How to hatch eggs with a broody hen???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Willow's Meadow, May 13, 2011.

  1. Willow's Meadow

    Willow's Meadow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2010
    So one of my Buff Orpington hens just went broody for the first time and is sitting on 3-4 eggs. I have never had a a broody hen before or hatcherd eggs. I think I want to let her hatch them. But do I need to move her nest box to a different area/make her a seperate coop??? Should I wait till the chicks are hatched to do that??? I don't want the other chickens to pick on the babies. How do I feed the babies starter but keep the mom on her layer feed???
     
  2. Domestic_goddess

    Domestic_goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay~First things first! Are you sure her eggs are fertile? You might want to read up on candeling and find out. If she's sitting on a nest that no other chickens will use, sometimes other hens will continue to lay in the same area and then you'll get confused on which eggs are which. and...If the other hens don't bother her, I would leave her alone. If not it might be a good idea to move her into her own pen and let her hatch the 3-4 she's sitting on. Momma will usually protect her babies. I have a broody who hatched 2 out of 5 eggs, she's in her own seperate pen. I offer the chicks chick starter and momma either some grain or layer feed and momma hen will usually encourage them to eat and drink.
     
  3. Theapplechicks

    Theapplechicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I left my broody in her nest box. She was quite comfy and happy so I didn't want to move her. I took a marker and marked the eggs so if the other hens did lay one in her nest we would know which one and take it out. It worked out quite well and she started her hatching in there but once some were hatched it was a little cramped and getting dirty and it was off the ground and I didn't want chicks to get hurt if they left the nest box so I moved them into a tub w/ more room and much cleaner! Plus mama was beginning to get a little stressed because the other 3 kept wanting to come and check out the babies.... Good luck! [​IMG]
     
  4. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    Quote:I mark the fertile eggs with an X and the breed on the egg in pencil so I know if a "wanderer" gets in there by mistake. I have never separated my broodies from the rest of the flock, and have never had any probs EXCEPT for one time when another hen, a BO, wanted to be broody when I didn't want her to be. I kept removing her from the nest box. She killed all the babies. After that I let nature take it's course, and never had the prob again.
     
  5. chena16c

    chena16c Out Of The Brooder

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    So, I think I just figured out that my screeching cuckoo maran is broody. I don't know why I hadn't seen the signs until looking up "screaming chicken" and came across a lot of broody hen posts. I just thought I had a chicken who liked to lay in the shavings at night. I'm not sure how long she's been broody, if I wanted to buy fertilized eggs to put under her, how long do I have to do that? I'd had to buy some and then suddenly she decided she wasn't broody anymore. I took one of my week old hatched, incubator babies out to see her and she didn't seem very thrilled about it, so I'm not so sure about giving them to her (they're my BLRW I wanted so bad, lets hope they're not all roosters).

    Any suggestions? I'm uploading some videos of her on youtube to make sure she is, indeed a broody hen, but it's taking a while. I will post them when I have them.
     
  6. kano

    kano Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2008
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    Willow's Meadow :

    So one of my Buff Orpington hens just went broody for the first time and is sitting on 3-4 eggs. I have never had a a broody hen before or hatcherd eggs. I think I want to let her hatch them. But do I need to move her nest box to a different area/make her a seperate coop??? Should I wait till the chicks are hatched to do that??? I don't want the other chickens to pick on the babies. How do I feed the babies starter but keep the mom on her layer feed???

    I always move the broody. I put her in the new place and I locked her in her nest, for 24 hrs. ( in absolute darkness). Then i remove the lid, and that's it.​
     
  7. JestersEye

    JestersEye Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2008
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    Regarding the amount of time you have to supply your hen with fertile eggs... that can vary depending on how stubborn the hen is. I had an Orp hen who went broody over the winter, so I left some eggs with her. She seemed to sit there forever, but the eggs failed to hatch for some reason. She had lost a lot of weight, but still wouldn't give up the idea of being a mom. I finally took her into the house and gave her another batch of eggs to hatch. At least this way, I could give her a supply of food and water that she could reach easily from the nest box. Anyway, after multiple tries, she finally succeeded in hatching out only ONE chick. If I were you, I'd probably set some eggs in the 'bator just in case things go wrong and she doesn't succeed in hatching her own chicks. This way, you could at least stick some peepers under her when the time is right. Otherwise, you could end up with a broken-hearted hen who continues to starve herself like mine did.

    I'm not sure about placing older chicks with a hen, though... but it might work if she feels like she's been broody for long enough already.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2011
  8. chena16c

    chena16c Out Of The Brooder

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    Austin, TX
    Quote:I think one of the reasons I didn't realize she was broody is because she comes out with the other hens to eat and dust bathe. Since I have my spring garden up and running they are only allowed to free range when I get home (or there is no garden for me....fencing and all they figure out how to get in there). So I guess she just comes out when I first let everyone out, but since I go back in the house I never see her going back into the coop....the screeching stops so I figured she's over whatever made her do it. Today was the first day I decided to investigate.
     

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