Help! How do I get my hen to go back broody?

CountrySoul

Chirping
10 Years
Aug 29, 2010
25
3
77
I have four fertile peacock eggs that I purchased seven days ago.

Prior to this purchase, I had a broody hen. She was on her & everyone else’s eggs for about a week. I was removing all of her eggs. She got out of her brood phase.

These fertile eggs just happened to land in my lap. How can I help her go back into being broody? Will she go back? I put these fertile eggs in her nest and added golf balls. So far none of my hens seem interested.

I do have an incubator if needed, but really wanted a “mama” hen instead.
1) will she go back to being broody?
2) How long will these eggs be viable? Average temp in the henhouse is around 70°
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
105,929
252,314
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New Jersey
You can't 'make' her go broody. She'll do that in her own good time. I'd put the peafowl eggs in the incubator and hope that she returns to broodiness.
 

Lady of McCamley

Crowing
9 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,345
5,241
492
NW Oregon
You can't make a hen go broody, you can only encourage the instincts that are there.

With that in mind, you didn't mention which hen, but I personally would focus on those Silkies of yours. They ARE typically chronically broody.

Place a likely Silkie candidate into a nice, cozy, darkened corner that is isolated, preferably locking her into a nesting corner partitioned off from the flock, with a bit of room to stretch, get off nest, turn around, go back to nest, with food and water nearby that won't tip into the nest. Set a clutch of about 6 dud eggs or golf balls. Keep the corner dim, the nest full, not too hot, not too cold. And see if you get someone in the mood. It might take a few days.

You might try lifting one of the Silkies off a nest that she is sitting for laying and place her on the brood nest. Be alert to a distressed chicken. If they panic and flail to get out, let them out.

If they don't seem to hate being in that corner box, then watch for a couple of days. Honestly the only hen I've ever encouraged into a brood has been a Silkie as so many of them are an eyelash way from brooding any given day.

If nobody is willing to offer a brood, then place in incubator when eggs are 7 to 8 days old for the best results, maximum of 10 days.

If you get a Silkie to take the brood bait, wait a few days to make sure she is serious, then mark and place your fertile eggs under her.

Good luck :D
LofMc
 

CountrySoul

Chirping
10 Years
Aug 29, 2010
25
3
77
You can't make a hen go broody, you can only encourage the instincts that are there.

With that in mind, you didn't mention which hen, but I personally would focus on those Silkies of yours. They ARE typically chronically broody.

Place a likely Silkie candidate into a nice, cozy, darkened corner that is isolated, preferably locking her into a nesting corner partitioned off from the flock, with a bit of room to stretch, get off nest, turn around, go back to nest, with food and water nearby that won't tip into the nest. Set a clutch of about 6 dud eggs or golf balls. Keep the corner dim, the nest full, not too hot, not too cold. And see if you get someone in the mood. It might take a few days.

You might try lifting one of the Silkies off a nest that she is sitting for laying and place her on the brood nest. Be alert to a distressed chicken. If they panic and flail to get out, let them out.

If they don't seem to hate being in that corner box, then watch for a couple of days. Honestly the only hen I've ever encouraged into a brood has been a Silkie as so many of them are an eyelash way from brooding any given day.

If nobody is willing to offer a brood, then place in incubator when eggs are 7 to 8 days old for the best results, maximum of 10 days.

If you get a Silkie to take the brood bait, wait a few days to make sure she is serious, then mark and place your fertile eggs under her.

Good luck :D
LofMc
Excellent advice. Thank you!
 

CountrySoul

Chirping
10 Years
Aug 29, 2010
25
3
77
You can't 'make' her go broody. She'll do that in her own good time. I'd put the peafowl eggs in the incubator and hope that she returns to broodiness.
Thank you. If she goes back to being broody, is it safe to take the eggs from the incubator and place underneath her? Or do they need to stay in the incubator the full 28 to 30 days? Thank you
 

sourland

Broody Magician
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 3, 2009
105,929
252,314
1,887
New Jersey
I'd be tempted to foster the eggs under her 2 or 3 days before they were due to hatch.
 

Lady of McCamley

Crowing
9 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,345
5,241
492
NW Oregon
Thank you. If she goes back to being broody, is it safe to take the eggs from the incubator and place underneath her? Or do they need to stay in the incubator the full 28 to 30 days? Thank you
You can totally start eggs in an incubator and then place them under a hen. It is typically best to time the eggs for hatching when the hen is at least 2 weeks into a brood if the eggs are within 2 or 3 days of hatching. The hen bonds with the peeps inside the eggs just before hatching, and it triggers her into hatch mode.

Some re-use a broody by serial incubation/hatching under the hen as most broods can last up to 5 weeks. They pull the chicks right at hatch, then replace with developing eggs from the incubator. However, that is awfully hard on a hen to extend the brooding period, and many hens would abandon the nest.

You can totally start the eggs in the incubator with the hopes that the broody prone hen goes back into a brood again keeping in mind that for successful hatching she should have been sitting in brood for about 2 weeks, with 2 1/2 better, before the chicks are due to hatch. Otherwise, she may ignore or even attack the chicks as she is still in egg setting mode not chick mode.

Good luck,
LofMc
 

CountrySoul

Chirping
10 Years
Aug 29, 2010
25
3
77
You can totally start eggs in an incubator and then place them under a hen. It is typically best to time the eggs for hatching when the hen is at least 2 weeks into a brood if the eggs are within 2 or 3 days of hatching. The hen bonds with the peeps inside the eggs just before hatching, and it triggers her into hatch mode.

Some re-use a broody by serial incubation/hatching under the hen as most broods can last up to 5 weeks. They pull the chicks right at hatch, then replace with developing eggs from the incubator. However, that is awfully hard on a hen to extend the brooding period, and many hens would abandon the nest.

You can totally start the eggs in the incubator with the hopes that the broody prone hen goes back into a brood again keeping in mind that for successful hatching she should have been sitting in brood for about 2 weeks, with 2 1/2 better, before the chicks are due to hatch. Otherwise, she may ignore or even attack the chicks as she is still in egg setting mode not chick mode.

Good luck,
LofMc
Thank you so much for all the details! This is a little bit new to me as I have almost always used an incubator. I appreciate your advice. That’s a great plan and I will definitely try this. Thank you!
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
1,091
271
Georgia
If you have an incubator and really want the to hatch then I would hold off until a hen goes broody, then keep the hen on dud eggs and incubate the eggs indoors.

Though peacock chicks will be HUGE compared to a chicken. Why not just incubate and raise the chicks yourself?
 

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