Hatching Eggs Under A Broody Hen...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by OffSpring, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. OffSpring

    OffSpring Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2007
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    Hi everyone,

    I'm Mike and I'm from the UK! This is my first post on here and it's very nice to meet ya' all...

    I currently have 20 hens and 1 cockerel and they are a complete mix of breeds and sizes (bantams and heavy breeds).

    But I have yet to raise my own chicks from my own eggs...

    Is it possible to just let a broody hen to do ALL the work of raising chicks?

    So right from sitting on and turning the eggs in the early stages to hatching and keeping them warm after hatching and "mothering" them on into young chick hood.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2007
  2. DementedHam

    DementedHam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Mike and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
    Your going to have lots of fun on here and learn a ton.

    To answer your question, yes, a hen can do all the neccessary things to incubate, hatch, and care for her chicks. The only problem would be finding one since you can't make them sit. The only downfall might be some "new" hens to motherhood go broody for a while, not at all, or do a horrible job at sitting, but either way I wish you the best of luck.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    That's the only way we have ever done it. It is easiest, and we have found that mama hen in most cases knows which eggs are good, which bad, and everything else associated with incubating. And when they hatch, she keeps em warm, tells em what to do, protects em, and shows them a lot of things, including food and water. Good luck.
     
  4. OffSpring

    OffSpring Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 13, 2007
    United Kingdom
    Thanks peeps!

    I have a really broody hen that is almost always broody, so the next time she is, I will pop some eggs under her and hope for the best!

    I will let you know how I get on...
     
  5. apaudler@bww.com

    [email protected] New Egg

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    We found a neighbor farmer who was willing to give up some eggs for our broody hen. We have have a lot of fun when a hen goes broody. She does all the work and we get to see the babies grow!!! Note of interest. often after the first baby hatches, the hen will set for another 48 hours on the rest of the eggs while the new babies camp out under her wings. All you have to do is make sure there is chick food and water set out next to her and she does the rest. With the ones that don't hatch becareful not to crack them open. They are usually rotten! [​IMG]
     
  6. 9red2blk

    9red2blk Out Of The Brooder

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    I everyone
    I just put 12 fertile under 2 of my hens, they went broody the other day and they will make good mothers.
    Bob Noth West Indiana
    10 BR 13 RIR Pullets and 2ASTLOP 10 RIR hens
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    One thing you may want to do too is mark all the eggs you put under the broody in case someone comes in and lays new eggs in there. You want to make sure that all the eggs start at the same time because else you might end up with half developed chicks when the mom ups and leaves the nest.

    Also since you have a kind of high hen to rooster ratio, I suggest candling at day 14 to make sure they are all fertile.
     
  8. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I like to incubate mine for the first week or 2 and then put them under a broody if I have one. This way she only sits for a week or so and I can candle the eggs to get rid of the bad ones so that she is not sitting on so many. I also like to put eggs under a broody when I only have a few that are growing. Her talking to them helps the few hatch better. I have lost a few sets to new hens that dont really know what they are doing, pooing on them, leaving after a while of sitting, or I had one hen get spooked when an egg pipped. Luckily I watch them a lot and caught it right away and put them back into the bator. You have your ups and downs how ever you choose to hatch eggs. Good luck Jenn
     
  9. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    We tried that sticking another hens eggs under our broody silkie. Somebody ate her eggs when she got off the nest one day, and she was just sitting on air. We took her off the nest and confined her for a couple days; then decided, what the heck, let's stick some other eggs in her nest, see if she'll sit on those. So my son took some fresh laid ones, put them in her nest, then let her out. She went back and sat on them for maybe, twelve hours...then she deserted the nest and kicked straw all over the eggs! It was like she was saying...Hey! These aren't mine! This was her first try at hatching eggs, so maybe she would've done that, anyway.
     

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