How does the timing work with broody hens?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by babsh, Apr 4, 2009.

  1. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    One of my Silkies just went broody (again!). I need to find some eggs for her to hatch, but i'm sure it will take me at least a few days, maybe a week. How much time can pass that i can still put eggs under her?

    Also, I have some eggs in an incubator that are on day 10. Could I place a few of those under her?

    And, can I make a hen go broody? If i buy some fertile eggs and place them in a nest box, what are the chances one of the hens will take over?

    Barb
     
  2. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    Each time is a risk; unless she has a reputation for sitting on eggs.
    Yes , u can try placing incubator eggs under her.
    Yes, u can make a hen go broody, if is she is of a broody nature, and u study up on the process.
    U can buy fertile eggs and place them in a nest box.
    Odds r not good of this being successful unless you have a reputable broody hen lined up.
     
  3. Laskaland

    Laskaland ThE gRoOvY cHiCkEn

    Aug 2, 2008
    Nebraska
    Hi Barb!
    I think that you could keep adding eggs for awhile. Speaking of my goose and duck ( don't have a broody chicken) they have been amassing eggs for about a week. As I understand it, when she is "ready" to sit, they do.
    Is your silkie sitting all the time now? If I were you, I would just stash 4 or 5 eggs under her today and see what happens. Nothing lost, really if she changes her mind
    hugs and lemme know how it goes
     
  4. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    129
    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    Quote:So I can still put them under her, even though the eggs have been incubating 10 days (and she just started being broody)? She won't be surprised if she gets chicks in only half the time?

    And yes, I have two Silkies that don't seem to go more than 4-6 weeks before going broody again.

    Barb
     
  5. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    Quote:Yes, she is sitting all of the time. Started yesterday. Hasn't left the nest box in 2 days.

    Dh and I decided to just quickly try to find her some fertile eggs. I'm nervous about taking the few we have left in the incubator. We started out with 18 and are down to just 4.

    Thanks for your help. I'm going to start scanning the boards and such for silkie eggs.

    Barb
     
  6. RioLindoAz

    RioLindoAz Sleeping

    Jul 8, 2007
    Yuma, Arizona
    Quote:Hens can grow tired of setting for too long. All hens are different, some are more deticated than others. An average broody hen with no eggs will probobly stay on the nest for 4-5 weeks. But I have heared of some broodies setting for much longer!

    Placing your incubator eggs under your silkie would be a great idea! I say go for it. Chances are that your hatch rate will be much higher! Then once they hatch, you can take them away from her. But remember to leave her at least one chick. Remeber, chickens can't count, so they don't see a difference between 1 chick or 12 chicks. This way she'll be happy, and you'll be extra happy!

    I don't think buying expensive fertile eggs just to leave them in a nesting box is such a good idea. How about you leave some golf balls inside the nest box then buy the eggs once they get broody? Trust me, it takes a while for a hen to discover thos eggs inside the nesting box, and when they do, they still might not go broody. It all depends on their mood and hormone levels.





    ~Rio
     
  7. babsh

    babsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 30, 2008
    Minnesota
    Thanks for the info. It's good to know it is possible (or even a good idea).

    I just ordered some Silkie eggs on eggbid. Hopefully, i'll have them in a few days and I can place them under our broody girl. If they will set for 4-5 weeks, as you said, then it should work out. I'd love to give her our incubator eggs, but the kids really want to watch some hatch. Hopefully, they will. We are down to only 4 (from 18).

    Thanks.
     

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