Broody hens are getting eggs, lots of questions.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Kanga77510, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. Kanga77510

    Kanga77510 Songster

    Oct 10, 2009
    Santa Fe, TX
    It's warmed up here in my part of the country and I have two broody hens. I don't have a rooster, but I'm going to acquire some fertile eggs tonight. We've never tried to hatch eggs before, so I have a lot of questions.

    Right now, the two hens are set up in my only two nest boxes. When I get the eggs should I move the broodies to another location or set up another set of nest boxes for the other hens? If babies hatch, should I set up a maternity ward for mom and the babies? What's a good number of eggs for a hen to set? Will mom start keeping the babies right away? Are there things I should look out for?

    Of course, this is all IF the eggs hatch. [​IMG] Thanks ya'll!

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    If the eggs are fertile, broodies have a very good hatch rate. I get close to 100%(well not me but my broodies)
    I've done it every way you can imagine but it is best to move the broodies to a tempory nest box with a maternity ward area. (space for her to stretch her legs and get food and water)
    It just works better. Otherwise the other chickens will climb in to lay their eggs. It's just a mess though it can work that way too. The problem you have is all your current nest boxes are taken.
    I had the same thing. 3 nests in one coop, 3 broodies and 8 other layers with nowhere to lay.
    They started to climb in together and steal eggs from each other. Some eggs got smashed.

    A big bird can sit on 9 or 10. Silkies sometimes struggle with 2. Just make sure all eggs are covered or none may hatch. As she moves them around to try to cover them and 1 gets left out, it's usually a different one each day so they all die.
  3. Agreed........Pop

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