First Time Mother

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by CoalLucker, Feb 2, 2017.

  1. CoalLucker

    CoalLucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2016
    i was curious what people's success rate with hatching eggs under a mother who has never hatched before was. how much luck have you had in the past hatching under a first time mom?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I know my opinion is going to be different from many on here, but I’ve had the same success and the same failures with hens whether it is their first time being broody or they have hatched and raised several clutches. If a hen is broody and I want her to hatch eggs, I give her eggs. Whether she has ever been broody or not is totally irrelevant to me and her success rate. Whether she has successfully raised chicks before or not is irrelevant to me and her success rate.

    Before I give her eggs I make sure she is broody. I’ve seen hens, whether it is their first time being broody or older experienced hens, act broody. They may spend a lot of time on the nest, walk around all puffed up and making the clucking sounds, and do the things that we normally associate with being broody but not be broody enough to actually stay on the nest and hatch eggs. I’ve had hens laying eggs, not even close to being broody, defend the nest if I stick my hand in there while she is laying. Going broody is hormonal and sometimes those hormones don’t fully kick in immediately and sometimes not ever. I’ve seen a hen exhibit this kind of “broody” behavior for two weeks but never go broody enough for me to trust her with eggs.

    My test for whether or not a hen is really broody is that she has to spend two consecutive nights on a nest instead of sleeping in her normal spot. One night is not enough, it has to be two consecutive nights. I’m sure one day this test will fail me but so far it’s worked.

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