Can a broody hen sit for less than 21 days?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by TabITSWD, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. TabITSWD

    TabITSWD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never let a hen hatch eggs before but I have a hen who has gone broody and I happen to have eggs in the incubator right now. She's been very broody for 3 days and I have been diligently removing her, sometimes 10-12 times a day, but I was wondering if maybe I could just let her hatch some of the eggs I have in the incubator.

    They are on day 16 right now, will it mess her all up hormone-wise from not sitting for 21 days until she ends up with chicks beneath her?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I would try a few eggs. It is worth a try.
    Removing a hen won't break her. She has to be in an elevated cage to get cool air to her underbelly.
     
  3. TabITSWD

    TabITSWD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I'm gonna let her give it a shot. :)

    Good to know for future breaking.
    I know its bad to remove a hen entirely from the flock. Should I place her back in the coop at nightfall or just keep the cage inside the run where she can see her flock mates throughout the day?
     
  4. redguinea

    redguinea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do that all the time. Incubate eggs to a certain point to make sure they have embyos and then put them under a hen. Less time for her to wait plus I know for sure they wont be any rotten eggs, (I dont like to candle broody eggs too much). Good luck
     
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  5. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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    One of my hens went broody and joined my other broody around day 15. Together they hatched three and I have them five more chicks from the incubator. So, hen two only sat for less than a week and is mothering fine.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    There are so many different ways you can do this. I let my hens hatch in a regular nest with the flock, mark the eggs with a black Sharpie and check under her after the other hen have laid to remove any eggs that don’t belong. I also let my hens raise their chicks with the flock, but I have a lot of room.

    Some people isolate the broody in the coop, either fence off her nest or try to move her to a different nest. Others build a broody enclosure in the run and isolate her there, but it needs to be predator proof. Others totally remove a broody from the flock when they incubate and hatch. There are the same kinds of variations as to how a hen raises the chicks, either isolated to some degree or totally with the flock. You don’t have to do it any specific one of these ways, you need to pick a method and do it. They all work, each with its advantages and disadvantages.

    Personally I’ve never heard of moving a broody hen and her eggs morning and night. That sounds like way too much work and a potential for disaster. But you might be able to make it work. Since they sleep at night I don’t see the benefit but maybe you are worried about predators in your run. With my broodies, the rest of the flock stays outside during the day when they are all awake except for the ones that come in to lay eggs. They don’t have any problems with integration.
     
  7. TabITSWD

    TabITSWD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone. :))

    One more question. Ok, a couple questions.

    Ridgerunner, SunHwaKon, redguinea, your broodies that have hatched, have they been high in the pecking order or lower?

    She's in the lower third of the pecking order, and not well liked in the flock. The Marans who run the place are kind of hard on her, this hen in particular has to be smart to get her share of things.
    I'm sure if I put food and water in there close to her and leave her a way to get in/out, the biggest amazon hen will force her giant self in the opening and hijack all the food. But since its only a few days I can just check often to make sure she has enough food. Will it stop there or is she likely to be kicked off the nest?

    I know I worry a lot, it helps to hear how other people have handled things and what has happened with them. :)
     
  8. redguinea

    redguinea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I find that most of my broodies are middle/low in the pecking. I would separate her off whilst she is brooding if other chooks are likely to go in and annoy her. If you put a small amount of food near her that is just enough for her that should not be tempting enough for other hens to get in. If all goes well she wont be on the nest long so give a small container of water.
     
  9. TabITSWD

    TabITSWD Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I put her in a wire cage inside the coop but had to shut the door today because her only "friend" in the flock decided she should join her in the nest. How weird are chickens!

    I have fans in the coop windows but its 95-99 degrees inside during day time. If it was too hot, she would be panting, right?

    Saturday is hatch day so only a couple days to go. :)
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    All over, high, medium, and low.
     

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