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How do you set a hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by O(akly270, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. O(akly270

    O(akly270 Out Of The Brooder

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    Bagley
    My friend that raises chickens always talks or tells me, " you can set some eggs under one of your hens and raise you some chicks" He makes it sound so easy. I have never had any luck like that. Only time I have ever had natural egg hatches from the hens is when they get broody and start setting a clutch. Can you entice a hen to sit eggs if she is not broody?
     
  2. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Never heard of that at all. When they are broody their body temps goes up to incubate the eggs. I have tried to entice the hens to go broody but never works for me [​IMG] If it works for him, he's lucky!
     
  3. O(akly270

    O(akly270 Out Of The Brooder

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    Bagley
    I dunno.....I think largely his luck is that he has allot of different holding coops where he can place a single hen away from the flock and entice her to sit because that way I guess she has no distraction thus therefore goes into sitting mode....<Shrug> Thats what I think....I could be wrong.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Northwest Arkansas
    The hen has to be broody to hatch eggs. She's not just sitting on the eggs. She is regulating temperature and humidity. She does that by instinct when she is broody. Going broody depends on the hormones.

    I am not aware of any way to make a hen go broody.
     
  5. SmartyChick

    SmartyChick An Official Milkmaid

    Oct 19, 2009
    Sullivan County NY
    I've heard from somewhere that you can ENCOURAGE a hen to go broody by isolating her in a dark spot with a cluck of eggs for several day, eventually she will go broody. I've never tried this so I have no idea if it works. I makes sense though. [​IMG]
     
  6. O(akly270

    O(akly270 Out Of The Brooder

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    Bagley
    Okay well this is my next question> How long can you hold a clutch of egs till time to be incubated by hen or incubator?
     
  7. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've had some as old as two weeks of sitting on my kitchen counter at about 70 degrees that I put under a hen and they hatched.

    As to going broody...I suspect over the ages we had to teach hens NOT to be broody. If you think about it the only creature who is capable of reproduction who doesn't bear young (or try to) 100% of the time are human beings. A chicken's whole point of laying eggs is to generate young. I don't understand why they aren't broody all the time. Except...that the behavior has been bred out of them over zillions of years.

    Since I want chicks and not eggs...I just leave the eggs to collect in the nests. I think this encourages a hen who is thinking of hatching some chicks to get to it. I also figure the hen is going to figure out which eggs are 'no good' and act accordingly. My hen sitting now had two eggs (my breeds were segregated prior to these being laid for three weeks) she acted like she was going to maybe brood. I put four more under her from her sisters, and she laid one more. She has seven that are due on march 18th or 19th. Seven seems to be a nice number for a banty...they form naturally in a bunch with six in a circle, and one in the middle.

    She was one of four hens and a roo born last August 5th from a mother encouraged the same way to go broody. Seven eggs, five chicks. I was happy.
    Terry in TN
     
  8. O(akly270

    O(akly270 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info MiniBeesKnees. I have a pair of barred rocks and they are in a small loop rooster hut. I am almost finished with my chicken tractor that will be there new home and I will save Betty's eggs up til I can get her in her new place. Maybe I can entice her to sit them.
     
  9. Whimsical Farming Wife

    Whimsical Farming Wife Out Of The Brooder

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    From my limited experience, it does seem to be true that you can 'smoke out a broody' by letting a clutch accumulate. I was worried about doing this, because I read and was told that the eggs should be kept at certain temperature & angle before putting them under the hen. I did a trial! In one nest I added an egg or 2 every day (not turning them, or worrying about the angle), and like magic- once there were about 12 eggs in there, one of the hens plunked herself down on them. For the second nest I kept the eggs in a carton at "ideal" conditions, changing the angle accordingly, etc. and slipped them under the hen all at once. Both hens hatched every single egg, but the first nest of eggs hatched within hours. The second nest hatched over a few days. The first was alot less work or worry! One thing I have found to be true & amazing, is that broodiness is contageous!
    On the length of time you can keep eggs; an older lady who has kept chickens for many years told me about a bucket of eggs she had forgotten about over a very hot summer. She stumbled upon it and put them under a persistently broody hen, thinking that they would just give her something to sit on, never thinking they would hatch... but they did! She seemed to think that the hot temperature actually helped to keep them:confused:
     
  10. Kristian

    Kristian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well for me it has been a matter of luck, and a good mothering chicken becouse my next door neighbors chicken sits on any egg she can find. plus if she cant cover all of them her buddy ( another hen) comes and helps her!
    O(akly270 :

    My friend that raises chickens always talks or tells me, " you can set some eggs under one of your hens and raise you some chicks" He makes it sound so easy. I have never had any luck like that. Only time I have ever had natural egg hatches from the hens is when they get broody and start setting a clutch. Can you entice a hen to sit eggs if she is not broody?​
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010

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