private pen til the chicks reach the age of five to seven weeks; then they go out with the flock.
I do the opposite there too and take down the barrier at about 1 week after hatch,
while broody still has her 'protection mojo' going on.
<shrugs>Everyone does things different.
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,858
1,225
522
central Ohio
I do the opposite there too and take down the barrier at about 1 week after hatch,
while broody still has her 'protection mojo' going on.
<shrugs>Everyone does things different.

So sorry you didn't get an answer to your question.

For liquid Corid dosage is 2 teaspoons per gallon of water. Give for 5-7days as the only source of drinking water.

It's good that the crop was completely empty this morning!

Our broodies stay with their chicks way past five or six weeks. When the chicks are five or six weeks old, they're strong enough to keep up with their mother and even fly to a low perch in most cases. Our flock free ranges. They need the protection of the pen until they are that old, it helps the mother protect them and she is much less stressed, imo.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom