Hatching with a Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jag, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. jag

    jag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have three broody hens right now (one just started.)

    So, I am wondering about letting them (or one) hatch some eggs. I have a blue laced red wyandotte that is broody and she seems like she'd be a great chick momma. She's the one who seems most dedicated to the idea, the other two I think I can break easy enough by taking them outside with the rest of the chickens everyday. (I think anyway.)


    My plan is that I would collect some eggs from the girls I'd like to see babies from, mark them with a pencil; an x on one side, an o on the other to check on how well she's turning them.
    I have front roll out nesting boxes, so I would have to block the one that she's in so they stay under her and then I think I should give her the eggs all at once. Right?

    So I have some questions.
    If I were to do this; can I do it with just one broody girl? How will the other two broody's then act?
    Can I leave her in the nesting box she's in, or should I move her away from the others?
    How long can I keep eggs before putting them under a broody hen if I store them at the right temp?
    (In other words, how many days do I have to collect the eggs I want to hatch?)
    Any other advice you can possibly think of that a newbie trying this should know, please fill me in. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  2. RepoBob

    RepoBob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Illinois
    Hi Jag, I've been reading a lot about broody hens, I've not had one yet, so take this with a grain of salt.

    I would separate them. They really don't require that much room when they are broody. I would think a 2x4 ft area would be sufficient. All the hens are going to spend most of the time in the nest. All they need room for is to stretch a little, eat and drink. If you have the ability I would do all three.
    Keep the eggs at room temp in a carton with the big end up. Raise one side of the carton, then switch a couple times a day. Eggs can be kept this way for up to 10 days.

    A friend had a broody, I gave him some eggs. This is what I got in return.

    [​IMG]

    Good luck,
    Bob
     
  3. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I have a question if anyone had had this happen. I would like to know if people let the hen sit on/hatch in the nest box? I know many of us keep the box up off the ground, so do the chicks stay up there? Do you move them? Do the chicks fall out and to the floor?
     
  4. jag

    jag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The more I think about this, the more I am going to do it! (and DH is on board too, so heck yeah!) [​IMG]

    I have a section in the front of my coop that is for feed, etc. but I can move that out and make her a nice brooding setup out there all by herself (or maybe all three!) and raise the babies out there away from the other chickens.
    I worry a bit that it's too early (we're in Maine!) - but our coop is nicely insulated and I'm not worried about keeping them warm, sooooo. I'm doing it!!![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    Bob - Your babies are beautiful!! What are they? BTW, the picture of cute babies didn't help, just makes me want to do this more! LOL.

    I'm thinking 6 eggs...should I do more? Maybe 8 is better.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  5. RepoBob

    RepoBob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Illinois
    Lurkey...I think the problem is when she gets off the nest to eat or whatever the other chickens will mess with her eggs, or she'll be afraid to leave the nest. When the chicks hatch as they grow they are gonna want to roam and will jump out of the nest. The older chickens will possibly attack them. Never done it, just my thoughts.

    Way to go Jag. I'm glad you made that decision. You'll be happy.
    I think if you keep the drafts off them and supply a heat lamp they will be fine. A little cracked corn before bed time will help mom generate a little extra heat. Even after they are born mom will keep them warm. Six or eight eggs sounds fine.
    Yea, that's why I posted the pic, I knew it would hook you [​IMG] They are blue orps almost 3 weeks old. Mom is in there with them now.

    Bob
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  6. lurky

    lurky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I have a broody on eggs due within the week. I set up a rabbit cage for this and moved her and the eggs into it for hatching and its under a heat lamp. I did not want to disturb her, but i thought it would be in the best interest of the chicks because its winter. Good Luck Jag and plan a few more eggs than you want chicks just to be safe. I had to remove 2 that were duds.
     
  7. jag

    jag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can keep them separate from the others....here's a picture of the front of my coop, it's separated by a wall and hardware cloth door to the rest of the coop where the chickens live. The area is 3' x 6':

    [​IMG]

    Here are my girls at work: [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for the tips and advice!!! (and luck, I'll probably need it! [​IMG] ) Now I wish I had Blue Orph Eggs!!!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  8. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    I dont know if someone mentioned this but I didnt see it. Just set her up in her spot with some eggs and let her sit for a couple of days till youre sure shes seriouse amnd in the meantime collect eggs and turn at least once a day like repobob explained-up to 10 days but Id go less-then when its dark take the old eggs and give the eggs youve been saving to her-I wouldnt mark them cause i think they just turn a little at a time all day long so you would never know-if she is broody she will do a wonderful job all by herself-just make sure she has food and water close

    and be prepared for her once a day broody poop(massive and stinky) [​IMG]
     
  9. MTtroutwithwings

    MTtroutwithwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008
  10. MTtroutwithwings

    MTtroutwithwings Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2008

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