First time with a broody

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by marier4him, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. marier4him

    marier4him Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 27, 2010

    I have 14 egg laying hens of various breeds, but a few days ago an Australorp decided to go broody. We don't have a rooster, so we just kept dealing with her pecking and growling when we came to collect the eggs under her. Anyway, I felt sorry for her today and drove down the road and bought 8 barnyard mix fertilized eggs for $1, which is kind of neat since 4 of them are a nice shade of green. Anyway, I marked both sides of the new eggs with a sharpie and put them next to her in the nest box. An hour later, they were all tucked nicely underneath her and she looked content.

    I have a couple of obvious questions: Can I just leave her alone and let her hatch and raise them? I don't care a bit about hatch rate. I have 14 hens already. I gave her the eggs because she wanted to brood and my 6yo son wanted to experience this. We hatched some last year in an old aquarium and it was a blast. I can collect the daily infertile eggs easily as the new ones are clearly marked. She also doesn't switch nest boxes. She has remained in the same box for 3 days now trying to brood the infertile eggs.

    Next question: If any of the eggs hatch, will the other hens attack the new chicks? How do I feed the new chicks starter with 14 hens in the run with them?

    I have read other threads about putting the broody in a crate in a garage, and I would prefer not to. I would prefer to leave her where she is, but is that every successful or only on old tv shows?


  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member


    The eggs you put under her, she thinks they are hers, so you are fine there. Just remember to check daily for other hens pushing their eggs under her.

    Your second question is a bit more complicated. The others MAY try to harm the chicks, however the mama MAY get territorial about it and go off on them, but if she doesn't, then yes they are in danger.

    If you can seperate her with chicken wire that is best. And make sure to see if she is getting off the nest to eat and drink. I have a broody who does not and I have to put food and water under her nose.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by