How long do I need to keep the broody and her new chicks separate?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Delmar, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    All my birds have been free ranging for the last month or so. All five adult girls still lay all their eggs in the one nesting box. It's just an upside down plastic tub with a door cut out. The last 2 evenings the EE was not giving up the eggs to my wife. Sunday night I took them out anyway and she was not in the box in the morning. Last night I decided to leave them there and she has been on the eggs for more than 24 hours without leaving.

    So tonight I put a fence around her nesting box and made another box for the other girls. I put feed inside her nesting box and put a bowl of water just outside the door. Do I need to do anything else or just keep her in feed and water and keep an eye on her for the next 21 days?

    My guess is she is sitting on 8- 10 eggs by now (2 days worth) Would it work out well for me to give her the 3 or 4 eggs the other birds will lay tomorrow as well?

    She should stop laying very soon if she has not already is that correct?

    The feed I gave her was a mix of broiler feed and whole oats. Seems like I shouldn't give her layer feed right now. Does that sound right?

    Edit: New question in post #11
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Is there a rooster involved?
    They don't lay while broody .
    If the eggs are fertile, I'd put a fence around the nest because of all the issues of a broody, chicks and other birds.
    If the eggs are fertile put some kind of mark on the eggs that are under her so you can remove the volunteers that come from the other hens while she is out of the nest.
  3. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:from the OP
    Quote:Yes there is a rooster involved and he keeps them well covered.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd leave her with the 8-10 eggs. I know they CAN cover more, but I think that's a good number, esp for a new momma. But if you want, yes you can add more eggs the next day or so.
    They do quit laying when broody
    She can have layer feed now, or the broiler if you have it, I don't think it matters much. Just access to it and clean water. You fenced around her, how big is the area? Does she have room to move around off the nest, maybe take a dust bath? If the area is fairly small, you'll need to clean up her poops, also. They usually only go once a day when brooding, and it's nasty.

    Other than that, I'd just keep an eye on her. She'll be in that broody trance and in a few weeks---babies!!!
  5. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I'd say she has room to take a dust bath, but so far I haven't seen any signs of her wanting to.
  6. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Update: Three of the other birds layed eggs in the new nesting box. So the "broody" left the original nest, flew over the fence and sat on the eggs in the new box.
  7. 10 point

    10 point country boy

    Feb 19, 2011
    LaFayette, NY
    Quote:thats not good. how long has she been out if it's been only a couple of hours you may be able to save the eggs by putting them back under her and closing her off better. but other than that you might have to start over.
  8. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    My wife already collected the eggs, so we are starting over. If she still wants to be broody I"ll put a top on the pen this time. It's not like I need more chickens this fall.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  9. thechickonthehill

    thechickonthehill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2009
    Sadieville, KY
    Quote:I'd say you're better off starting over anyway. I usually give any potential broodies a week or so on some eggs to prove to me they are serious (meanwhile I collect a batch of eggs or order some if I want something different). Once you are sure she wants to sit, put the eggs under her that you want hatched and mark your calendar (its easy to lose track of how long they've been incubating). I have actually built a special broody box in my layer coop that keeps the other hens out and the broody in (and her chicks once they hatch). I usually move the broody into this box at the end of that first "trial week" along with the eggs she has been sitting on. If she settles into her new nest with no trouble, the next evening I switch out the old eggs for the new ones and start counting. There is room enough in my box for dust bathing and food, water as well as for new chicks to run around for a few days without things being too crowded. Good Luck with your broody! [​IMG] I have had 9 so far this year - I hope I'm done for a while!
  10. Delmar

    Delmar Chillin' With My Peeps

    She is still broody, so I put another batch of eggs under her and put a better cage around her. I'm betting it will work this time.

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