how many chicks can a broody brood?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by ki4got, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. ki4got

    ki4got Hatch-a-Holic

    Apr 24, 2011
    Roanoke VA
    sorry, i know sounds like the intro to a joke... LOL

    I've got a broody d'anvers hen, and want to give her some chicks but wonder how many she would be able to care for. this is her first brood, and while she started the eggs fine, i hadn't intended on letting them grow this far but just couldn't throw away developing eggs... LOL she's been sitting on wooden eggs, as there's a daily sqabble between her and the lead hens when they want to lay, so didn't want anything scrambled either.

    I have a batch hatching today (25 eggs went into lockdown, 8 have hatched so far) and then her 9 eggs will hatch next week.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A broody can normally raise the same number of chicks as the number of eggs she can cover and incubate. Some bantams can only cover 3 or 4 regular sized chicken eggs. Some hens can cover as many as 18 eggs.
  3. Magic Birdie

    Magic Birdie Overrun With Chickens

    May 3, 2011
    Magic Birdie land
    Hey, it's like the woodchuck thing!

    How many chicks can a broody brood if a broody can brood babies?

    How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?

    Anyways, I'd say as much as she can incubate if a broody can brood babies.
  4. Evelle

    Evelle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    North Idaho
    id say at most 3 because she is new i would want to over simulate her.
  5. Costa Rica Art

    Costa Rica Art Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have a silkie hen brooding 6 meat chicks as well as her 3 chicks. They are a week old now and she has no problem covering all of them. They can be out of the nest and she gives the come to momma cluck when we get near and they all disapear under her. The nest box is where it is fairly warm (around 65 degrees at night) so even after they have gotten bigger, between her and them all in the nest box they will be warm. My nest box or maybe I should say hers is made out of wood with between 2" and 3" of wood shavings so it is very toasty for them at night. I'll keep watch to make sure it doesn't get too crowded if it should I'll just make a bigger nest box for her. Our little bantam hen hatched 3 regular egg hens and two of her own eggs and raised them with no problem. Next time she goes broody, I'll be replacing her eggs with golf balls, I'll put 4 meat chicks under her after a week or so setting on the golf balls to raise for fryers. Now that I know these ladies will handle the job I'll replace their eggs with regular egg hen eggs or meat chicks. I cannot find a source for egg layer chicks or I would get them but until then I'll just replace their eggs with eggs from my friend hens, he has an awesome rooster. Hoping to get a rooster from one of his eggs next time.
  6. Costa Rica Art

    Costa Rica Art Chillin' With My Peeps

    Our silkie hen, Mrs. PJ continues to amaze. I've been waiting for 4 months for some new chicks, they're what Costa Rica (agricultural ministry) has been breeding to be a combination chicken. The ponedora's (CRs commercial layers)seem to be good for just one season then stop laying, I think they are bred to with stand the heat and humidity of Costa Rica's egg factories. This breed is for the home owner with a small flock so when they became available I was in line to get a few, a few turned our to be 30 which is OK as I plan to share them when they are large enough to be on their own out of the brooder. A huge surprise was they were free, CR is working hard to help those who help themselves. I have a section of my coop for a brooder area, I had placed two heat lamps in it already in preparation for some chicks when they became available. In the mean time Mrs. PJ became broody and was in a nest box in the brooder area. I got the chicks which were very healthy looking and put them in the brooder area and turned on the heat lamp. Well some of the little beggars spotted Mrs. PJ, under her they went. As the day went on more and more of them were trying to get under her, the rest shared the heat lamps. The next morning Mrs. PJ had abandoned the nest box (we tossed out the eggs) and was being the awesome momma she is. It was a laugh to see all of those chicks doing their best to get under her, there were even 4 of them on her back. They were sticking out from between her wings and her body. She, just like always, was making her momma sounds and fluffing her self up as big as she could. The chicks now share the heat lamps and her. We lost one chick but the rest are doing great. It will be fun to see her take the brood out for their first day in the yard. They will be around 4 weeks old before they are allowed out as it won't be easy to find them if they scatter around when it is time to return to the brooder area. I will take photos of that day, humor like that should be shared. [​IMG]

    Costa Rica Art
    Yes, there are 29 of those chicks under her and around her.
    This is what they will look like when grown, this hen lays some awesome eggs and has a nice even disposition.
    I will choose maybe 10 hens and one cockerel to keep based on their shape, weight and disposition, the rest will be shared with others who don't have Mrs. PJ or the brooder to raise chicks. Like the USA, chicken meat and eggs aren't cheap anymore but raising them not only helps cut cost but the eggs and meat is like no store bought. We have another silkie hen, hope she will take over being the great momma when Mrs. PJ is gone. I plan to hatch maybe 6 chicks every year for replacements and of course for the freezer.
  7. TenOC

    TenOC Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 26, 2012
    I think the answer is it depends on the weather. In the spring, a hen can raise a large number of chicks. But if you are depending on her to keep the chicks warn in the cold fall-winter, a smaller number will be able to keep warm FULLY under her.

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