Broody Mamma Update

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by KickingChicken, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. KickingChicken

    KickingChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2010
    Hi-
    I have been reading a lot of broody hen posts and didn’t quite find what I was looking for. I hope nobody minds that I am asking on a new thread.

    I have a 9 mo old Orpington mix. She started sitting around the clock on unfertilized eggs two-three days ago. I have not seen her off the nest since. I am getting a few eggs at the end of this week and am wondering what others would do about timing.
    1) How long should we wait before giving her the fertilized eggs? Is there a general limit to how long they will brood before giving up (past the 21 days it would normally take to hatch)? Or will she literally sit there till something happens?

    I would like to move her to wire dog cage. 2). Should I put the dog cage in the chicken run where my other three chickens are, in a separate run all by herself (unused dog run w/picture below), or someplace like a garage? All three of these places are predator safe, I am just looking for the best location to keep her broody and happy.

    There is a lot of advice about moving the chicken at night. 4) My question is for more specifics on this part of the process, you see… I am rather scared of my chicken. She does a sort of growl at me when I open the door to the nesting box and her feathers fluff up. When I go out there at night, thinking she will be sleeping, she is always staring at me with that one eye. 5) What is she going to do when I pick her up. Should I have the wire dog cage right there, or pick her up and walk as quickly as I can with her to the new location. I know not to put the good eggs in there until she resettles (so I will have my incubator ready.)

    5) I also would like to candle the eggs but I don’t see her letting me stick my hand in there to periodically look at the eggs?

    6)If and when they hatch, can I just let her (and chicks) run about the yard with the rest of the flock and let her decide where she wants them to sleep at night? Then go down to close up whether it be the chicken run or the unused dog run.

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    Chicken Run
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    Unused Dog kennel, currently used as storage
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    Broody Chicken
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  2. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2010
    Under Your bed
    1) How long should we wait before giving her the fertilized eggs? Is there a general limit to how long they will brood before giving up (past the 21 days it would normally take to hatch)? Or will she literally sit there till something happens?
    Whenever you know for SURE she is broody :) Somtimes, a hen will act broody, sit on

    good, fertile eggs, get them growing...Then give up on being broody. If she's been like this

    for 2-3 days, she's ready for her eggs. Most chickens set on their eggs until somthing happens.



    would like to move her to wire dog cage. 2). Should I put the dog cage in the chicken run where my other three chickens are, in a separate run all by herself (unused dog run w/picture below), or someplace like a garage? All three of these places are predator safe, I am just looking for the best location to keep her broody and happy.
    I would put it in the garage.


    There is a lot of advice about moving the chicken at night. 4) My question is for more specifics on this part of the process, you see… I am rather scared of my chicken. She does a sort of growl at me when I open the door to the nesting box and her feathers fluff up. When I go out there at night, thinking she will be sleeping, she is always staring at me with that one eye. 5) What is she going to do when I pick her up. Should I have the wire dog cage right there, or pick her up and walk as quickly as I can with her to the new location. I know not to put the good eggs in there until she resettles (so I will have my incubator ready.)

    LOL. The broody growl? Yea, it's scary. Some hens will not peck you. Even when doing
    'the growl'. If your really scared, put on some gloves that will cover most of your arms,
    and quickly pick her up and move her. Whether you have the crate near you or not is
    your choice.


    5) I also would like to candle the eggs but I don’t see her letting me stick my hand in there to periodically look at the eggs?
    Put a glove on one hand, grab an egg, and candle it with your other hand. I don't like holding,
    and candling eggs with gloves, because it's super easy to drop them, ESPECIALLY with
    gloves on.


    6)If and when they hatch, can I just let her (and chicks) run about the yard with the rest of the flock and let her decide where she wants them to sleep at night? Then go down to close up whether it be the chicken run or the unused dog run.
    They should stay in the dog crate, or a very secure erea (away from other chickens) For atleast
    the first 2-3 weeks, if not longer. And even when you do let them out on their own to run around the yard, you still need to put them in a safe place to sleep at night, as chickens
    do NOT pick safe places to sleep.


    Heres a link to a thread here on BYC all about broody hens.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=457488
    :) Good luck!

    ~Scissor
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  3. kingdr85

    kingdr85 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 7, 2008
    Madison-Columbus WI
    1) the same answer as Scissorchick. If she has been sitting for a couple of days she is ready for eggs. Chickens dont count the days...they usually sit there until something hatches or explodes [​IMG]

    2) All places will work - I personally like the dog kennel that way is a better temperature than a closed off garage.

