Broody hens?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by MuscovyMad, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. MuscovyMad

    MuscovyMad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was just wondering if someone could explain broodiness?

    I understand that chickens stop laying and decide to start sitting on eggs in a bid to hatch out chicks. However if the eggs are removed daily prior to her becoming broody how can you hatch out chicks from that hen? Because she is not laying anymore eggs however she wants to sit.

    Also if you decide to let her sit would you collect eggs from the other laying chickens and put them under her for her to hatch. That way she will hatch them out on the same day (in theory). And remove any eggs added to the nest by the other chickens.

    Any help would be much appreciated cause i am new to chickens and want to breed one of my pekin bantams this spring however i have no idea how to go about it.
     
  2. pkw

    pkw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think you can make a hen go broody. I have raised chickens (also raised ducks until my husband made me sell them) for 10 years and in all that time I only had one duck and 3 chicken hens go broody. My duck was a rouen that went broody and she had 18-20 eggs under her and as it was, only 8 of those hatched. She was so protective over her nest but once the ducklings hatched out, they were on their own. One by one they got ate by ravens. Now last month I had 3 hens go broody. One sat on a nest for 2 weeks and she quit so I put her eggs in the incubator and one just hatched today. I had another one that sat for one week then she quit and I have one that is currently sitting (I ended up having to move her to a location along with her nest and eggs and also some food and water.. she was staying away from her nest too long and her eggs were getting too cool).

    I have found a lot of great information on here with lots of posts on broody hens. I know each of my hens that has went broody picked out a nest that had lots of eggs in there. I didn't have to gather her eggs to put under her. Before I moved my broody hen I marked the eggs under her so I could tell if she was sitting on her original eggs.

    Hopefully someone with more experience on broodiness replies.
     
  3. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know if you've been properly welcomed yet, but just in case you have not: [​IMG]

    I just hatched out two eggs with a broody cochin (same as a pekin, I think). The eggs I hatched were shipped, so they were not from here. Cochins, I hear, tend to go broody fairly often, whereas other breeds do not. However, they don't necessarily go broody when you want them to. I wasn't planning to hatch till spring either, but she went broody in December.

    What they will do is squirrel away eggs, steal eggs from other hens, bite you when you try to take their eggs. A broody hen is a determined thing.

    All the eggs do not need to be laid the same day in order for them to hatch the same day. She will squirrel them away but not sit till she has a clutch the size that makes her happy and then she will begin to sit. They will not begin to develop until she sits. There are folks on here who have bought organic eggs from Trader Joe's, refrigerated, and had them hatch.

    There's a lot more to this brooding and hatching business then I could ever explain here (or anywhere as I am very new too) but these are the bargain basement basics. I hope I have been of some help.

    Jenny
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2011
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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  5. MuscovyMad

    MuscovyMad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. That article was really helpful

    So would i be right in saying that the only way i can get eggs to hatch from the broody hen (not the other hens) is if i have collected them prior to her going broody and then place them under her.

    It says that she will start to sit when she feels a clutch is big enough. But if i remove eggs daily from my 3 hens, does that mean i am putting them off going broody?
     
  6. chickens rule123

    chickens rule123 Out Of The Brooder

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    not necasserly we've had a hen go brody on nothing but straw except the eggs that were in there daily but those got removed
     
  7. MissJenny

    MissJenny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I kept taking eggs from Louisa, yet she kept sitting. In fact she would not get off the nest even when her crate mate wanted to get in there to lay... so the crate mate laid on top of her and Louisa kept the egg. This is when I caught on that she had gone broody. It was really cute how she maneuvered the egg with her beak to position it just right.

    If you notice a hen in the nest box for several hours or a couple of days, this would be a clue. Give her back a couple of her eggs, assuming they are fertile, and see if she stays put.

    Here she is with her babies -- our eggs are infertile -- I had to buy fertile eggs:

    [​IMG]

    Jenny
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2011
  8. MuscovyMad

    MuscovyMad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens are not even laying again yet but i am already planning ahead. My theory on getting more would mean that the hen house would be warmer over winter. I know its a rubbish excuse but atleast it means i get to breed more of them. I'm thinking they are going to be pretty ugly birds though. Cause they will be OEG x pekin.

    Your hen looks great. What is the name of that colour? ps the chicks are really sweet too. [​IMG]
     

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