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Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DenverBird, Sep 23, 2011.
Just wondering if I get some fertile eggs, can I get my hens to hatch them out?
First, what kind of hens? Some will just NOT go broody. But with my silkies and bantam cochin, all I have to do is stick them in the brooder box with some eggs, and presto chango! Broody hen.
Thinking the BO would be a good one for the task, also have the others listed below.
The key is the breed and strain. Non-hatchery based chickens are far more likely to go broody no matter the breed, but some breeds are more likely to go broody regardless of hatchery or show-based lines. . .
But yes, you can try and induce a hen. Keep plenty eggs, fake or not, in a nesting box and see if she'll finally decide to sit on them.
I never thought my Austrolorpe would go broody, but she just hatched out 9 chicks, so go figure.
I would suggest fake eggs, since I've been leaving a few in my nests in hopes of a broody and the hens keep breaking open the eggs when they go to lay.
Any hen CAN go broody, but like others have said, some just never do, and some breeds are far more likely. My 2.5 year old red sex-link is broody again for the 3rd time this year! But this time I am actually in a place to hatch some babies. I have 29 chicks in my brooder and 5 eggs in my incubator right now. If she sticks with it the rest of the day (she was there all day yesterday, and all night last night, and hasn't left yet today), I am going to give her something tonight, haven't decided if it's a few chicks or some of the eggs that are due to hatch in a few more days. My chicks range from 1-10days old, so she'd probably take some of the newer peeps. I have a 6 month old bantam pullet that was acting broody for 2 days, but she quit yesterday. Since she was so young, I was waiting to give her anything. Glad I waited. But my sexlink really stays with her broody. Last time, I took her nesting box completely away, and then she started sitting on my other hens eggs in another place. I didn't get an egg from her for over 2 weeks, she was so hard to break. So I think she'll probably stick with it.
btw, I used golf balls for dummy eggs for quite some time, and they work really well. Poor Maggie (my sexlink) was often trying to hatch golf balls when she went broody. lol. But I recently got some ceramic eggs on eBay, and that's what she's sitting on now. Although I am sure she has some real eggs under her as well this time. We now have a roo, and I have seen 2 girls go in there to lay, but when I peeked to see if I could snatch the egg, there was nothing there. I think Mags tucked it up under her immediately. She's my dominant hen, but she's pretty sweet and nice to the other girls, only mean when absolutely necessary, so I'm not surprised if she's calmly letting them lay in front of where she's sitting.