First broody girl

Sarjeanp

Songster
5 Years
May 26, 2015
98
114
131
Hey there! I feel so bad for my hen, I just kicked her off of eggs that she has been brooding on. She started sitting on them on Monday, so today is the 3rd day. I didn't kick her off sooner, because I was/am so confused as to what to do. I didn't know if I should let her have them, not even knowing how many of "thems" were under her. I read an in depth article on here that explains the process, and I think I decided that I am way too green and nervous to let this play out. I have 9 hens and 1 rooster. I was imagining that mom would do everything, and when they are born, they can follow her around with the rest of the flock. I learned this is not the case. Do I need to throw these eggs out.. 3 days of her sitting on them, and 100 degrees outside. Next question, would tomorrow morning be too late to put a couple back under her if I change my mind tonight by doing more research?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Jul 23, 2018
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I was imagining that mom would do everything, and when they are born, they can follow her around with the rest of the flock. I learned this is not the case.
Where did you learn that this is not the case? This is exactly the case!
If you want to let her set you need to be prepared for the new arrivals and have a plan on what you will do with the cockerels.
Are your coop and run large enough to house more birds? Is it large enough to give her a semi-private secure place to set?
If it's that hot out, you will want to have lots of fresh air coming into the area she is setting.
If after considering these things you want to let her hatch a few eggs, move her into a ground nest in your semi-private secure area with a few fake eggs. You want to graft her to the new location as she will want to continue to move back to where ever she was and they rarely go broody in a place that will work in your coop (like the raised nest boxes). You will have to correct her each and every time she goes back to her original nest by putting her back on the broody nest. I've found this usually takes about three days for them to consistently go back to the new site.
During this time, choose the eggs you want her to hatch. I select the largest, best formed eggs with no obvious signs of defects. Start out small and give her maybe 4 eggs. Once she is grafted to the new nest site, using a pencil put an X on the eggs you are giving her so you will know if someone got on her nest and laid an egg that doesn't belong there. Check the nest site daily and remove any new eggs.
I remove my broody from her nest each morning to ensure she gets at least some exercise, takes her gigantic broody poop, eats, drinks and maybe has time for a dust bath and preen before heading back in.
I also hang a baby bottle near the nest so she can drink all she needs. This is important in the heat of summer.
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After the chicks hatch, she'll take care of them. However the other thing that you should do during the incubation in transfer the entire flock over to Flock Raiser or All Flock with a couple of containers of oyster shell on the side for the active layers. Chicks, mom and dad all do not need all the extra calcium in layer mix.
She will feed the chicks.
She will bring them out to meet the rest of the flock.
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She will drive off any flock member she doesn't want near her chicks.
She will take them to the roost when she thinks they are ready.
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Watching a broody raise chicks is a wonderful experience.
 

Sarjeanp

Songster
5 Years
May 26, 2015
98
114
131
Oh wow, thank you so much for taking the time to respond like that! <3 I read that they should be separated, the new chicks, from the flock, for a while, as the flock most likely will peck at the new babies, and that can be fatal. We have an enclosed area that is fencing and netting over the top, and in there, is a raised coop. We do have 2 raised nesting boxes attached, and she went broody in one of the two. I raised all of the chickens from day old babies, it was a fun, but worrisome experience. The whole letting it happen naturally, in such heat and danger of other living creatures feels just as worrisome. You gave me food for thought.. thank you!
 

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