Help with a broody

Mama Bay

Songster
5 Years
Aug 3, 2014
430
52
141
Milmay New Jersey
I need advice! I have a broody that has been sitting on eggs in the shed for 4 weeks now.... I don't think any chicks are hatching. I haven't tried but would like to move her to the coop and set her on some new eggs. Is that a good idea or should I leave her be until she figures out her eggs are duds?
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
56,848
227,474
1,687
After 4 weeks, the eggs are certainly not viable. I would break her broodiness, and not give her more eggs to set. Being broody = consuming less than normal amounts of food and water which results in a loss of condition (and being more susceptible to illness). Extending her broodiness to what will be around 8 weeks is not good for her health.

Broodiness can be broken by putting her in a crate (with a lattice base, to allow air to circulate under her) with food and water for 3-5 days. The crate should be raised off the ground a little and should ideally be placed in the coop, with the main flock.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,917
832
California's Redwood Coast
Hi. :frow

I agree 100% that you should NOT give her more eggs.

Another option would be getting feed store chicks and tucking under her at night. I successfully do this all the time. Younger is better, but I have done 6 days old. If I move my hens it never works if they only have eggs. They will go back where they wanna be. But if I move them where I want them when I sneak the chicks under, they always stay on the chicks.

My broody's don't even care if they are sitting on air with NO eggs. My first one I thought she would naturally break, but after more than 30 days I had to employ a wire bottom cage. Testing behavior daily to see if they run back to the box immediately, some take only 1 day while others have taken 3. Even though it seems cruel to have them segregated, they are doing that to themselves anyways.

I call both of my LFS to see what chicks they have or are getting in soon since they usually have different breeds than each other. I wouldn't get less than 2 but also not too many. My girls do well with 2-4, but 9 are much harder to keep track of and they hang out with each other sometimes (even at under 1 week old) instead of following mama like they should and she gets frustrated a little. And I might wait until the next week (as they get them every 2 weeks) if they have breeds I'm more interested in coming.

Good luck! :pop
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
5 Years
Apr 9, 2016
14,342
19,917
832
California's Redwood Coast
Next Monday, as 1 week... might not be too much longer.

It's important that the chicks you do go with are pretty young, definitely not more than a week old in my experience. And I have the best luck tucking them under at night when it's dark. I just stand around afterwards to listen for any loud cold peeping of anyone who didn't get nicely tucked in. Also go out real early and lift her up so I can see the chicks and see how she reacts. She might try to peck me good but as long as she just tucks back in on them instead of pecking them, I have no worries. Of course I remove the fake eggs if she has any. And I move her where I want her. They don't usually stay if I move them with only eggs. But if I do it at night and they have chicks, they stay with the chicks at least until the chicks are ready to go out or follow mama somewhere else at which point it's broody's choice. Some stay exactly where their chicks hatch while others will make their way back to their original spot.

Since she has been sitting for 4 weeks she will be soo happy to get chicks! You can see the contentment wash over the hens as they settle down on their fresh brood of peepers! :love
 

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