Buff Orp- Broody.

Sentience

Songster
7 Years
Jul 17, 2013
48
10
104
Dallas, TX
Hey guys.. So, our single Buff Orpington is Broody. She is the only hen we have. Yes, we plan on adding 1-2 ASAP. It's been a few days since she's left her nest box- but to poop/water/eat. Coop is cooled w/ a fan, water, food is right by her. There are NO EGGS under her. She's been laying 1/ day until a few days ago. We don't eat the eggs; give them to neighbors so she is truly a pet, so not too concerned with how fast she starts laying again. Want to make sound decisions with her health as first priority.

My questions:

1) should we get a few fertile eggs (that are 4/5 days old to coincide w/ her time in broody mode) and put them under her? ALSO- will 2-3 fertile eggs suffice OR WILL SHE WANT a full 10-12 group?

OR.....

Should we Break her broodiness with the wire crate/broody box method (which I know all about from lots of research)? AND... Is the cold water Dunk/dip method efficient? I would guess its hard on them mentally to go from a state of trance to a cold water shock? And if this method works so quickly, why wait 5-7 days for the wire crate/broody box method?

2) If we break her, can we add fertile eggs down the road and will she still tend and mother the eggs/chicks as she would during her broody state?

Thanks!!!!
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
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Colorado
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Hey guys.. So, our single Buff Orpington is Broody. She is the only hen we have. Yes, we plan on adding 1-2 ASAP. It's been a few days since she's left her nest box- but to poop/water/eat. Coop is cooled w/ a fan, water, food is right by her. There are NO EGGS under her. She's been laying 1/ day until a few days ago. We don't eat the eggs; give them to neighbors so she is truly a pet, so not too concerned with how fast she starts laying again. Want to make sound decisions with her health as first priority.

My questions:

1) should we get a few fertile eggs (that are 4/5 days old to coincide w/ her time in broody mode) and put them under her? ALSO- will 2-3 fertile eggs suffice OR WILL SHE WANT a full 10-12 group?

OR.....

Should we Break her broodiness with the wire crate/broody box method (which I know all about from lots of research)? AND... Is the cold water Dunk/dip method efficient? I would guess its hard on them mentally to go from a state of trance to a cold water shock? And if this method works so quickly, why wait 5-7 days for the wire crate/broody box method?

2) If we break her, can we add fertile eggs down the road and will she still tend and mother the eggs/chicks as she would during her broody state?

Thanks!!!!
Hatching: If you are wanting to hatch chicks now is the best time as there is no guarantee that she will go broody again. Before putting eggs under her, make sure she is serious about being broody. (Give her about three or four days.) There is no need to give her more than two chicks unless you want them.

Trying to break her: I've never tried to dunk their feet. However, I've found that taking all the eggs out from under them, (real or fake) putting a frozen water bottle in the nest with her or (since she is your only hen) completely blocking off the nest will pretty much discourage them.

Good luck!:)
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,729
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Southeast Louisiana
You should do what advances your goals. We are all different. I have no idea what you should do in your unique situation. But a little info

1) should we get a few fertile eggs (that are 4/5 days old to coincide w/ her time in broody mode) and put them under her? ALSO- will 2-3 fertile eggs suffice OR WILL SHE WANT a full 10-12 group?

A hen cannot count. She’ll try to hatch one, egg, 12 eggs, a door knob, a golf ball, or just use her imagination and pretend she has eggs. How many chicks do you want? What you want determines how many eggs to give her.

It does not matter when the egg was laid. The 21 days starts when incubation starts. You are dealing with a living animal so no one can give you any guarantees, but most broodies will stay broody and try to hatch eggs for months, not just 21 days.

Should we Break her broodiness with the wire crate/broody box method (which I know all about from lots of research)? AND... Is the cold water Dunk/dip method efficient? I would guess its hard on them mentally to go from a state of trance to a cold water shock? And if this method works so quickly, why wait 5-7 days for the wire crate/broody box method?

I’ve never used the cold water dunk method. I can’t say from my experience whether it works or not. I have used the wire bottomed cage method. I know that works.

2) If we break her, can we add fertile eggs down the road and will she still tend and mother the eggs/chicks as she would during her broody state?

Whether you break her form being broody now or give her fertile eggs has no influence on whether she will go broody later. You cannot dictate to a hen when she will go broody. That’s up to her and her female hormones. If you break her form being broody, she may go broody again in less than a month or she may never in her life go broody again. Since she has gone broody there is a reasonable chance she will go broody sometime in the future, but she will determine that, not you.
 

Sentience

Songster
7 Years
Jul 17, 2013
48
10
104
Dallas, TX
Very helpful info Mountain Peeps and Ridgerunner. Thank you.


So, if choose to let her remain broody and let nature take its course, do we lay 4-5 day old FERTILE EGGS under her, at night (best time I've learned) or Ridgerunner, are you saying it doesnt matter how old the fertile eggs are? Lets say the eggs ARE 4 days old when I lay them under her. Does this mean 17 days -/+ later, the eggs will hatch and she will start going back to normal/NOT broody? And, I read it's safer to put the eggs in an incubator a few days prior to hatching? Or should we let our hen carry thru with the process? I know there are no guarantees of anything, but are you saying it can work out safely to let them hatch and allow our hen to be their guardian/Mom?


I also read you can place live baby chicks (already HATCHED) under her at night as well? If this works, when do you do it? Could I do it tonight? Would she see the chicks, become their caregiver then snap out of her broodiness immediately?

