Broody questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by audrey02026, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    I have a couple of hens that I think may be going broody...A silkie and a Bantam frizzle Cochin. The silkie lays on eggs all the time and I just take them from her...she doesn't seem to annoyed by this and she does occasionally go outside. This has been going on for a few weeks now. Today I noticed that she was sitting in the nesting box with no eggs...also when I went to close them up for the night she was still in the box. In another coop I have some other hens this is the coop with the Bantam frizzle cochin she too has been in the nesting box almost all day and tonight is also in a nesting box but a different box neither one has had eggs in it today or tonight. Do broody hens lay in empty nesting boxes? Also I have some fertile eggs coming this week and was going to put them in the incubator should I give these gals some to try and hatch and if so how many? They will be standard sized eggs and the hens are bantam sized.
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    They sound broody to me, especially since they are staying in the nest box over night . They are both breeds that tend to go broody fairly easily. I have an Old English Game Hen who is broody, and I will take her out of the nest box to make sure she has a chance to eat and drink, but the next day she is back in the nest box whether or not there are eggs in there. I find broody hens to be so funny - they make different squawking sounds when broody and some fluff up their feathers when I check them in the nest box.

    They probably would be able to hatch a few regular sized eggs each.
  3. audrey02026

    audrey02026 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2011
    Dedham, Ma
    Thanks for the reply. I think i'll let they try a few each and incubate the rest I only have a dozen coming. I couldn't care less if they lay eggs for awhile as they are small eggs anyway and I have 8 standard breeds laying now. Would be kind of a cute site to see them hatch chicks....I do have two coops and all the chickens free range together and seem to get along good. Do you think I should move them all into one coop and let the two Broodies stay in the other to hatch their chicks or should I let them stay the way they are??
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2012
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Being broody is hormonal. They won't care how many eggs they are on, or even whether they have any. They also won't care whether they are bantam or large fowl. It's just a matter of how many a hen can cover. Yours sound like they're both pretty small and probably can't cover more than 5 or 6, but that's just a guess.

    If they were mine, I'd put my eggs under the broodies, or one of them. It's safest to have a separate small coop for a broody so she can get up and move around some and so others don't lay eggs in her nest. Broodies will also steal eggs from other nests, and sometimes return to the wrong nest after eating, etc. I have my broodies raise their chicks in with the flock, but usually I separate the broody while she is setting, so she only has one nest to sit on and so the eggs don't get moved and jostled. I have a 5'x5' or so area in my coop separated with chicken wire, but they don't need nearly this much space, just a little bit of a run besides the nest, room to hold the food and water, and allow the mama to stretch, groom, scratch and peck, etc.

    In nature, a broody will lay a "clutch" of eggs, then stop laying and start setting on the eggs.

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