Broody Questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SGM, Apr 11, 2009.

  1. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    I have only had one broody hen before and that was over 3 years ago when we were first getting into chickens. I helped to encourage that one to set. She laid faithfully in her box, I collected the eggs everyday. Finally I started putting "nest eggs" in her box to accumulate. When she decided to sit on them I left her for 3 days to make sure she'd stay. She did and I swapped out her nest eggs for her really eggs at night. I put 7 of her own Gold Sebright eggs under her to sit. She hatched them all! She was a right testy broody hen after they hatched too.

    Ok, so my current situation is with a Blue Cochin bantam hen. Yesterday she was late to lay her egg in the day. So by the time I got around to looking for it, it was well after dark. I noticed when we went to feed the goats that she wasn't on her perch so I made a point to check on the way back up. When I got in there she'd laid her egg and was happily covering it for the night. So I lifted her, took the egg and put her back.

    So I guess she has the potential to be a broody hen. Which is fine by me. I have a lot of there chicks hatching and incubating, so I'd like to work on another breed hatching for now. So if she wants to hatch some that's fine by me. What I'm unsure about is the fact that she's in a pen with 2 other hens and a rooster. When we had the broody Sebright it was just a pair and I never removed the hen. She stayed with her roo and raised the chicks. Would I need to remove this hen if she goes broody to protect the chicks when they hatch? I can put her in a dog crate if need be and set it up to protect her from anything and also to keep them from getting out.

    I really do want to try this. I figured I could try some nest eggs in her coop with a new nest box that would be easy to remove if/when she sets them. Then add the nest eggs to it and see how long it takes her to claim the nest. LOL What do you think?
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    I'd just make certain that the other hens can't knock her off of her nest. That was the problem I had with a broody.
     
  3. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
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    I just put a box in there with two eggs to see if she'll set. So far she hasn't but of course it was feed time and she was preoccupied with that. LOL
     
  4. gckiddhouse

    gckiddhouse Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2008
    Desert Hills, AZ
    I agree that the problem is in the other hens kicking her out of the nest.
    It may depend on where your broody is in the pecking order. My broody is near the bottom and about 5 of the 7 other hens would kick her out or just get on top of her and lay more eggs in the box. Perhaps if she was at the top of the pecking order, she wouldn't allow the others to do this.
    I did separate the broody. The other hens were just mean to her. Now that the babies have been born, they are still mean to her. None of my hens nor the rooster has ever been aggressive toward any of the babies though. And the rooster defends them valiantly (too much so, I had to lock him up after he came after me).
    At 4 weeks old the babies started roosting with the whole flock. The hens are still picking on the broody a little, but they all get along just fine with the babies.
     
  5. SGM

    SGM Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 18, 2008
    Easley, SC
    I really don't know who's top bird in that pen. All 3 hens are blue and I tend not to notice if one's higher than the other. If she commits I may just take her and her brood out in order to ensure she can hatch them peacefully. She can go in the chicken barn in her own cage so she won't be away from chickens, but also have her own space without problems.
     

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