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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by muddipuppy, Jan 22, 2010.
my hen went broody for the first time today. how many days do i get to slip some eggs under her?
They are living things so they are somewhat unpredictable. Anything can happen, so don't be surprised if she does something unexpected. It depends on how strong her hormones are acting up.
With the disclaimer out of the way, most broodies will stay broody for a very long time. I really don't think chickens can count days. What I'd suggest is to wait at least two days and nights to make sure she is serious, especially if it is her first time. Give her a few fake eggs to keep her interest, but do not give her any eggs you don't want to lose. If you are going to move her, move her as soon as possible, preferably at night and with as little light and commotion as you can manage, then wait two days and nights to see if she has accepted her new location. If you need detailed help on how to move her, search or post on this forum. If there is anything people on this forum can do it is give advice.
After the two days and nights are up and you are sure she is serious, you can slip the fertile eggs under her. If you are going to order hatching eggs, start talking to whoever you are going to get them from to be prepared, but don't order until the two day are up, especially if you are going to move her. I know the weekend is coming up, but if she is really serious, an extra day or two won't really matter. Of course you can order the eggs earlier but you take a risk of having to eat them instead of hatching them. Kinda depends on how impatient you are. I know it can get exciting at times like this. I'd recommend getting fertile eggs locally if you can. Shipped eggs normally don't have as good a hatch rate as eggs that have not gone through shipping.
I'll give you this link, realizing you may not need it. It might be helpful.
Isolate a Broody? Thread
Thanks soo much for the info. I went out this morning and fished around under her and found the 2 eggs that she and my other chicken had laid yesterday. I replaced them with a wooden egg (is one enough?) to see if she's serious. She did a bit of grumbling during the fishing but she is in general a very sweet and easy going girl. I will wait a couple of days and see what she does.
She is very close with my other chicken. I found the that Marmalade had settled into the nesting box next to her, I imagine for company and warmth. Do you think it's all right if I leave her as she is? I do have a second coop, but it's just the two of them.
Also, it seems there are basically no fertile eggs for sale in California, at least not within a 5 hour span of suburban silicon valley.
I assume you have advertised on here. Call your county extension agency office, in the phone book under county government, and talk to them about getting fertile eggs. Put a sign up in the feed store if they will allow it. Put an add on Craigslist. I assure you, there are fertile eggs in your area.
I just put a dozen under my broody the other day