Buying a broody hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Gemleaf, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. Gemleaf

    Gemleaf Out Of The Brooder

    14
    1
    34
    Apr 13, 2016
    Hey y'all! I wanted to see you opinions here or if anyone else has done this. A woman on Craigslist near my is selling her broody buff Orpington with some fertile eggs from her flock. As I don't have breeds that will ever go broody and I have a desire for new chicks, this is very appealing to me. Has anyone bought a broody hen before? Did she stay broody and how would be the best way to move her to my house? According to her owner she is a very successful repeat mother and seems determined to hatch some eggs.

    Thanks!
     
  2. TimCline

    TimCline Chillin' With My Peeps

    194
    13
    53
    Mar 31, 2016
    Inez, ky
    I've never done it but I feel like this would upset her enough that she won't set.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    28,666
    14,769
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I would imagine that the stress of moving will likely break her broodiness. You can always try - the worst thing that can happen is that you have a hen that will resume laying and then be broody in the future.

    CT
     
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,652
    3,311
    441
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    The only way to know is give it a try. Do you have access to a small incubator if moving her does break her broodiness? That could be an option if you do decide to give it a try. Or ask your friend if she can wait until the chicks hatch before you take mama and her babies to your place?
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,706
    1,328
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I love having a broody hen! I understand your interest. But there are a couple of problems

    * My broody hens, pick a spot, and when I have moved them, they have gone back to their spot. So if you move her, you will need to confine her to the nest. At least for a good while. A lot of people do this when they get a broody hen in their own flock. I don't, because I like the broody to raise the chicks in the flock. So I like my broody to go out, whip some laying chickens butt, growl at the rooster, and otherwise stomp around. This makes her pecking order rise, the whole flock gives her a great deal of room.

    Then when the chicks hatch, they are used to giving her space, they are already terrified of her, and immediately back off, if she growls and thinks they are too close to the chicks. It works a treat.

    Adding a single bird to a strange flock is a difficult transition. I am not sure if her being broody would be enough to make that go or not.

    If the broodiness breaks, then you can wait a bit, let her get established in the flock, then I bet she goes broody again.

    Once you raise chicks with a broody hen, you really don't want to go back to the brooder.

    Mrs K
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    [​IMG]

    I'd ask the seller if you could hold off on the eggs for a few days, to let her settle down and see if she's going to stick to the nest. I've moved a broody on occasion and mine have taken a day or two to resume setting, and they've occasionally broken an egg being so upset. So, I'd try moving her and giving her some golf balls or sacrifice eggs. Wait and see how she does, and if/when she sets for two or three nights in a row, then put the desired eggs under her.

    Or, if she sets well, keep the golf balls under her and about three weeks later, put some day old pullets under her. Cause if you give her eggs, you're going to have half cockerels, and you'll need to have a plan for those.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Gemleaf

    Gemleaf Out Of The Brooder

    14
    1
    34
    Apr 13, 2016
    Hey thanks everyone for your advice and input. I went ahead and bought her and the eggs. I picked her up in the evening. I filled a box with pine shavings and two dummy eggs and she immediately shoved them under her. And once I got her home I placed the fertilized eggs in the nest box and she just right in and settled down. No hesitation. No stress. Apparently she really really wants to be a mommy. And she's still sitting really good this morning.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,706
    1,328
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    fingers crossed! Now for the longest 21 days ever!
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    31,452
    3,532
    538
    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Good for her!

    You might want to think about what you'll want to put down over that hardware cloth for the chick's feet. They'll go right through that and get stuck.
     
  10. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    359
    36
    106
    Aug 19, 2014
    UK
    Funny-looking Buff Orpington...

    Ah well, it's good that she's resumed sitting without hesitation.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by