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How many eggs under a broody Buff Orpington?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by what did I do, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
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    It is still cold, 15 degrees F tonight, and will be cold while my Buff Orpington broods eggs and chicks. She is a big chicken. How many eggs would you let her sit on? I have around 12 under her right now. She just started sitting today. I figure some of the 12 eggs won't hatch, what do you think? This is only my second broody hatch.

    I have eggs hatching in my incubator on Friday. and I have to do another hatch the first of April.
     
  2. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    12 is a good number for a heavier breed like a BO. I have had some chickens sit on 14 eggs and hatch all of them, so she should be fine.
     
  3. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Montana

    Thank you Chickeneer - love the name. I'll leave her as is.
     
  4. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Well, personally, I'd go with half that number only because of the weather. The bigger they get, the harder it will be for them all to get under her... BUT since you just set today, they'll be hatching about the 3rd of April... Might be ok... I don't know how soon your spring comes there in MO, but... I only say that cuz I am in MI, and I have several broodies right now, they are insane, I swear, and even with the bigger girls, I only let have 6 to start so they can keep them warm in the winter yet. One of my girls has 3 chicks now, and I keep her in the garage because she's a little things. She hatched 5, two died from cold after getting out of the brooder and not being able to get back in. They did it on separate days, and the mama is not going to abandon the nest for one wayward... ANYWAY< gettting side tracked.. Here she is, and even with 3 left, she has a dickens of a time... But she sure is dedicated to them.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess if the weather turns cold I can always bring them in or add heat to the area they are in.
     
  6. zippy722

    zippy722 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 28, 2012
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    Curious as to what you ended up with this spring, and how your BO managed the 12 eggs. I have an australorp who is a big girl, who just went broody again and I'm planning on putting 12 eggs under her as well (the eggs should arrive in a couple of days), but may pull back some of them based on your experience. Plus you were going into the spring, where I'm heading into the winter, so my Louise will have to cover them for quite some time. I would love any thoughts you or anyone has. Thanks. Here are a couple of pictures of my Louise with her 4 chicks (bantys) she hatched this past June.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Zippy-
    I'm chick greedy, so when a hen go broody I cram all the eggs I can under her. I pile extra straw in the nest box so the nest is deep & bowl shaped about 6" deep. As the straw packs down, I will put more straw under the eggs for cushion and pile more straw around the hen. She will pull the straw up around & over her and it looks hilarious because when you look in the nest box all you see is a pile of straw with a chicken head poking out. My hens aren't large hens and don't lay huge eggs, probably about a medium, and can cover 18 eggs effectively. I could probably do more but 18 spare eggs is the most I've ever had when a hen went broody.
    The only downside is that I have to remove about half the chicks as they hatch to prevent overcrowding or the big footed hens step on the chicks, the older chicks trample the new chicks as they hatch, and they get squished between the unhatched eggs.
    I wouldn't try extreme hatching with a large heavy meat type bird. To prevent egg breakage I would limit it to 10-12 eggs max, with 8-10 being my prefered number.
     
  8. zippy722

    zippy722 Out Of The Brooder

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    ChickenLegs13, thanks so much for your note. Wow, 18!! I use shaving, do you think it matters whether it's pine shavings or straw for warmth and cushiony pillow? Also, when you pull some of the early chicks, do you put them back with mom after they've all hatched, or do you end up raising some of them yourself? Thanks again for the ideas and advice. [​IMG]
     
  9. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Zippy I imagine pine shavings are too crumbly and would sift down and fill up the nest, but I've never used shavings so I'm just guessing here. The grass in my yard grows knee high during the week so every Saturday when I cut my grass I rake up a feed sack full after the sun dries it out and use that for nesting material. It's soft & fluffy and sticks together and forms a deep nest nicely.
    When I pull the early chicks I keep them in a cardboard box overnight with a gooseneck desk lamp and get them started on feed & water. Usually the next day the rest of the eggs have hatched and I boot the hen & chicks from the nest and turn the cardboard box chicks loose. The old hen starts doing the left right right left scratch and they all get down to chicken business.
     
  10. Forevermore5413

    Forevermore5413 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2014
    Just curious I want to ask nearly the same question,I also have a Buff Orpingtonhen who I hope will go broody she layed two eggs so far,how many more will she lay until she sets them? And the possible daddies are New Hamphire Red/Buff Orpington cross named Carport or Silver Laced Wyandotte Pistachio.does anyone know the possible colors the offspring could be?
     

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