Broody Pullet?


the bird is the word
11 Years
Sep 14, 2008
Adair Co., KY
I have a young hen, that JUST started laying. She has laid maybe 7 or 8 eggs ever, and she has started setting today!! Should I let her set? Switch her eggs out for 'older' hen's eggs?
Keep a few of the older hens eggs and add them to her own if she stays on the nest. Her eggs may not be fertile, but the others will be. A lot of times a young hen will set and then leave the nest, the next week she will do the same thing. Once she gets it right, you will have a great broody.
When I started, I only had 1 hen. She now has chicks (finally...3rd try, poor thing), and I have 3 'pullets' setting, not counting the one refered to above. One is hatching right now, actually. The thing that got me wondering was that all 3 of those laid for about a month straight before they ever bothered to start setting, then they would sit for a day, or 7-8 hours, and quit till the next day. This poor baby laid an egg this morning, around 9, and got back on the nest arould noon. ( I was very busy and didn't realize she was on the nest twice in one day!) I was building pens for some babies, and looked in the barn, and there she was, just happy as can be on her nest. This was roosting time, and she is usually the first one in. She is a dutch banty, and her eggs are sooo small!! The one she laid today was really long, and hard to tell which end was the big, and which was the small. The others laid the same size eggs when they started as when they stopped!
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You could try letting her set on fake eggs for several days to see if she's serious about the job. If it seems that she is, then swap them for real eggs you want her to incubate. Will you put her in separate quarters while she broods? I always do, it helps keep other hens from interrupting the broody and keeps the broody from mistakenly going to the wrong nest when she returns from her daily break.

But sometimes I'll have a hen who appears to be broody, but changes her mind after being confined to a separate pen. That's why I make them "prove" their dedication by staying on fake eggs before giving them the real ones.

Right now I have a banty brooding her first clutch, 4 big eggs from a red sex-link. Wish success for her, she looks wonderfully determined!
Good luck little banty!! 2 of my others were very determined as well. One acted like she would try to eat you if you even thought about getting close to the nest! I am in the process of building cages for my broodies and mamas. Mine are all free range, and roost in an open barn. I had my very favorite mama stolen off the nest a few weeks ago, after hatching only 1 poor baby! I put my next broody hen in a closed cage as soon as she started setting, as well as the next one that started setting, but I have run out of cages big enough (one's in a mink cage/rabbit hutch, the other in a large dog cage). I am planning to make a pen for the 2 mamas tomorrow, then my broodies will go in the cages temporarily. The broody cochin was the only one smart enough to lay hers IN the coop, where of course none of the other chickens would dare go!
heck no we won't go!

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