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I think I have my first broody....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jdywntr, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    well my first broody chicken. I've had broody ducks before and currently have 2 so them I'm familiar with.

    I was building a grow out pen for some of my ducklings and went to check for eggs. I've left a few eggs in 2 of the nests for a few days to try to encourage someone to set. One of my BOs was in a nest. When I stuck my hand under her to see what was going on she pecked the poop out of my hand. Luckily I had work gloves on. Now she normally reacts if I reach under her but this time it was accompanied by growling and a TON of pecks not the normal 1 or 2 softer ones. So, since there were only about 5 eggs under her, I took the other eggs I'd left in another nest and stuck them half under her. I moved away and watched her and she happily tucked them all underneath and arranged everything.

    So, I'll keep an eye on her.
    If she is broody, it is 21 days?
    Do chickens typically only get off the nest once a day to eat and poop while setting?
    Will I need to seperate her or will she be okay with others laying around her?

  2. potluck

    potluck In the Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    OK mind you I am fairly new to this but I did have a broody hatch last spring so I'll pitch in to get this started. I had a BO who really wanted to be broody (she tried twice in winter but I'm in Minnesota so I broke her or busted her or whatever the term is) I was very careful about getting eggs out of the boxes several times a day so she wouldn't get any ideas and in March I ordered some hatching eggs. When they arrived I said a prayer and crossed my fingers and sure enough as so as I put them in the nest box she decided they were hers to hatch. I did not remove her from the coop but I had to partition off part for her for a while because her sisters kept trying to contribute to the cause and I may have lost one or two because her pile was too big to keep covered- So I would separate her right away for that reason - maybe just partition off an area where she can still be with them. Mine got off the eggs once or twice a day at first but got pretty serious after about 2 weeks and so I pushed her out of the nest once a day until about day 19, then I offered her water and food in the nest a few times a day- but did not force the issue- I think they know more about what they are doing than me. She hatched 6 of the 9 eggs I put under her - I did not put the whole dozen under her because she couldn't cover all of them. After she started sitting I had another start so I just let her sit on eggs from my flock that I suspected were not fertile. They never developed but I wanted to see if she would stay on the nest so I let her set and after the others hatched a snuck 4 chicks from the farm supply store under her at night and she took right to them. The two of them kept there little flock together and "babysat" for one another so they could take turns dust bathing. I had to cull one hen who wanted to harm the chicks and the broody mamas and the rest of the flock did a good job of chasing her off whenever she got near them but I culled her anyway. I guess all my girls decided those chicks were so cute they wanted some for themselves because I had a partridge rock and 2 Silver spangled hamburgs go broody. The hamburg eggs developed and I stuck a couple of them under the rock. After two eggs hatched - out of 6- one hamburg got up off of her eggs and took her chicks and left. I could hear peeping so I put the peepers under the rock and she hatched 2 of them. After just about a week the bigger hamburg basically stole the smaller ones chicks and after another week she abandoned them altogether - luckily the partridge rock took them all under her wing - after a few days of confusion they allowed her to mother them. This all took place in about a two month time frame. The no sooner than the first broody started laying again she decided she wanted to do it again! I was told hamburgs would not go broody (and they certainly don't make good mothers, IMO) so I guess sometimes broodiness is just contagious - be prepared.
  3. Some hens will get a little dazed and stop eating while brody, so you may need to get her off the nest once a day for her to eat a little. If other chickens seem to be fighting with her so they can lay thier egg in the nestbox, seperate her, but otherwise, it isn't nessacary. She will be broody until chicks appear under her. Keep us updated!
  4. ladytoysdream

    ladytoysdream Chirping

    Mar 25, 2010
    New York
    Last year, when I only had the 29 hens, I had 3 go broody at once. I have a 15 hole nest box on the wall and was able to leave them there till within a few days of hatching. Then I moved each hen into a big plastic dog crate using a rabbit nest box to keep the eggs from rolling around. The hen will only get off like once a day. I don't stay in the coop 24/7 so I can't swear to this.
    The problem with leaving them in a group situation is that other hens will lay eggs in their nests when they get off for a potty or feed break.
    You should mark the eggs in the starting nest. I usually let them set on fake eggs or golf balls for a few days to make sure the chicken is going
    to keep setting. In the meanwhile, I am gathering eggs from certain chickens that I want babies from. I keep them in the house in a cool area till I am ready to put them under a hen. I only gather for 7 days or less. I like to have more than one hen willing to sit at the same time, in case something goes wrong. Last year, later in the summer, I had 6 go broody at once. I was not happy with that, and being I already had chicks from the spring hatch, I did not let any of these hens continue to set. They were very persistent, during those hot days of summer.

    We keep the moms with the babies for about 2-4 weeks, but if a hen, want to go back to the main flock we let them. Last year, the one hen stayed with the 3 groups for over a month. We call her super mom. She is half banty/ half buff orpington and a real good little hen.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Songster

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Thanks for the info.

    Unfortunately, I already had to block her off. One of the roos chased her off the nest last night when everyone else returned to roost so I put a large wire dog crate around her nest. Mine are on the ground, not raised so that was easy enough. My quick attempt last night did not suffice and this morning I found the top pushed down and her out of the nest. I think a roo jumped up there and caved it in. So, I put all of the sides around her nest with the top on so that won't happen again. She ate a bit when I let them out this morning and was happy to get back on the nest as soon as I opened the front. I put food and water in with her. She'll have about 6 sq ft of space to get up. Right now, I'm not working so I can keep an eye on her throughout the day.

    Today, I need to finish my bachelor pad for 1 or 2 of my 3 roos. I've been planning it but just haven't gotten around to finishing. But one of those boys LOVES this girl and I need some chicks so I need to finish it up and get them moved.

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