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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by cluckcluckluke, Nov 4, 2012.
How long do broody hens last for before they give up and leave the nest.
it depends on hen, i have aseel hen who was broody for back to back to clutches, i got 1 chick in first clutch and that also died within 2 days, so she was very broody that time so i kept another set of eggs under her, this time she successfully hatched 6 chicks of bantam
The broody hen in this case is a Red Sex-Link (Isa Brown).
i dont know about this breed. but why u are asking this? its better to keep her with her chicks when she hatched that, its a whole cycle of the motherly behavior so dont disturb that, but 1 first clutch u have all the unfertile eggs then u can try another set of eggs but dont get late, that should be done within 1-2 days
It depends on the hen. Some will stay broody all season. Others will sit for 2 months on golf balls. Some will only be half broody, and leave the nest at night to go roost.
When they have chicks, they'll usually get bored with them around 7 weeks of age. If you take the chicks too early, they may try again.
I had one who went broody in June. I let her have duck eggs for awhile, then gave those to a broody duck. Bought her some chicks. She raised them, then after 10 weeks, she turned around and went broody again. A half hearted attempt, she gave up after 3 weeks when I didn't keep any eggs in the coop for her. Then she went into her first big molt, now she's finally back to laying again.
I've had some get so serious about it they would steal eggs and find something, anything, to sit on. And they would do that from April until September. Those were Bantam Old English.
A Black Rosecomb Bantam hen, she was my "most broody". Stealing eggs and chicks, no nonsense about it, she was a brutal broody. She met a hawk in the air protecting a batch of chicks, and that was the end of her. She was a neat chicken. A little crazy, but neat.
Then some others... they'd last about 3 weeks or so, then never tried again. You never can tell what a hen will do, until she does it enough to let you know how she is.
None of my others in the current flock go broody, just the one Wheaten Marans. The others accepted her chicks fine, no drama. If a broody hen has good flock standing, and isn't low bird on the totem pole, giving purchased chicks to the broody is a good way to introduce new birds. They need to be less than a week old, and spend about 3 weeks in a "broody hut". Then allow the rest of the flock to meet them, and if it goes well, they can be added to the main coop earlier than if they didn't have a mother to "introduce" them to the flock.
I don't know about the ISA.
I don't have tons of experience but my two thought are this:
1) if they sit too long they can become really thin since they don't eat as much sitting or at least mine didn't. I used to bring her mealworm treats for fat and protein.
2) My speckled sussex sat for 4 1/2 to 5 weeks one time. She basically sat til she go babies. I ended up buying some local fertile eggs that were being incubated so she didn't have to keep going to 7 weeks!
Its just that I have 10 fertile eggs under her at the moment but she was broody for 2 weeks before i gave her the eggs and dont want her going of the brood before they hatch because i dont have an incubator so it will all be lost, and shes getting of for rests much longer than when she started, for two days in a row Ive gotten worried about the eggs going cold that Ive picked her up and put her back in the cage where her nest is and she climbs straight into it, the cage it big enough to have a stretch and relieve herself and there's water and food in there for her but she just wants to come out for a forage and i dont want her to forget(not that she should). How long can eggs last with out the broody on them before they die??? She only has 2ish weeks beofre they are due to hatch and i would be very disappointed if she gave up and didn't realize how close she was.