I Have my first broody! Help! I have many questions.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by horsepowerhaven, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

    65
    0
    39
    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    So I have my first broody hen after having chickens for over a year. She is a Golden Phoenix and suddenly went broody on Saturday. I'm very excited as I'd like to have some babies from my Roos. Here are my questions:

    1. How long will she be broody for? Until the eggs hatch underneath her?
    2. How many eggs can she have underneath her? She is a smaller chicken but not a bantam.
    3. I'd like to get some purebred eggs under her. Can I separate my roo and hen of the same breed into my other coop for a couple days and collect those eggs to put under her? Since my hens free range there is no way of knowing if the babies will be pure bred or not. Or should I just wait and see what I get?
    4. Should I move her out of my main coop? Or will that just upset her and break the brooding?
    5. After the chicks hatch do I need to move them all to a separate coop then?
    6. Is it safe to free range the hen with her chicks?

    Thank for your answers! I'm sure I'll have some more questions right after I post this.
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,824
    1,299
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    1. How long will she be broody for? Until the eggs hatch underneath her? Chickens can't count - she'll be broody until she hatches chicks or you break her.
    2. How many eggs can she have underneath her? She is a smaller chicken but not a bantam. As many as she can cover, if she's on the smaller side, then I'd say 8 or so.
    3. I'd like to get some purebred eggs under her. Can I separate my roo and hen of the same breed into my other coop for a couple days and collect those eggs to put under her? Since my hens free range there is no way of knowing if the babies will be pure bred or not. Or should I just wait and see what I get? Hens can store rooster juice for up to 3 weeks, so even if you separated, there would still be a chance of having babies that are not pure.
    4. Should I move her out of my main coop? Or will that just upset her and break the brooding? This depends, how far is she up the pecking order? Some people separate, some don't. If you don't move her, be sure to mark the eggs you give her and remove unmarked ones daily.
    5. After the chicks hatch do I need to move them all to a separate coop then? Again, depends on your situation and how high up your hen is on the pecking order. (and how much you are able to watch after them)
    6. Is it safe to free range the hen with her chicks? Should be, your rooster should be able to warn the hens of danger.
     
  3. horsepowerhaven

    horsepowerhaven Out Of The Brooder

    65
    0
    39
    Dec 20, 2009
    Queen Creek, Arizona
    Thank you so much. This is excellent information. I'm very excited about my first potential hatch from a broody hen. I'm going to pick out what eggs to mark tomorrow. If she has been sitting on a few since sat are they not safe to eat?
    She is fairly high on the pecking order.
    One thing I forgot to mention is that a few of the other chickens are just crawling in the nesting box with her to lay each day. She is letting them but she isn't budging off that nest. Is this a potential problem? I'll be sure to pull out the fresh eggs each day.
    Thanks again!
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Quote:Enjoy the broody experience - super easy incubation and relatively worry-free.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by