Broody Polish Hen Sitting on Eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Sherlock, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Sherlock

    Sherlock New Egg

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    I have 2 Polish hens and a Pekin bantam. One of my Polish (the one on my profile pic) has suddenly become broody so we got her some fertile eggs that I hope she will sit on. I have heard that Polish hens rarely go broody yet she is aggressively so, pecking at us if we disturb her.

    As we are quite new to hens I have a couple of questions for the more experienced hen keepers:

    She does come off the eggs to get food and water but she sometimes wanders about the garden for up to an hour before I encourage her to go back in. How long can she be off her eggs before it becomes a problem? Bearing in mind we haven't yet put the fertile eggs underneath her (planning to do this tonight) but we are encouraging the broodiness.

    Also I read on one website that even if a Polish hen were to hatch eggs, she would murder the chicks. Is this right? Has anyone any experience of a Polish hen successfully hatching and then rearing chicks?

    Apart from some aggression when she's on the eggs she's normally a very placid bird. We only got our Pekin bantam a few weeks go and she was much smaller and younger than the two Polish. Whilst my other Polish was a problem, attacking the little Pekin this hen would only give her a warning peck if she got too near her food. Other than that she left her alone. We've also had fledging birds in the garden that she's left alone too, so given her nature would she still kill any hatched chicks?

    Advice would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. chickenfarmer96

    chickenfarmer96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Polish chickens will successfully hatch chicks, and not kill the chicks, but be aware that if you have a dog or cat, than she will be very aggresive towards them to protect her chicks. So it is very common that she will attack anything comming too close to her chicks. But other that that it should be just fine. Also with your Polish hen pecking at other hens, just means that shes establishing a pecking order in which she is warning hens not too mess around with her, because she wont put up with it. Usually happens alot when hens go broody, it's a typical thing. Anyway i hope my information will help you solve your chicken problems, Sincerly chickenfarmer96.
     
  3. Sherlock

    Sherlock New Egg

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    chickenfarmer you are just the person I needed! I have heard so many tales about Polish hens and none of it is my own personal experience of these lovely birds.

    Yes, she is the highest in the pecking order which I'm glad of as it means she will look after the chicks if they hatch. She isn't naturally aggressive though, she just makes sure the others know that she feeds first!

    I am very relieved to hear that she will make a good mum, it's certainly not what other chicken keepers have told me so I am very glad of your reply! We don't have a cat or dog so no probs there. We have a very high fence all round the garden with foundations underneath so it's completely fox-proof and now that we have hens, the neighbours' cats keep out too which is good riddance as I can't stand them.

    Well the fertile eggs will be placed under her tonight so fingers crossed!

    Can I just ask - have you raised many Polish chicks with natural mums?
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    On the MN prairie.
    To answer your other concerns about her getting off the eggs for up to an hour or so, broodies know what they're doing. Chickens have been hatching eggs for thousands of years without human intervention and doing it just fine (otherwise, they'd be extinct by now!). Is it warm where you are? The eggs won't cool off right away internally, especially if she's got a good nest. The nesting material will help hold in the heat.
     
  5. chickenfarmer96

    chickenfarmer96 Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes i have a Polish hen here on my farm, the only one right now but hoping she'll hatch some more next year. She just set, and got 2 chicks, and is doing a very good job of taking care of them. Her name is Eva and she is brown with black on the neck and brow mixed with black/grey in the top-hat. So yes They do make great mothers, so you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
    Also i have an Araucana, and a Columbian Wyandotte who are the two sisters too my Polish hen, along with a BB Red Old english game bantam rooster, and a Barred Rock / Columbian Wyandotte crossed rooster which are the brothers of those hens, waiting on my other two hens too start setting but they should start soon [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  6. Sherlock

    Sherlock New Egg

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    I could hug you both right now! I have been getting such negative comments about them eating the chicks, making terrible brooders, etc. You hear so many generalisations about these birds and it can really put someone off!

    Yes it is fairly warm around here right now but I was worried as we are away for a couple of weekends so can't keep encouraging her back onto the nest. If she knows what she is doing then I'll just leave her to it.

    Can't wait. The eggs we got are Gold-laced Polish Frizzle/Smooth so they are lovely looking birds. I'm hoping that even if we get a few cockerels in there, someone will take them from us. I am prepared for failure as it is our (and hers) first time but we will do all we can to help her hatch and raise them.

    Thanks all!
     
  7. jflanny

    jflanny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had Pet chickens for about 16 years and believe it or not , we have never had one hen go broody until this year and we've had two! One was a Silkie , which is not a surprise (we are new to Silkies - and I read they go broody at the drop of an ...egg). But the other is our Blue Polish (Top Hat)! Oh my gosh, she turned evil!! We did not want either sitting on a clutch since we had two roosters too many and enough hens for our henhouse space so I have had to use the broody breaker. Worked like a charm on Splash my Silkie but Anya the Toppie had to go back in after I thought she was successfully off the nest only to find her very protectively sitting on an Americauna and a RIR egg the day after that. She's been in for two more days so hopefully tomorrow she can join everyone. I always feel so bad for my girls when they are separated!
     

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