First Broody Hatch - tips?

theminimizer

Songster
8 Years
Feb 25, 2013
65
64
136
Day 9: We're down to 10 eggs after our 7 day candling.

My broody has stopped eating as much when I take her out of her garage broody box to go outside (twice a day). She still eats a lot of sand and rocks, but I haven't seen her eat anything else for the last 2 days, even though I've offered scrambled eggs, oatmeal, and scratch off and on nest. She doesn't seem to move at all when she is on nest. Always in same position after nestling down hours later.

We are getting closer to "lockdown" and I'm still not sure if I should bug her to take her out for potty breaks days 18-21 or just leave her be during that time. (Getting conflicting messages on that one.)

I'm excited we may get a chick or two, but also nervous that our hen's feathers look terrible and although her comb is red, I worry about her diarrhea and lack of eating. Be sad to lose her.

Oh yeah and I made the rookie mistake of taking her away from the coop because I didn't have an isolated place for her there.

IMG_5622.jpeg
 

JaeG

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 29, 2014
7,269
20,466
921
New Zealand
Broodies lay down a lot of fat to sustain them while they sit so I wouldn't be too concerned by her not eating much.

When I hatched with broodies they were getting off their nests while eggs were pipping for quick snacks so don't feel bad for getting her off her nest for a quick break. It's certainly very different to hatching in an incubator.

Good luck with the hatch.
 

ForTheLoveOfSilkies

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Aug 18, 2019
784
1,833
251
Australia
I leave it up to the broody.. Normally a broody will take herself off the nest to do her business, eat and drink once a day or so. Mine goes 3 days sometimes between getting off, she left the nest on day 19 to do her business... If it's her first time though she may need the reminder to get off. I'd just leave her while it's lockdown. Can she get off the nest herself or you have to take her off?
 

theminimizer

Songster
8 Years
Feb 25, 2013
65
64
136
I leave it up to the broody.. Normally a broody will take herself off the nest to do her business, eat and drink once a day or so. Mine goes 3 days sometimes between getting off, she left the nest on day 19 to do her business... If it's her first time though she may need the reminder to get off. I'd just leave her while it's lockdown. Can she get off the nest herself or you have to take her off?
I have to take her off since she's in the garage.
 

theminimizer

Songster
8 Years
Feb 25, 2013
65
64
136
Broodies lay down a lot of fat to sustain them while they sit so I wouldn't be too concerned by her not eating much.

When I hatched with broodies they were getting off their nests while eggs were pipping for quick snacks so don't feel bad for getting her off her nest for a quick break. It's certainly very different to hatching in an incubator.

Good luck with the hatch.
Perfect! Thanks so much!
 

theminimizer

Songster
8 Years
Feb 25, 2013
65
64
136
Okay, it's day 19. Still alive. Comb is pale, flopped over, and gray, and she is so light. But she can still stand on her own. I cook her an egg and oatmeal every day, but I can't get her to eat inside, and then she is too interested in foraging when we go outside and only eats grass and sand and refuses anything I throw in the yard or put in bowls. Sometimes she will peck at something I throw, but only if the other hens eat it first. -- I've tried a variety of things!
Anyhow, hatching day is shortly coming and here's hoping we make it.
Next question--
If I've had her inside all this time, I assume I keep hen and chicks inside for another 3-6 weeks, since she is so weak? Or should I do a heat lamp in a second outdoor coop? Just trying to understand what's best under the circumstances. Thanks for any help!
 

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