How do i get chickens?! or more to the point, a broody hen

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Rorie, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Rorie

    Rorie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2012
    So we now have 4 hens and one cockerel. They are nearly 7 months old now. We hatched them out and raised them in a brooder. To our surprise, they started laying a week or so ago.

    As one of our hens is slightly disabled (we took her out her shell) she is smaller than the rest and the cockerel seems to prefer to, em, 'show is love' to her more than the others.

    I therefore want to get more hens to spread his love out a bit. Rather than buying chicks, or point of lay hens, we are thinking about letting hens raise the chicks from their own eggs.

    So, some questions...

    1) just now, our hens lay, and then walk away. What happens when they get broody and sit on the eggs? Will they become aggressive if we take the eggs? If so, how do we get the eggs if we want to eat them?

    2) if we want the hen to hatch and raise her own, is there a way to get her broody? Or encourage her to do this herself?

    3) if she sits on eggs, is she ok to stay in the same coop with the others?

    4) can she raise the chicks all by herself in the coop with the others, or is there a stage we need to separate them? i.e. once they hatch?

    Thanks :)
  2. TNBlacktails

    TNBlacktails Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2012
    Union County Tennessee
    I subscribed to this thread because this is something I'm interested in too. I am sorry I cannot provide answers for you ( I am still new to chickens). Hope you get your answers . [​IMG]
  3. Chick_In_The_Burbs

    Chick_In_The_Burbs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2010
    Western Washington
    1) Broody hens will probably peck at you, maybe try and bite. Summer was very relaxed about it overall; she just made very concerned clucking sounds and gave one symbolic peck.

    2) You can't make a hen go broody but you can encourage them with a nest of fake eggs in a nest box. Some breeds are broodier than others, so having a broody minded breed to begin with helps a lot.

    3) Hens can stay in the same coop but you should figure out a way to segregate her for the sake of the eggs. Other hens will prefer to lay their eggs in a broodies nest as apposed to any other spot, however usually favored. Wire netting bent into shape seems to be a favored method. I put my girl in a dog crate, it barely fit through the coop door but it kept her sister from kicking Summer of the nest and scattering the eggs. Brat of a bird.... She was trying to practice being broody but lacked commitment and just kept spreading the eggs around. Meanwhile Summer was chirping in distress and huddling as close as she could to her nest.

    4) Hens are really good about protecting their babies typically but I would keep the separation in place for the first week at least. Longer if it is a lower ranked hen.

    Hope this helps!
  4. dracoe19

    dracoe19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2011
    Warrenton, Virgina
    1) The hens shouldn't become aggressive when you take eggs. Some may have attitude and possibly peck a little but as long as you are polite like talking to her and petting her then taking the eggs she should be just fine. I have dozens of hens and the only aggression I see when I collect is one hen screams at me then leaves the nesting box still yelling at me. Just a hen with attitude :).

    2) A hen will decide when she wants to go broody. I haven't heard of ways to make them broody. There are some that just have a strong drive to sit while others have no interested at all. Your are a bit young to have the broody drive yet.

    3) If you have a small flock I think you can do it. I have heard of some people doing that and I have before with my silkies. It just depends on your flock and how they interact with one another.

    4) You can separate them if you wish but the mother can usually take care of herself. If she is a low ranking hen I would watch her babies around the others. They may pick on them since she is the bottom hen. I think it is just something that depends on your flock and its habits.
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    If you really want to hatch from a broody and want to do so regularly it might be worth getting a few cochins or silkies or another very broody breed. What do you have currently?

    If you do leave your mom and babies in the coop be sure that you are not feeding a layer feed as the extra calcium is very harmful to young birds. Switch your flock to a grower with calcium on the side for your older birds until your babies are laying.

    Good luck!
  6. dracoe19

    dracoe19 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2011
    Warrenton, Virgina
  7. Rorie

    Rorie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2012
    thanks for the replies. I have orpingtons just now.

    I think the easiest option is to just buy some hens at teh next sale haha.
  8. Frizzle13

    Frizzle13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 16, 2012
    i would get yourself a silkie hen and when she goes broody she will become very red in the comb and become agressive if u try to remove her from her nest.
  9. myfivegirls

    myfivegirls Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2009
    Delhi, NY
  10. Rorie

    Rorie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2012
    Hi folks.

    As it happens, one of my hens has become broody! We thought she was ill - her feathers on her chest have all gone! The vet suggested putting her down, but reading on here suggests she has done this to help heat the eggs!

    She is the smallest bird we have out of our three hens and one cockerel as she had to be taken out her shell as a chick.

    If we want her to raise chickens herself, should we move her ino another run on her own with her own coop - perhaps in the garage? Or would the disturbance put her off and make her loose interest?

    I think it will be tricky to let her raise chicks in with the others as she is at such a disadvantage in size!

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