Broody Hens - How long do I have to get eggs under them?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MikeJanet, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. MikeJanet

    MikeJanet In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2008
    SW Washington
    I have 2 very broody sister hens. One has already proven herself hatching, and it's the 1st time for the other.

    My delima is that I don't want to hatch eggs from the roo I have on site so I want to purchase some - my concern is that they will give up on the purchased eggs before it's their time to hatch.

    The hens have been broody about a week, and it'll be almost another week before I can put eggs of my choosing under them. I still have to move them to a place where they won't be bothered/bullied by the other hens who keep insisting on squeezing in with the broodies to lay their daily egg & yes there are plenty of other boxes, my broodies just must be in the "favorite" boxes:).

    Anyway.. I'm hoping that if I wait to move them until I have the eggs I want, that the hens will still sit for the full 21 days to hatch? Anyone know if this will workout or have experience with this?

    Thanks for your help......
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2009

  2. okiehen

    okiehen Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    You still have a very good chance that the hens will set tight and go the full 21 more days till the chicks hatch.
    I would say go for it but if you have a incubator I would have it ready just in case.
    Move them to were you want them to set and hatch the eggs.
    When you get your eggs set them under them at night, you will need to keep some eggs under them till you get the ones your wanting to set.
    Best of luck and happy broody hen hatching.
  3. Teresaann24

    Teresaann24 Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Eastern, Kentucky
    My broody has been sitting for 43 days. Her 1st 21 days the eggs did not hatch she sit another 23 days and her eggs are hatching now. So if they are detirmined enough to want to hatch somtimes they wont give up till somthing hatches. As long as they have eggs under them. Maybe someone with more advice can help you.
  4. MikeJanet

    MikeJanet In the Brooder

    Feb 9, 2008
    SW Washington
    I do have an incubator, but I have to admit that after incubating 4 seperate batches last year .. having the hens do it is alot less worry and work... I say HOORAY for broody hens!

    Thank you both - and I'll hope for very determined hens :)...

  5. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    I just set eight eggs under a first time broody hen so I'm hoping she will sit for the entire 21 days! Good luck to you and I will be reading your post...trying to find out more info myself on this. It's MY first time as well!
  6. KirstenRichter

    KirstenRichter In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2009
    I am experiencing a broody hen myself. She is a pretty BO named Ellie. This is also my first experience with a broody lady. She is currently sitting on a baseball and will growl at us and puff herself up like a fluffy basketball when I have to pick her up to put her in the hen house at night. I am picking up some fertilized eggs in the morning to slip under her. Question- I have to put her in at night as we have a darn bobcat that lurks in the alley- I don't want to take any chances. Is there a way to relocate her nesting box? She loves that baseball. Do you think she will follow into the hen house? Second question- nutrition. How do I make sure she is eating and drinking? I go out during the day and lay some fresh greens near her- some pellets and this morning some nice warm oatmeal. I just want to make sure I am taking good care of her so she doesn't die from malnutrition.

    Thank you- I love this site so much![​IMG]
  7. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    To Kirsten Richter,

    I'm on my first broody myself, and I read lots of advice about if the past few days. If you can make her a nesting box that feels safe & comfortable & private --but not too private if she's not used to it, do so, out of a good cardbaord box & duct tape, get her same bedding material type in there, get a second baseball or move the first ahead of her, then put her in there & bring her in when you need to. Mine did the transfer this way just fine. You could put her in a cat & dog-safe room in her box for the night, or you could put her in a dog crate and let her stay in the basement if you have one. Apparently, broodies rarely poop in the nest box. A high-protein, easily digested food is best. If you have chick starter, give her some of that, right under her beak, once-twice a day, and offer scrambled eggs, yoghurt, or another high-protein food as well, with water, here again right under her beak. I don't have a predator-proof coop for my broody yet, so she stays inside all the time in the laundry room in her cardboard box, and she's fine. Totally content, head-wagging & clucking away to her pretend eggs.
    Remove your broody once a day for 5-10 minutes of fresh air & a chance to poop.
    This is the digested form of what I've read from other BYCers the past few days. I've only got 5 days experience with broodies otherwise, so double check this info.

  8. McGobs

    McGobs Chirping

    Jun 13, 2012
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2013

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