First time broody

SmiYa0126

Crowing
Jul 6, 2021
4,262
6,709
486
SE Pennsylvania
I have a first time broody, she's a one year old barnyard mix. This is also a first time when I've had a broody hen. When she first went broody she's kept switching nest boxes but has now been consistently sitting on her clutch.

Should I plan on borrowing an incubator from a neighbor if she abandons her nest? Would that work to hatch the eggs? I tried reading through other posts but didn't see anything similar.

P. S. I've been lifting her off once a day in the evening to eat and drink as she wasn't eating it drinking. She's pretty indignant with the intrusion but eats and drinks with gusto. 😆😂
 
Should I plan on borrowing an incubator from a neighbor if she abandons her nest? Would that work to hatch the eggs? I tried reading through other posts but didn't see anything similar.
If she abandons the eggs, yes an incubator can work to finish out the incubation time and let the chicks hatch.
 
Should I plan on borrowing an incubator from a neighbor if she abandons her nest? Would that work to hatch the eggs? I tried reading through other posts but didn't see anything similar.
It never hurts to be prepared so knowing where you could get an incubator on short notice would be a good thing. Y0u never know what will happen with living animals. But the reason you have trouble finding it is that it is hardly ever needed unless you have something special like a staggered hatch.

P. S. I've been lifting her off once a day in the evening to eat and drink as she wasn't eating it drinking. She's pretty indignant with the intrusion but eats and drinks with gusto. 😆😂
Before a hen even starts laying she stores a lot of excess fat. I've butchered enough pullets, cockerels, hens, and roosters to see the difference, it is impressive. That excess fat is what a hen mostly lives off of while she is broody. That way she can stay on the nest instead of needing to be off looking for food.

In hot weather I've seen a broody hen come off of her nest twice a day and stay off for over an hour each time, in cool weather I saw a hen come off once a day for fifteen minutes. Often I don't see a hen come off of her nest at all but I know she is because she is not pooping in her nest. The vast majority of broody hens will come off of the nest as they need to as long as we don't block them in the nest.

There is nothing wrong in what you are doing. When I have a broody hen hatching with the flock I mark the eggs so I can tell which belong and remove the hen once a day every day to remove any eggs that don't belong. A committed broody will return to her nest. Mine typically settle flat on the coop floor for a few seconds then either run off to eat, drink, and poop before returning to the nest or they go immediately back to the nest.
 
It never hurts to be prepared so knowing where you could get an incubator on short notice would be a good thing. Y0u never know what will happen with living animals. But the reason you have trouble finding it is that it is hardly ever needed unless you have something special like a staggered hatch.


Before a hen even starts laying she stores a lot of excess fat. I've butchered enough pullets, cockerels, hens, and roosters to see the difference, it is impressive. That excess fat is what a hen mostly lives off of while she is broody. That way she can stay on the nest instead of needing to be off looking for food.

In hot weather I've seen a broody hen come off of her nest twice a day and stay off for over an hour each time, in cool weather I saw a hen come off once a day for fifteen minutes. Often I don't see a hen come off of her nest at all but I know she is because she is not pooping in her nest. The vast majority of broody hens will come off of the nest as they need to as long as we don't block them in the nest.

There is nothing wrong in what you are doing. When I have a broody hen hatching with the flock I mark the eggs so I can tell which belong and remove the hen once a day every day to remove any eggs that don't belong. A committed broody will return to her nest. Mine typically settle flat on the coop floor for a few seconds then either run off to eat, drink, and poop before returning to the nest or they go immediately back to the nest.
You're right! She was one of my smallest but the heaviest, voracious appetite. She's definitely much lighter now, so that's why I started to make sure she's at least getting a little something.
 

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