In Need of Broody 101....

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by nuttyredhead, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    I have 2 girls broody right now. My Duccle is sitting on 3 eggs (not fertile) and my Silkie. I am going to pick up some eggs tomorrow for them! So Im not sure what to expect. Do I have to seperate them from the rest of the flock? (if so would a covered litter box work?) I do not have (or want) to use a heat lamp in my coop, will the mama take care of them and keep them warm herself? Once they go broody will they stay broody till the chicks hatch? Will they get off the eggs to eat and is that safe for the eggs? Do i need to turn the eggs or does Mama do that???

    Thanks for any info you can give me!!!
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    You can separate if you wish. Some do, some don't. If you don't, mark the eggs with a Sharpie as others may steal them or lay their own in the same box. Then check every day and remove any unmarked ones. Collect the eggs on your kitchen counter that you want her to hatch then place them under her all at once so they will hatch more or less all at once. Once they start hatching, she will set on them for maybe 24 hours then leave the nest and unhatched eggs to raise her brood. Of course if you get enougfh eggs in one day to set under her, you don't need to collect them. If you separate her, a covered kitty litter box would be ok, but it would be better if she had room to get off the nest and eat, drink, poop, maybe forage a little or dust bathe. Ideal is a section of a larger coop, inside the coop, maybe 4' X 4'. No heat lamp needed; mama will keep both the eggs and the chicks warm.

    I had a broody who always got off the nest when I went to the coop. She would stay off for 10 or 20 or 30 minutes, then go back. The eggs hatched fine. Sometimes another hen will get on the eggs while the broody is getting her exercise. If this happens, you need to hang around long enough to see the broody re-claim her nest and eggs. Usually a broody does this once a day. Occasionally you get one who never gets off. You can tell because then she will poop in the nest. If you have one of those, you need to take her off every day, and chase at her or disturb her enough to get her eating, etc.

    Here's an excellent article about broodies:

    I believe the article says to separate them. I don't because they grow up integrated, I don't have to do it separately, 4 months later.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 17, 2011

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