Thanks
 

Mountain Peeps

Jesus is my life
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Apr 23, 2014
28,457
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677
Colorado
My Coop
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So about the chicks: It should work fine to put them under her at night without them really seeing each other until morning. Once she hears the little peeps she will assume they hatched (even if she didn't have eggs under her!) and will start caring for them. Make sure the chicks are only a few days old when you do this. Since the mom is a buff orp (who is a gentile, friendly and broody breed) she should take to them just fine and know exactly how to care for them. You may want to keep her and the chicks in a separate in-closer until the chicks are a week old though. (Just so that they bond with mom and don't get killed by the other birds.) This is actually probably easier than letting her hatch them!
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,729
21,502
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Southeast Louisiana
It does not matter if the eggs were laid today or five days ago. Incubation starts when the eggs are heated. They should hatch about 21 days after incubation starts, not after they are laid. I don’t wait until night to give her the eggs. I just put the eggs in the nest whenever I’m ready. That’s normally after I’ve collected eggs for the day and have enough.

It is important to start all the eggs at the same time. Start that 21 day clock for all of them so they will all hatch about the same time.

When a hen hides a nest and hatches eggs, she may lay an egg a day for two weeks before she starts to incubate them. They hatch about 21 days after she starts to incubate them, not 21 days after they are laid.

When the eggs hatch, the broody will take care of her chicks until she weans them. She will keep them warm, find them food and water, and protect them from danger. Some hens wean their chicks after 3 weeks, some wait until after 10 weeks or even more to wean them. You need to make sure there is food and water on a level the chicks can get to them. The broody will do the rest.

We all do this differently. Some people do take the chicks away and raise them themselves for their own reasons. I use the method small farmers worldwide have used for thousands of years. Let the broody hen hatch the eggs and raise the chicks. There are risks in letting a broody hen hatch and raise the chicks. There are risks in trying to do this yourself. A broody hen is normally more successful in hatching the chicks than we are trying to use an incubator. As far as I am concerned, a broody does a better job of raising them and teaching them to be chickens than I can do. If you want pets you can cuddle and all that, the broody raised chicks are not usually as friendly. That’s a big reason people may want to raise the chicks themselves instead of letting a broody raise them. We all have different goals. There is not a right way to do this where every other way is wrong. There are many different ways that can work.
 

Sentience

Songster
7 Years
Jul 17, 2013
48
10
104
Dallas, TX
Mntn Peeps- So once she hears the peeps and realizes there are babies under her, will she come out of the broody trance?
 
Last edited:

Sentience

Songster
7 Years
Jul 17, 2013
48
10
104
Dallas, TX
It does not matter if the eggs were laid today or five days ago. Incubation starts when the eggs are heated. They should hatch about 21 days after incubation starts, not after they are laid. I don’t wait until night to give her the eggs. I just put the eggs in the nest whenever I’m ready. That’s normally after I’ve collected eggs for the day and have enough.

It is important to start all the eggs at the same time. Start that 21 day clock for all of them so they will all hatch about the same time.

When a hen hides a nest and hatches eggs, she may lay an egg a day for two weeks before she starts to incubate them. They hatch about 21 days after she starts to incubate them, not 21 days after they are laid.

When the eggs hatch, the broody will take care of her chicks until she weans them. She will keep them warm, find them food and water, and protect them from danger. Some hens wean their chicks after 3 weeks, some wait until after 10 weeks or even more to wean them. You need to make sure there is food and water on a level the chicks can get to them. The broody will do the rest.

We all do this differently. Some people do take the chicks away and raise them themselves for their own reasons. I use the method small farmers worldwide have used for thousands of years. Let the broody hen hatch the eggs and raise the chicks. There are risks in letting a broody hen hatch and raise the chicks. There are risks in trying to do this yourself. A broody hen is normally more successful in hatching the chicks than we are trying to use an incubator. As far as I am concerned, a broody does a better job of raising them and teaching them to be chickens than I can do. If you want pets you can cuddle and all that, the broody raised chicks are not usually as friendly. That’s a big reason people may want to raise the chicks themselves instead of letting a broody raise them. We all have different goals. There is not a right way to do this where every other way is wrong. There are many different ways that can work.


jumpy.gif
So you obviously prefer to put fertile eggs under her as opposed to placing already hatched baby chicks under her. Should I have a brooder close by for the chicks? Separate from the main coop where Mom is? Or just leave them in the coop with Mom (since we have only ONE hen now).

jumpy.gif
Should I have heat lamp on in coop for the chicks? Even with weather here in Dallas will be 70-80's during day/50-60's at night? And if heat lamp is on for the chicks, can I leave the fan on for the adult hen/mom in the same coop?!
hmm.png


jumpy.gif
since you can't tell a chicks sex until weeks later, what if we end up with 1 male (roost) & 1 hen chick? Will roosters fertilize eggs often? We only have room for 3-5 chickens right now, total.


Thanks
 

Sentience

Songster
7 Years
Jul 17, 2013
48
10
104
Dallas, TX
ok, thanks! Just noticed I fell into the classic "their" vs 'there" dilemma ;).

Now the problem I'm having is finding somewhere local to get 2x two day old baby chicks. Online it seems there is a minimum # you must order to have chicks delivered.


I presume you should have the same breed of chicks as the Mom? (Buff Orpington)? Or does it matter?
 

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