feeling like a gramma with my broody little hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Mrs. Feathers, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    743
    1
    131
    Apr 2, 2010
    Well I am taking on a first tomorrow. Angelina, my little Australorp has been in the nesting box broody for a week now. I am picking up 6 fertilized eggs for her tomorrow.
    I am going to put a box for her to nest in in a sectioned off part of the coop where she can see and be with the other gals but they do not have access to her little nesting box.
    All our hatches have been in the incubator and I would really appreciate suggestions from those who are experienced with the "natural way" of doing things...well kind of natural as I do not have a roo so have to slip in the fertilized eggs.
    A couple questions I have....
    Can I just put the eggs under her all at once or should I wait until she has laid a couple of her own?
    Should I keep her separated from her flockmates as I am planning or just give her her own nesting box and leave them all together so she can still go out with the girls and do her own thing (for the past week she has been on the nest night and day)?
    Thanks! I am so excited!!![​IMG]
     
  2. Chiko

    Chiko Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Orem, Utah.
    That's Great! I just had my litte Bantam hen go broody. I"ve had many broody hens before and love having them. You can put the eggs under her since she is broody and isn't laying anymore of her own. Putting her off away from the rest of the flock is a good idea. That's how i have my hen and i have always done that. I have my broody hen in her little nestbox that opens into a small 4x4 foot pen with her food and water so she is completely closed off from the other hens. That way when her chicks are hatching the others won't come in and peck at them like it has happened in the past(some of my hens REALLY HATE little chicks) She's incubating 13 Quail eggs since my incubators will be once again full of chicken eggs and they need different temps and humidity. Well, tell me how your hatch turns out!!!
     
  3. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    743
    1
    131
    Apr 2, 2010
    Chikoman, when you moved your hen to her own area and nest box did she start to sit right away. Angelina is doing all the broody fluffing up the feather and clucking around but will not go into the new nest I made for her. Mind you it has only been two hours maybe she just needs to get a little use to the place?
    I have two eggs in there from my girls (non-fertilized) until she starts to sit.
    I picked up the fertilized eggs today.
    Do you think I should start them in the bator and move them in when she settles in the nest?
    Did you slip them under all at once?
    Thanks
     
  4. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    972
    157
    188
    Oct 13, 2008
    It's best to have her in a separate area if you can--it's less of a hassle, for sure--but often they don't like to be moved to a new place. If it looks different to her she may not go for it, but will want to go back to the nest she originally chose. Generally, if she hasn't settled into the new nest within twenty-four hours, she's not going to. If this is the case, you can mark the eggs you're hatching with a pencil and let her sit on them in her usual nest, and if any of the other hens lay eggs in her nest you can remove those unmarked ones. You'll have to deal somehow with keeping the other chickens away from the babies when they hatch though. But I'd say you should get her on those eggs soon, if she's already been setting for a week--not that there's an actual deadline, but I do know that the longer you let it go, the less likely she'll see it through all the way. I always try to get mine set up ASAP once I'm sure the hen is fully committed. She won't lay anymore now that she is broody, and it doesn't matter whose eggs you put under her. She doesn't know the difference. They don't even need to be chicken eggs, for that matter...

    I have a row of three nest boxes in my henhouse. when one goes broody, I move her to the end box in the row, assuming she isn't there already and set up a chicken-wire (poultry netting) fence around that box so the others can't get in. I leave food and water out for her in that area during the day and put the food away at night (for the rats). It looks just like her normal nest box, so she's happy, and she's separated from the rest of the flock and their egg-laying, so I'm happy.

    Try searching the forum, and also DEFINITELY check out this article: http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html

    Congratulations
    ! Once you figure out a system that works for you, it's a fabulous way to hatch! Good luck!
     
  5. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    743
    1
    131
    Apr 2, 2010
    Thanks for all the helpful info and the great article sky the chicken man [​IMG]
    Great news is that she is now sitting in the new box on the seven eggs that I picked up today! 3 Australorp, 3 Ee's and one surprise that is a naked neck cross. The eggs are from the same farm as I hatched for the two batches that are my current flock and we are very pleased with our gals. Hoping for success although both my hen and the humans she lives with are beginners so we'll go for the best we can on our learning curve. Thank goodness for BYC!
    My DH built a coop that could be divided and Angelina has about a 5x4 foot space divided by small guage chicken wire so she can still see her gals. At first she was really focused on them but now seems very settled into the job of sitting on her eggs.
    We have had an unusually cold and wet spring. The last few days have been nice and my girls are laying less and several are showing hints of broodiness. The one I have set with the eggs seems to be the only one that shows any committment to it though!
    Thanks again!
     
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    972
    157
    188
    Oct 13, 2008
    Mrs. Feathers :

    Thanks for all the helpful info and the great article sky the chicken man [​IMG]
    Great news is that she is now sitting in the new box on the seven eggs that I picked up today! 3 Australorp, 3 Ee's and one surprise that is a naked neck cross. The eggs are from the same farm as I hatched for the two batches that are my current flock and we are very pleased with our gals. Hoping for success although both my hen and the humans she lives with are beginners so we'll go for the best we can on our learning curve. Thank goodness for BYC!
    My DH built a coop that could be divided and Angelina has about a 5x4 foot space divided by small guage chicken wire so she can still see her gals. At first she was really focused on them but now seems very settled into the job of sitting on her eggs.
    We have had an unusually cold and wet spring. The last few days have been nice and my girls are laying less and several are showing hints of broodiness. The one I have set with the eggs seems to be the only one that shows any committment to it though!
    Thanks again!

    Your very welcome. [​IMG]
    And good news! Time to mark the calendar! [​IMG]
     
  7. Chiko

    Chiko Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Orem, Utah.
    Since I only have a small flock I don't have many nest boxes. Only 3 nest boxes and they aren't connected to the coop so I took one of the nests out and set it next to the opening to my pen that was supposed to be for some quail but that didn't happen so it's for her! I cut an opening in the wire so the openings to the pen and the nest meet and she can exit and go straight to the pen [​IMG] That way she didn't freak out because of the sudden change in her environment she chose to start a family [​IMG]
     
  8. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Chillin' With My Peeps

    972
    157
    188
    Oct 13, 2008
    Quote:Once you figure out some set-up that works with your hens and your coop configuration (that's the tricky part [​IMG]), and muddle your way through the first hatch, you'll know what to do. From then on hatching is easy!
     
  9. Mrs. Feathers

    Mrs. Feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    743
    1
    131
    Apr 2, 2010
    Well...crossing my fingers...all is looking good up to this point. Angelina has been dutiful sitting on her eggs. There is a superstitious part of me that does not want to mark the calendar as silly as that sounds.
    I am keeping her diet pretty plain sticking to her layers mash and offering scratch and oyster shells. She does not seem to be eating much but looks just fine doing her chicken mama thing. Does this sound okay or should I continue to offer her greens and treats?
    Now just the wait. [​IMG] ..but I must say I am liking not having to check humidity/temp/add water/keep an eye that the turner is doing its thing etc. etc. [​IMG]:clap
     
  10. Chiko

    Chiko Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Orem, Utah.
    I just got another broody hen!!! It's an Australorp named Harriet [​IMG] She's so sweet [​IMG] I gave her some unfertile eggs to test her out (Since she came from a totally different environment with totally different nest which she was used to) She seems to be doing ok! Tomorrow night if she's still that serious I'll give her some of my new eggs. Silver Bantam Ameraucana and Blue and Blue splash silkies!!! This is like my 50th broody hen lol!!! (i lost count [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by