How to encourage broodyness, pray tell?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by amiachicknorwat, May 26, 2017.

  1. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It may be the weather turning back cold often enuf to keep the hens off their eggs, but i do think there's been 'nuf warmth, signs of spring etc, so i'm confused/surprised as to why not yet? Yes they are grouping their eggs and sitting on them longer than usual, but when i go in they come off them too easy, allowing me to take them. Last year they wouldn't get off and would peck me if i tried to take any (like if i felt they were sitting on too many eggs to hatch them all: 8 eggs?). Thanks if there are any tricks or some one dumb thing i'm doing wrong. I'm just not that much chicken to know better ;-)
     
  2. Lady of McCamley

    Lady of McCamley Overrun With Chickens

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    Wacky weather can definitely throw off hens.

    We've had cold then hot then cold again, now hot again. I thought I'd never get a broody. Even my best gal was reluctant, going on and off with the changing conditions.

    All you can do is be patient and try to make as inviting a place as possible. I use the extra soft pine shavings to make the nests very full and fluffy. Block up any drafts. You might consider putting a tarp over a window if there is one to make it darker.

    If there is too much foot traffic, make a quiet secluded corner for someone to sneak into.

    Also, put extra calcium out for them in addition to their layer feed. Try putting some vitamins/electrolytes in the water as well. A hen has to have a store of calcium before she will begin brooding.

    Obviously leave eggs in the nest. The size of the clutch literally presses on a spot on their breast bone to release hormones to brood.

    With all of those things, I've helped several hens, who were my broody types, go into a brood.

    But if the weather drops 20 degrees (like it did yesterday in my area, in a matter of 3 hours), it can definitely throw them off.

    Hopefully you'll be happily brooding soon.

    LofMc
     
  3. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm no expert but I have successfully used a surrogate to incubate eggs a few times. from experience and reading suggestions, here's my 2 eggs worth:
    - you can't force a hen to go broody, some just won't, but there are things that seem to help the ones that will to "get in the mood".
    - egg laying and broodiness tendencies are governed by hormones influenced by light. windows or artificial light in the roosting area can help speed things up if low light is the problem.
    - if a hen goes broody, it's best to wait 5 days or so to make sure she is serious before trusting here with coveted eggs.
    - when they go broody they go through a few noticeable changes. they have "broody poops", exceptionally large droppings about once a day, rather than several droppings throughout the day. they puff up and get more "growly" and hang out in an almost trance like state.
    - making a nice broody box that is a bit more like a hidden cove may help. they like out of the way laying spots that they think no one will know about, darker than the typical egg laying box.

    if I were to take a guess, I'd start with creating more light in their roost to increase their waking hours, this stimulates the pituitary, increases ovulation and may eventually tip them into going broody, if they have it in them to go broody. some folks let their coops get grown over and shaded by trees, so much so it interrupts their natural rhythms. I'd get some fake eggs 6-8 (some people use golf balls successfully), mark them and keep removing the fertile ones until they are consistently sitting with only one short break a day for food and water. when they are solidly broody, go in at night and remove all the fake eggs from under her and place 8-10 fresh, fertile, non refrigerated eggs that you have continued to turn each day, under the hen. I'd come back 8 days later and candle them and remove the one's that have no signs of life. best to isolate the hen once you have placed fertile eggs under them otherwise the other hens will come right along side and lay more eggs, making it difficult to tell them apart.
     
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    I have had multiple hens take to their nest by Christmas time. I will gladly admit that that the hatch rate of these hens was low.

    Hens, in fact all chickens don't give a tinker's darn about what we humans want or expect.

    In fact, if we could command hens to sit at will the man-made incubator would never have been invented.
     
    CTKen likes this.
  5. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Much thanks and will start to implement what i see fit combined from all replies and hopefully will take and post pics as time allows.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    I think it is the day length. If you have a bunch of cloudy days, that will postpone it. A pile of eggs, bright sunshine and smiling broody Gods and luck will get you going.
    Mrs K
     
  7. amiachicknorwat

    amiachicknorwat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sunny the last 2 days. Like ask and you shall receive I got one sitting on 6 eggs. In our mobile coop I saw a bird nesting surely over eggs. Then this morning I believe the same bird was outside giving like the 1000 yard stare and not eating of the pellets i was throwing down. Was that the broody look and broody behaviour?

    So far I've added straw to their bedding, upped their calcium intake, put ACV in their water and reset their light timer since the power outage the other windy day. Got som'n done but so much gardening too due>>>
     
  8. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Do not immediately put eggs under them. This is a do as I say, not as I do. :) However, after years of trial and error, set and throw out, reset and throw out, ah, now set and get chicks. It takes them a bit to let the hormones really settle in. The above advice WAIT 5 DAYS.... is good advice. Says a lady that just threw 8 eggs, as she sat for two days and I set eggs, it got cloudy and she quit them.
     
  9. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    I just set one that's been sitting for two days... I'm on kind of a tight schedule so I hope she sits tight. :fl:fl:fl
     
  10. Birdinhand

    Birdinhand Chillin' With My Peeps

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    keep in mind that if you have an incubator and your broody hen quits, that you can put those eggs in even if they have gone cold. eggs don't die right away, they can successfully be "restarted" up to 12 hours without heat, the embryo's go into a dormant state during the cold time and can hang on for a remarkable period of time.
     

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