How to care for a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TSW99, Nov 30, 2014.

  1. TSW99

    TSW99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I arrive from vacation today to find my little Japanese bantam hen sitting in the nest puffing up at me, and kind of like growling as I reach into the coop to check for eggs there were none as I assume our neighbor had already gotten the eggs because she takes care of my birds when were out of town. I have not been home long but from what I can tell she looks dedicated because I saw my Pekin duck sit on her to go to bed [​IMG] and the hen didn't budge. I'm pretty shore she is broody, so how do I care for this little broody hen? this is my first broody so I'm pretty excited. I have a wire dog cage I could maybe put her in, but should I put the cage in the coop or not? I'm afraid if I move her she won't want to sit on eggs any more. And any other tips on caring for a broody hen will be appreciated.
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually make sure my hens are broody by letting them sit on fake eggs or golf balls for a couple of days before putting the eggs I want to hatch under them. After this, I am usually convinced they are broody. Using hens to hatch chicks is the easiest way to raise babies. They really do all the work for you. They know when to turn the eggs, they keep the babies warm and teach them everything they need to know. I personally completely isolate my broodies in a dog crate (they work great!) in the barn. This just gives them peace and quiet where they can focus on what they're doing. A hen will get off her nest periodically throughout the day to stretch, scratch, eat, poop etc.You could leave the crate in the coop, just make sure the hen has enough room to move around to eat and relieve herself. You DON'T want to clean up a soiled nest (broody hens leave ginormous, stinky "presents"). It would still be a good idea to let her have some daily time outside to dust bathe and scratch around. When you make the move from the coop to the cage, it's best to do this at night to minimize stress. When the chicks hatch, I allow all the birds to free range together, but I still house the new "families" separately. That's pretty much it. Just sit back, relax, and let Mother Nature do her thing! Hopefully in about 21 days, you have babies! I'd be happy to answer any other questions and keep the thread updated (maybe some pictures too?) Best of luck!
     
  3. TSW99

    TSW99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks LRH97
    I will try to post some photos of her tomorrow and I will probablly put her on some eggs.Is it normal for hens to go broody this late in the year?
     
  4. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I usually get most of mine in the spring, but I have a few who don't follow a schedule and decide to be mommas at crazy times. My dad had a little Silkie who would go broody with the blink of an eye whenever she darn well pleased. One year, she went broody in the winter she sat on a clutch and, I will never forget this, they hatched on Christmas Day. [​IMG]
     
  5. TSW99

    TSW99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In stead of separating her I put a Tupperware container In the coop with a little hole in it just big enough for her to get in with air holes and I put straw and eggs in the container. The door way is big enough for her to get in but not any of the other birds because my japanese is the smallest of the flock she wanted to go back to the original nest but gave up when another hen was using it and went to the container set up she is very temperamental were the plastic container is though. And I did see her go out to eat and drink so that's good. Right now the coop is crowded with the container and all my birds but I'm upgrading coops as soon as I get my bigger coop built this weekend. so my little broody hen will have the whole coop to her self
     
  6. TSW99

    TSW99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here she is in her new set up she is so cute when another bird comes by she puffs up and spreads her wings out to make herself look bigger
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That looks good! She looks happy. Hopefully she'll hatch you some little puff balls! [​IMG]
     
  8. TSW99

    TSW99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many standard size eggs can my little bantam handle? because those are the only fertilized eggs I know I have my rooster is a standard and I dont think he is successful with fertilizing my banties
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Nice little 'creep broody nest'!

    Check your eggs for fertility, you can see who is getting mated successfully then give her some good ones.

    Have you looked at the yolks to see which are fertile?
    You can check while you make breakfast, IMO that's the easiest way to know for sure.

    This thread shows a plethora of examples of fertile and non-fertile yolks:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/16008/how-to-tell-a-fertile-vs-infertile-egg-pictures

    [​IMG]
     
  10. TSW99

    TSW99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will check today for fertility in the eggs I get today.
    I'm aware of this method because I have done before
    and is pretty easy
     

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