How to set up for a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by jmk3482, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. jmk3482

    jmk3482 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2007
    Troy, MO
    I'm sure this has been covered before but I don't know where to look. I have a broody hen that I'm going to put eggs under. How should I set up her separately from the others? Should the nest be ground level? How many eggs should I put under her to get a least a few birds? Thanks.
  2. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    Click Search in the blue bar near the top of page. Enter broody in the key word box. Hit your enter key. Voila, 143 pages pertaining to broody.

    OK, a lot to sift through.

    I would her in a separate part of the coop with her own food and water. I would put the nest box at or very close to ground level. Within a day or two of hatching those little peeps are going to be exploring and will have to be able to get back in the nest. With that in mind eliminate any potential traps or escape routes for those little guys.

    It would be nice if the broody and chicks can see and hear the rest of the flock. If the rest of the flock can see and hear the new family it make acceptance of the new guys easier.

    Eight to 10 eggs is probably OK. I think they should all have been laid withing a few days of each other but I might be wrong.
  3. jmk3482

    jmk3482 In the Brooder

    Nov 30, 2007
    Troy, MO
    Do I need to candle the eggs or should I rely on the hen?
  4. fowlafoot

    fowlafoot Songster

    Apr 22, 2008
    The hen is far more effective at this than you are, she will kick out any eggs she knows aren't good and if you try to candle you may disturb her and for some hens it's enough to chase them off the nest... trust her
  5. domromer

    domromer Songster

    May 11, 2007
    My hen just hatched 5 eggs. I pretty much leave her alone and she does it all. She has a nest box in the corner of the coop. She hangs out most of the day inside with her babies and takes them out when I can watch. I don't like her out with the babies when I'm not around, there are way to many curious cats in our neighborhood and we don't have a rooster to help protect her and the chicks.

    I'm sure she could probably fend off a cat but why risk it.

    The other hens pretty much ignore the chicks, one hen got too close one day and the mother grabbed it by the wattle and shook it all around. They keep a good distance from the chicks now!
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2008

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