Forever broody?!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by The Chickeneer, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. I't good, no harm is done to anyone.

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  2. I't bad, the broodie should not be used as a machine

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  3. I don't know, but It's a pretty smart idea

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  4. The hen should be broody at times, but not forever.

    5 vote(s)
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  1. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    So I've been hearing this allot lately. Some people use a broody as an incubator for life. I guess the way it works is that, they set eggs under a broody. and once they start hatching, they take them away from her and raise them somewhere else......after they take the chicks away, they give her another batch of eggs and the cycle just keeps going. Now I think this is kind of wrong, A hen should deserve to live a normal life out and about every time she's done hatching/brooding, not just sit there bored forever and ever amen. ....But then, I'ts actually kind of smart, giving her another batch of eggs after the previous ones have hatched. You wouldn't have to worry of fuss on temp and humidity. She does all the work, and is always broodie when you need her. But still....I feel sorry for those hens....maybe those people should just hatch them in rounds, where they continue the cycle of giving her eggs and taking the chicks, but only do it a couple times at a time, then let her be a normal hen after that. Or they could do it in shifts, once a hen hatches, they let her free and use another broodie. It would be hard though..........because they sitll have the urge to sit, and even if you let them go, they won't go willingly.........and would rather stay broodie. Thats why some people see this as a win win situation...........

    But do you think the broodie knows whats going on?


    oh, and a mistake on on the Poll question...It was supposed to be What do you think about this guys?I forgot to put the what lol
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  2. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    Anyone....?
     
  3. I agree, they should use it once or just a couple times, broody for life would be just, wrong
     
  4. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Ohio
    We got chickens for the first time last year. We have had 4 hens that went broody. The first two we broke by moving them to a breeding coop. No comfy nesting boxes, 1 roo, and 9 hens. It took one night to break them. It was early February and although we have had a mild winter we did not want chicks this early.

    The next hen we gave 5 eggs, three day later she rejected one - a dud - so she has been brooding the res. It is now day 17.

    The final hen we gave 11 eggs. She is on day 10.

    It appears to be very hard on them. They are determined little mommas, but we stress over the reduced feeding and drinking. It is almost like hibernation. I would not want to repeat this for these two hens until we determine they are healthy, and have had time to rebuild strength.

    We will not reuse the same hens over and over.
     
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Generally, hens WILL take a break between broody sessions. I'm not aware of broodies being CONSTANTLY broody. It may SEEM like it's constant, but I don't think it really, honestly is a continuously broody situation. Of course, if you take eggs away from a broody hen, and she's determined, she may stay broody until she gets to hatch some.

    Lots of folks use broody hens for hatching all sorts of eggs; it's a really great idea. But there should be breaks... because the natural order of things is the hen then raises the chicks and that "break" occurs naturally as they raise their chicks from 5 to 8 weeks or sometimes more before they begin to lay again.

    I haven't had hens broody at the same time as I need eggs incubated - but I do let them hatch and raise the eggs they've chosen to hatch on their own.
     
  6. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can empethize with folks who don't want to overdo it with broodies. However, I gotta point out that they expend hardly any energy, they eat and drink almost every day, they eliminate regularly, and they are in a trance like state most of the time. I've had hens hatch two clutches and then try to hatch rocks. I have had a hen set for 4 months on an empty nest. I have never observed any illness or depridation of health. A few days scratching in the yard and they are as good as new.

    Most hens will not set indefinately. Nature takes care of that and they simply reach a point when they lose interrest. Same as a hen with chicks. most will ween at 8 weeks or so. Then there is always the possibility that a hen will give up the nest before the desired time. I really don't think there is such a thing as
    a "forever broody", but as I said in my sig, "54 years with chickens and still learning".............Pop
     
  7. mkcolls

    mkcolls Chillin' With My Peeps

    473
    11
    121
    Mar 13, 2011
    Ohio
    Thanks for your words of wisdom Pop. It eases our minds about our determined broodies.
     

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