Hen trying to go broody but we don't have a rooster

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by new2chickenlife, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. new2chickenlife

    new2chickenlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2012
    One of my Americauna's is trying to go broody but we have no rooster. I think she has stopped laying....the things beside her ears are now paler than they had been. Is there a way to stop her? We keep taking her out of the box.....and she isnt' even laying on any eggs. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Glasshen

    Glasshen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had one hen who was determined to be broody, so I got some day old chicks for her and put them under her at night. She is happily raising those chicks, such a good mom. There is a thread on broody hens.
     
  3. Smallflockchickens

    Smallflockchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Hm, my hen went broody for over a month! She was so determined, but we already had the max of chickens. So everyday I took her out, and blocked the entrance to the box she wen broody in (she would throw the biggest hissy fit) and after an hour or 2 I'd open it back up and only let her be in there for a little bit of time. I'm so glad that she was a nice hen and didn't peck me when i got her out! haha. well good luck with her!
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    When my hen went broody last year, I posted an ad on Craigslist looking for fertile eggs and had several people offer them to me. I put a dozen under her and seven hatched. Watching a hen raise a clutch of chicks is a truly wonderful experience!

    If that isn't an option for you, I would do as a previous poster said, and after she has sat for about 3 weeks, get her some chicks and put them under her at night. Many times a broody hen will adopt chicks after she has sat for long enough, especially if they are placed under her at night - apparently she will just think she hatched them while she slept. Just be prepared to brood them yourself if she rejects them.
     
  5. MarieNC

    MarieNC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a BO hen who went broody not long ago, and since we don't have a rooster there would be no fertilized eggs. I half toyed with the idea of putting fertile duck eggs under her, but I don't want more ducks. We put her in a dog cage, about 2 x 3 feet with a low roost in it, separate from the rest of the girls, for 3 days. After that we put her back in with the rest of the girls and she has been fine ever since.
     
  6. new2chickenlife

    new2chickenlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Ok I read an article on trying the fertile eggs. I may try it but I have some questions. She has been like this for several days.....is that long enough? Also, they mentioned moving her with to another location with plastic eggs under her. Will the other chickens leave her along if it is in the corner of the coop? and will they not peck at the little chicks?
     
  7. new2chickenlife

    new2chickenlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Did you just put them under? and can they only be day old chicks? I am not sure I could only get a few.......
     
  8. Glasshen

    Glasshen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you want to try eggs, this may be long enough. You may want to wait a little longer to do the chicks. I may have started mine kind of early, it was about a week or a few days more. I would say to be sure the nest is in a safe place for the chicks. My hens were very supportive of her but she chose a nest box that was up high. I trusted her judgement and put the babies under her there, but one fell out and died from cold, then a second fell and I found it cheeping loudly. I bundled everyone up and brought mom and adopted chicks in to a dog crate in the basement.

    If this happens again I would get the crate into the coop and have her settle in it before getting the chicks. I would have dummy eggs under her golf balls or plastic Easter eggs filled with crumbles or mash. If she takes to this, the door can be open, then I would get the chicks. I wanted chicks because I didn't want to have to deal with roos in the future, so pullet chicks were my choice.

    When I put the chicks under her, one at a time, she was calm because it was night, and she would kind of wiggle them into place. But you do have to be ready with heat lamp and all incase she doesn't take them.

    We are dealing with reentry to the coop now, and I plan to take it slow.
     
  9. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Is she sleeping on her nest at night? If she isn't, she isn't serious enough about it but if she's there 24/7 and has been for a few days, I'd say she's ready.

    It is a good idea to segregate a broody hen for several reasons. First, it will stop the other hens adding eggs to her clutch. When my hen went broody it was in the favorite nest box and the others kept crowding in with her all day to lay their eggs. Second, after the chicks have hatched, they will be safe from the other hens. By segregate, I mean a place where the other hens cannot have access to her or the chicks at all.

    What I did, was to move my broody hen to my growout coop, which consists of a 4x4 A-frame coop with an attached 6x4 A-frame run. She was able to see and hear the rest of the flock since they free ranged around the growout coop, but they couldn't get in to her. The day I picked up the fertile eggs, I put them in a nest in the growout coop and then around dusk, grabbed the hen out of the favorite nest in the main coop and carried her (screaming and cursing at me all the way) to the growout coop, and put her on the nest. She bounced straight off and ran into the run, screaming at me to let her out and go back to her nest. I ignored her, went into the house and didn't even stick my head out to check on her all night long. (I was lucky that it was summer and nights were staying particularly warm last August so I didn't have to worry about the eggs freezing if she didn't accept them). Next morning, I held my breath walking out there, hoping to see her on the nest but prepared to find her still pacing looking for a way out. She was on the nest and stayed there for the next 19 days, at which point on one of my checks on her, a little head poked out from under her to look at me [​IMG]

    I kept Mama and (7) chicks in the growout coop for a week to 10 days. At first Mama was content and for the chicks it was tons of space. But around a week after they hatched, I could tell Mama was getting cabin fever and wanted out. I started letting her out for short periods of time when I could supervise her but I quickly realized the chicks were safe from the rest of the flock as long as Mama was there to protect them so within a few days they were out full-time.


    I have limited personal experience doing this. Several years ago I bought a large order of shipped chicks - more than I needed - and posted on CL to sell the ones I wasn't keeping. A lady contacted me who had a broody hen that had been sitting several weeks. She wanted chicks to put under her and came and bought 5 from me. I suggested she wait until night to do it, which she did. Once it was completely dark, she and her husband went out and slipped the chicks under the broody hen, and then left them all together. Next morning she called me to report that Mama had accepted the chicks and was proudly showing them around the yard.

    I have also heard stories of hens not accepting chicks in this manner so there are no guarantees. My two tips for success are to wait until she has been broody for about 3 weeks and to do it at night. They can't count exactly but do seem to have a sense of how much time it takes and if you try to fool her into accepting chicks when she's only been broody a few days, she is more likely to reject them.
     
  10. new2chickenlife

    new2chickenlife Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Yes she has been sleeping in the nesting box at night for about 5-6 days now.
     

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