Encouraging broodieness

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Knittycat, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Knittycat

    Knittycat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Bay City, TX
    Is there anything I can do to encourage my chickens to go broody? I know there is no magic formula to *make* a bird go broody. Popping a dozen eggs in the nest is more than likely to end up with rotten eggs than a broody hen. But I seem to have a hen that is on the fence about it. She sits in the nest box a long time before and after she lays, she pecks my hand if I try to move her to get the eggs, she doesn't sing an egg song anymore, she went broody for a couple of weeks last summer, but being the teenager she was, she got bored and moved on to shinier things. Leaving her be in the nest box hasn't helped much, she does eventually leave the nest, so I don't want to just leave the eggs there. (besides, it's not her eggs I want to brood!) I know I can't make her broody, but is there anything else i can do that would encourage her to think that maybe being broody is a good idea?
  2. spartacus_63

    spartacus_63 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    Central Iowa
    I have had mixed results with enticing hens to go broody, but what I have found that works most consistently is to place the suspect hen in a brooder box with a clutch of eggs. I use wire dog kennels as brooder boxes, but anything they can be confined in would work the same. I keep plenty of water and some food in with her. Using replica eggs will avoid the spoiled eggs. I never put my hatching eggs under a broody until she is full blown broody.

    Any food that I put in the brooder box is close enough that the hen can reach it without leaving the nest and is usually cracked corn or another scratch grain. This seems to help with the boredom.

    It is my opinion that by confining the hens to a nesting area with some food and water, the hens are less likely to desert the nest. Especially at mid incubation.

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