first broody hen.. maybe


9 Years
Oct 23, 2010
I have a Buff Orpington hen that was on the nest late yesterday and still there when we closed up everyone for the night.. I told DH.. well here we go with our first broody hen.. maybe

Today when I fed everyone, she hopped down and spent most of the day with the flock.. so broody.. maybe not

Then again late this afternoon, she took up residence on the nest, DH picked her up and she sounds like what I would imagine a broody hen sounding.. we put today's eggs under her just in case..and tonight when we locked up.. she was still on the nest.. so broody.. maybe

I'm kinda excited at the possibility of one of our hens going broody.. I know I should be careful what I wish for or I will have a bunch at once.. how long should it be before I know for sure that she is serious?

one other question - how many eggs do you allow under a broody hen.. just in case she is for real.

Updating... definate broody girl.. with 12 eggs. She added a layed egg the first two days.. but none since.. we put a few more under her so we figure we are about 10 days in.. will let everyone know how things go since this is a first for me.

Hi Shellyga,
So exciting!!!
Have you candled any of the eggs yet?
I have a Buff Orphington that went in to lay an egg early this afternoon and hasn't come back out. She is totally fluffed up, has her wings spread out all over the nest. She's sitting on 5 wooden eggs. I must find some fertile eggs for her!
update... she hatched out 11 of 12 eggs on Monday, March 16. She is doing well.. and the chicks too.. very exciting

we had the timing wrong so as we were moving her to a separate area- we realized she had hatched about half of them. We moved her anyway since the nest box was on the top row - too far off the ground. She finished hatching in her "playpen" - now we are trying to figure out if we can let her out with the flock with the babies or not..
Personal choice, really. I have about a 5' x 6' pen but always let them out with the flock after 2-3 days because they want out and I can't take penning them up. Mama has always protected them -- fiercely -- from other hens, and I never lost one to another chicken's attacks. Plus this way I don't have to house them separately til they are full size. I currently have some half grown chicks who mama stopped protecting after about a month. They do fine with the flock. They are at the bottom of the pecking order, but I have a large chicken yard (over 60'x60') so they can get away without a problem, and they hang around together. They are beginning to mix with the older ones more, too.

Traditionally the chicks always grew up with the others. Feeding is easy, give everyone something besides layer (I use grower, or flock raiser also works) and have oyster shell available for hens who want it. Been feeding this way for a few months and my egg shells are fine.

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