How do We care for a broody/sitting hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mccormicks chicks, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. mccormicks chicks

    mccormicks chicks Chirping

    Jul 9, 2010
    Front Royal Va.
    We have been raising chickens here at home for the past 6 years and never allowed a hen to sit, but now we have a blue Wyandotte that is determined to be our first. Is there any special things we should do for her such as put feed and water close to the nest? Just do not know and any advice would be greatly appreciated. How difficult is it to slip more eggs under her? So many questions...

  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Slipping the eggs can be easy, can be tricky, depending on her temperment. I have two right now, buff orpingtons, big girls, and I slipped 16 eggs apiece under them. If they are facing away from you, I just slipped my hand with an egg in from the back, under her. If they are facing you, put up a piece of cardboard, I used the egg carton, in front and under her beak. She will peck it, but she is paying attention to the box, not your hand under the box, slipping eggs under her.

    Move slow, and quiet, and check about 15 minutes later, and see if she has settled. I did it in broad daylight, but it is always easier to work with chickens after dark.

    What I am finding as the hard part is the waiting the 21 days!

    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    Hello. Usually a broody hen will leave the nest once or twice a day to do her business, eat and drink. It certainly won't hurt if you put food and water nearby though. Also, it's good if she's in an area where she will be able to protect her chicks when they hatch. Other chickens will sometimes kill new chicks. If you need to relocate her to a more private area, it's good to do this at night.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Mark the eggs. Mine kept stealing other hens' eggs to add to her clutch. You don't want a staggered hatch - she may abandon the unhatched eggs to care for hatched chicks. (My BO didn't do that; I had to remove the eggs that didn't hatch after another week.) I was told to remove the eggs she had under her and put all new eggs there instead, to avoid a staggered hatch.

    I kept food and water near her, like less than six inches from the nest. Although she did take a daily break, I didn't want her to waste away. I also gave her treats, high protein ones, like BOSS and shredded mozzarella cheese.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2010
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think you need to keep an eye on their comb. If it is still perky and red, then she is taking care of herself.

  6. to care for my brody hen i put food and a waterer by her and kept them full and as far as adding eggs i did it in broad daylight when she ate breakfast and she didnt even notice the 10 eggs i put under her and everything is going great just counting down the days
  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Make sure where she's nesting has shade so it doesn't get too hot.

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