    3) I move my chickens during the day. I usually pull her up by the tail and then grab her (mine doesnt peck at me but does growl). Then I put the eggs (the new fertile eggs) inside the dog crate and she runs over to sit on them. She might get up and eat and poop if you do it during the day but she will come back to the eggs, just make sure she can see where they are.

    4) candling could be difficult, I dont think I'll be doing it with mine. I might do a float test closer to the hatch day. BTW the pecking doest really hurt but if you are afraid just were gloves and a sweatshirt.

    5) I let my hens right out with the others....usually when they are broody they will protect those babies with their lifes and the other hens will stay clear. Just make sure that if they are in the area with the other chickens that you have something the hen can take the chicks into at night (low to the ground where chicks can hop into (a box or something). You should have something low at least until they get some feathers and can jump a little higher.
     
  4. KickingChicken

    KickingChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2010
    The adventure of the broody chicken continues!

    Thank you for all the advice. I was going to wait till tonight to move her, but she got off of her nest for like 2 hours this afternoon. I didn’t know if she is falling out of her broodiness. I probably should have just been patient and waited to see if she would go back to her nest, instead I jumped the gun. I thought if I caught her and put her in the dog crate maybe she would go back into it. For a while she was sitting on top of the box, I made for her. However, for the last hour or so she is back in sitting on the eggs. I was curious just because she is in there, could she be just laying in there and not actively turning the eggs? Will it be obvious if she is still broody?

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  5. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2009
    Wyoming, New York
    I have only used broody hens so far. My silkies go broody very easy and if they sit in the nesting box for a week, then I move them, let them settle (about 24 hours) and then put the real eggs under them. I haven't candled because I tried once and dropped the egg so I let nature take its course. They usually have a really good hatch rate and take good care of the babies. I put them in their own box and keep it in a warm and darker area away from the busyness of the world (usually my basement). I just had 2 ameraucanas go broody so I did what I usually do and put duck eggs under them. One was definitely not broody (I think I only waited 2 or 3 days so she hadn't really set into broodiness), but the other is definitely broody but wouldn't sit on the duck eggs. I am not sure why but this is her 1st time being broody. So give your hen at least 24 hours to settle and if she is still sitting on the eggs, then switch them with the ones you want to put under her to hatch. Good luck!
     
  6. KickingChicken

    KickingChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2010
    well she has been on the nest for the last couple of hours. But it makes me wonder if she is only sitting there because it is the most comfortable place in the dog kennel. How do you know if she is actually turning the eggs and being a good mom vs. just sitting in the nest.
     
  7. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2009
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    My hen that wasn't really broody sat next to the eggs, not on them. Also when they are broody, if you put an egg next to the hen, they pull the egg under them to incubate. My broodies also if an egg isn't fertile or dies, they kick it out of the nest. I did not realize this so I stuck it back under the hen and she just kicked it out again so I opened it and it wasn't fertile. My husband says chickens have been laying and hatching eggs out for a long time and know just what to do. I would suggest leaving her alone for about 12 to 24 hours and if she is still there, then put the eggs you want her to hatch under her. Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  8. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Virginia
    Quote:
     
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2011
  9. KickingChicken

    KickingChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    May 24, 2010
    Well after five series of tornado warnings in North Georgia, my broody hen survived. However, she was up off the nest of unfertilized eggs and clucking up a storm to get out of the dog cage. I felt bad from separating her from her friends over the worst night possible, so I just let her out. As soon as I opened the door she high tailed it back to the originally spot up high on the left side of the chicken coop. I went and gathered the unfertilized eggs and put them next to her like Karen suggested. I went back an hour later and she had pulled them under her and is now seemingly content as can be in her original spot. Not sure what to do now, I pick up my eggs soon.
     
  10. Karen09

    Karen09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2009
    Wyoming, New York
    So it sounds like she is really broody. Can you make her a box that is big enough for her, waterer, and food dish. (I usually make one about 2.5 - 3 feet by about 1 foot wide and 2 feet tall with the back part where she is going to have the nest have a top but the front not so you can change the water and give .more food. Then I put a metal grid (from an old microwave shelf) over the opening with a towel over that with a book on top so she can't push it off. I then put the chicken on the in the nest area with the not good eggs and let her settle. Then once she settles, change the good eggs for the ones she was sitting on. Then I only check her once or twice a day to see if she needs water or food. My silkies always did good with this set up and I put them in my cellar which stays at 65 degrees with 70% humidity. He is a picture from my phone to show you my inexpensive make-shift box. After the babies are hatched and dry, then I move them to the dog kennel with a box around the bottom outside to keep them in. This gives them a little more space. Keep us updated.
    [​IMG][/img]
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011

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