How long can a hen safely be broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ksguy, Jun 27, 2017.

  1. ksguy

    ksguy Songster

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    Jun 9, 2015
    Kansas
    I've got a buff orpington hen that's about 2 years old. She's gone broody before, and I broke her because I didn't need more chicks. However, this time, I am actually in need of some chicks due to gradual losses in the flock. But...I didn't decide I needed chicks until she had already been broody for about 3-4 weeks. I've just been going out every day to pull her from the nest box and setting her out to range with the rest of the girls and remove the eggs from the box she sits in. She would voice her discontent at the situation, drop a few major land mines, chase a few bugs, hit the feed bucket, get a drink, generally wander for a couple hours, then would gradually make her way back to the same nest she's been sitting on.

    Yesterday I made the decision that I'd like to go ahead and let her raise some chicks. But, I worry that she won't be healthy for another three weeks of broodiness. She's lost some weight already, I think - her breast muscles feel smaller than normal.

    Is there a point where you are better off breaking them and going for a hatch next time she goes broody? I've thought about trying to sneak some chicks under her, but nobody in the area has any day olds. I've tracked down some fertile eggs I can put under her, though.
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Crowing

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    Jul 19, 2015
    Coastal Bend, TX
    My bantam Brahma was broody for eight weeks before she hatched and accepted chicks. The first batch she rejected so I had her hatch a few more and she's done fine with them this time.
     
  3. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    To keep weight on her, feed her Chick starter ...I also feed my broody scrambled egg mixed into the starter every couple of days if needed....
     
  4. ksguy

    ksguy Songster

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    Jun 9, 2015
    Kansas
    Thanks! Hadn't thought of the scrambled egg thing - I've fed them scrambled eggs before but only out in the run when I had a huge egg surplus.
     
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