First Time Broody Questions

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by chicknic, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. chicknic

    chicknic Just Hatched

    7
    0
    10
    Apr 19, 2016
    Hi-

    I have a broody hen for the first time! We do not have a rooster, so obviously our eggs are not fertilized, however, I have family with fertilized eggs. Can I slip some of their eggs under her? I love the idea of hatching a few chicks. Has anyone done this before? OR should I just somehow break her of the behavior?
     
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,496
    25
    223
    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    If you are sure she is broody, then yes you can put eggs under her and she should hatch them in about 21 days. Good luck.
    Oh, and don't be surprised if she pecks at you when you try. She's just being protective of the eggs she thinks she has.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,228
    2,229
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If she's setting where the rest of the flock has access to her, make sure you mark the eggs you want her to hatch and check under her daily for any contributions from her flock mates.
     
  4. chicknic

    chicknic Just Hatched

    7
    0
    10
    Apr 19, 2016
    Thanks for your reply. I removed some eggs from under her this afternoon. She made a funny sound, but permitted to do so. I'm going to try hatching Americauna eggs, so I don't think I will need to mark them-but that's a great tip. If this is successful, will I need to separate mama and chick(s) from the rest of the flock? Or will they just naturally accept the new additions?
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,228
    2,229
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    If you're going to give her eggs, make sure you give her all the eggs you want hatched at the same time. If they're a few days apart, she may abandon the later ones before they hatch.

    Some people hatch within the flock and have great success with it. The hen hasn't been separated from her flock mates, so there is no reintroduction to worry about, and the chicks are well protected by their mama. Nobody really wants to mess with a hormonal broody mama. When I can, I like to have my broody separated but in the same coop. (My current broody is STUBBORN - when she picks a place, she sticks with it no matter how many times I try to move her, day or night). When the chicks are a few days old, I will let them in with the flock. This batch will just start out life in the flock and we'll see what happens.

    Some people will completely separate a broody, not integrating them until the chicks are over a month old. That can work, but mama's hormones have cooled by then and she's ready to wean them so she's not nearly as protective. This puts the chicks in the position of having to integrate and learn all the proper manners of chicken society on their own. I did it this way for a long time, but I think it's better for the hen and chicks to be integrated when they're younger.
     
  6. chicknic

    chicknic Just Hatched

    7
    0
    10
    Apr 19, 2016
    I candled our eggs today, this has been quite the process. Long story short, I moved our hen successfully, but took some careful watching and encouraging back to the nest. Then yesterday, I caught our dog in her nest while she was up, he had eaten 5 of her eggs! So angry! So, out of the 4 left three are fertilized. But, one looks like it has a really large air sac? What are your thoughts? Not a great phone shot.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

    8,228
    2,229
    421
    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Oh, no! Darn dog! [​IMG] OK, now that I have that out of my system....

    Looks like it's developing, so I'd just let it be. When I hatch with a broody, I pretty much let Nature take its course. When using an incubator, you can control things like humidity and air sacs better.
     
  8. chicknic

    chicknic Just Hatched

    7
    0
    10
    Apr 19, 2016

    I know, I'm still mad at him. That's what I thought though. She is sitting on her three little eggs and we will just see how it goes.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by