Broody Isa Brown

Soap Junkie

In the Brooder
9 Years
Nov 5, 2010
Oxford Mi
Hi all!

I have not been on the site in a while as all has been going very well with my 10 Isa Browns. I got them last year day after easter and it has been quite a learning journey. I choose them for my first birds because they lay a lot of eggs and are known to seldom go broody. Well, I already have one that has gone broody!

About 2 weeks ago I noticed that she was alway in the laying box when I went into feed them. After a week of seeing that she was not leaving I called a friend that has a rooster and she brougt me over 10 eggs. I placed them under her and left her in the laying box. I numbered the eggs (and I used a permanant marker that I have since heard is not a good idea) and figured I would just leave her in the group. Not a great idea.

First the other hens seem to like that box the best so most of them have been crawling in the box with her and laying so I have had to lift her up everyday to remove the other eggs. By the 3rd day I noticed that I was down to 8 marked eggs, couldnt find the other ones! I knew the night before they were all there but now 2 were missing. On the 5th day I went out to the coop and found one on the floor! So I picked it up and put it back under her. It was cold and I was not holding out much hope but I put it there anyway. The next day I came out and found the middle box had 5 eggs in it, so I was happy that the other hens were starting to lay in another box.
I lifted mama up to make sure there were only her eggs under her and found only 7 eggs marked. I moved to the middle box and there was number 7 in the middle box! How???? I put that one back under her but it was cold too. So now I am getting fustrated and my 10 eggs were down to 6 good eggs.

I come out on day 6 and lift here up and now I only have 7 eggs under her! What the heck! 3 eggs gone and 2 got cold so I am down to 5 good eggs. So now I am really fustrated and leaving her in that box is not working. I got a large dog kennel that is all wire no plastic and brought that out to the coop. I cleaned out the coop and put a box with a top on it in the kennel, Put bedding in there an moved the eggs and mama to the kennel. She was pretty ticked off for about an hour. I left the kennel door open and she left it and went outside and squaked loud for about an hour. I went back to her and put her in the kennel and locked the door this time. I went back about an hour after that and she was sitting on the eggs.

I didnt know what was going to happen to the 5 eggs I had left, so the lady with the rooster brought me back 13 eggs and I switched out the whole thing to start from scratch. So far so good.
I put a food dish and a waterer in with her and she does have room to move around as the kennel is the large one. I still have no idea what happened to the missing eggs, cant find them anywhere.
I hope she will continue to sit as I do not have an incubator.

My biggest questiion is this, do Isa Browns make good mama's? My hen lets me pick up the eggs from under her and never squaks at me or anything. I am afraid she may not be protective enough if they do hatch.

This was not one of my plans to hatch chicks, who knew one of my Isa's the first year would go broody!

Oh, and the lady I got the eggs from, she took the 7 eggs that were still under mama home and cracked them open for me. She said they all had blood lines in them but she did not see anything more. By day 7 can you see the baby chick forming? I am just wondering if my chicken is doing this right. Its both of our first brooding so I think we both are nervous!
I don't know if they are good mothers, you'll have to wait and see!

It's funny, you mentioned the moving eggs. I have buckets in the coop. They stand upright, the bottom filled with stones for stability and then lots of dried grass. I had a broody hen sitting on eggs in one of the buckets and more than once I found either a decoy egg that I left in the next bucket under her or one of hers in the next bucket. I'm seriously puzzled by this. I cannot think how on earth the hens managed to move the eggs out of the buckets and into the next one over without breaking them! The buckets are quite deep and there's it's about 17 inches from the nesting material to the top of the buckets!
I still cant figure it out either. Maybe they are grabing the eggs with their feet? I sat and scratched my head for hours!
But then they'd break it, scrambling up to the side of the buckets... I think they may be holding it under their wings
That could be. I wish I would have had a camera set up so I could have seen it. I was sure hoping someone would be able to answer about the Isa being a mama. She is sitting nice on the eggs now that I have her in her own space, I just hope she takes care of the babie good. I was hoping to avoid that part.
Seems to be the year for broodies. One of my ISA Browns AND one of my commercial White Leghorns have gone broody and are pretty darned determined about it too!

Do you know of anyone else with a Isa that went broody? I am just hoping she is going to be a good mama. I dont want to raise the chicks right now I hope she does it!
This year I had 4 broody commercial layers (very similar to ISA browns). I think it's the food I'm feeding them, which makes them a bit heavier bodied, as I've never seen broody ISA types before.

3 were great mums, one gave up early. Good enough!

best of luck,
This year I had 4 broody commercial layers (very similar to ISA browns). I think it's the food I'm feeding them, which makes them a bit heavier bodied, as I've never seen broody ISA types before.

3 were great mums, one gave up early. Good enough!

best of luck,
Thanks Erica!

It gives me hope then that she might be a good mama. The chicks should hatch on 06/09/12, if she has done her job and they were fertile, but I am leaving on a vacation 06/16/12 so I am very nervous about what is going to be happening when I am gone. If she is not a good mama then I have to find someone to watch them.

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