I need an opinion or two

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Hennyhandler, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    I know this could go in the coop construction section but I thought it should go here because I need some broody experts opinions. I am planning on getting a broody type hen since mine aren't and have her sit on some eggs. The thing is she will have to be integrated into my flock first. This is very time sensitive because I want to be prepared and have everything ready but at the same time I want her to have time to get used to everything new. I am planning on building a little coop like thing that she will sit on the eggs in. I don't know if I should have a mini run attached so that she can get out but be seperated from the rest or if I should let her be able to mingle with the rest of the flock. I wonder if having a run while she is broody would help her integrate with the flock as she is setting on eggs. I would like for this to also hold the chicks until they are ready to be introduced to the flock OR should I let her take them out with the flock and just do their thing? I have heard of people doing this but I just worry since the broody wasn't apart of the flock to begin with would this cause them to target her more and possibly the chicks as if they associate them with her?

    I think I am putting to much thought into this but I don't want to get her and have the integration period screwed up because when she goes broody she will be slightly seperated again. Or for me not to have the coop ready but her become broody within the week I get her. I am new to the broody deal and I am definitely not doing it the easiest way, am I? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    From what I understand, hens will often not lay right after being introduced to a new environment. If she is not laying, she won't go broody. You could use this time to let her get to know the flock and prep an area for her to brood. I have more experience with roosters than hens but I thought I would share what I have read on this forum.
     
  3. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Crowing

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    I think you won't be able to "get a broody hen" you have to buy a chicken breed that is *prone* to going broody, then hope she does! I would integrate her into the flock like normal, and if she does go broody you can add an open dog crate to the coop so she can raise her youngin's in there. I think they normally raise them around the other chickens, the broody will protect the babies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2011
  4. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    Yes, I meant to explain that I would be getting a hen that was known to be broodyish (Is that even a word?? [​IMG]). I didn't think about the fact that she would probably stop laying in an new environment but of course stress would cause that. Even with her being newer and possibly lower in the pecking order she would still be able to or would defend her chicks?
     
  5. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Quote:All you can do is wait and see. Once she has established herself in your flock things will probably be fine. Now BREATH...in...out...in...out... [​IMG] You are going to drive yourself crazy if you keep on with the what-ifs. I know because I am the same way and I'm now a little [​IMG] myself.

    I won't say anything about your word "broodyish" if you don't say anything aabout my "rooey". [​IMG]
     
  6. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    I probably do need to chill. I don't get this worked up over things that I actually probably should. First, I suppose I should just get the hen. One step at a time. I will repeat. One step at a time. [​IMG] Thanks for the advice. I will see what comes up as I go and then ask more specific questions. I think that would be a whole lot easier.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Crowing

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    All of our three hens went broody last spring, and it totally reorganized the pecking order. From my observation, going broody is kind of like major PMS. You just do not want to mess with a broody if you're another hen. And the broody hormones continue after the chicks are hatched and inspire the hen to defend her chicks. I think a broody protecting her hens will intimidate even a higher ranking hen without chicks.

    I accidentally allowed one of our broodies to get into a pen with another broody and had to break up a fight. Not a pecking order battle, a real, genuine I'm gonna kill ya kind of fight. I can't imagine a cockfight being more deadly serious. They were going straight for each other's combs, and they were biting down hard. One of the hens got me on my arm by mistake as I was trying to separate them, and I had a blood bruise that lasted two weeks...and my hens are tiny bantams! I think the thing that made the fight so ferocious is that they were both broodies, and their hormones were surging. If you only have one broody, I suspect she will intimidate the daylights out of the other hens.

    I still think it's good to be able to separate a broody as she incubates from the rest of the flock, and to continue her separation with her chicks until she's ready to ditch them. You'll need a separate pen for the chicks anyway, since it's risky to integrate them into the flock until they're full grown.

    I would hesitate to add a single hen to an established flock. Add at least two. That will increase your odds of getting a broody, too!
     
  8. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Cullman
    Just curious, what makes it risky to go ahead and have the chicks around the hens. I got to thinking don't they or haven't they done this in the wild? Why not now? the broody hen would still protect them but I do see where one could escape her notice and something happen to it.
     
  9. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

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    Quote:You can't really look at "wild" behavior in chickens. Humans have controlled breeding and selected for and against certain traits for so long that many "natural" instincts have been altered. Some retain some instinct but many have not. A good example are birds that tend to not brood their own chicks as this was considered a negative in the egg production industry.
     

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