Is 7 months too young for broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shezadandy, May 17, 2016.

  1. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm looking for feedback on whether a 7mo old Barred Rock should be able to handle fertile eggs. She's been laying in the nest box - very sensibly, a ground level box, for a couple days now, including tonight for sure while everyone else is roosting. Today is the first time I thought to see where she was sleeping so this could be 2-3 nights now.. Anyways, we're considering picking up a few fertile eggs to see how she does... unless 7 mo is too young?? She laid her first egg 3/22/16 at a little over 5 months old.
     
  2. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    If she is laying eggs she is old enough to sit on them, BUT that doesn't mean she will sit on them for a full 21 days steady... If you want to use a broody to hatch shipped eggs it's best to use a proven bird that you know will sit and do her job, many just go through phases and snap out of their broodiness in a few days or weeks...
     
  3. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All great points. She's definitely got the attitude at the moment- generally she'll squirt out of the nest box if I even look at her but tonight the hackles went up and she sat her ground. At least she's not trying to hold everyone's eggs hostage!! I'm kinda thinking on the order of 3 fertilized eggs from local source-- then it's not a big shipping fee down the drain if she abandons her post.
     
  4. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A few days in and still going strong. I've got fertilized eggs- a $10 fee with a neat breed mix. Really hoping she keeps up her good broody work! I almost saw her smile when she saw the new eggs.

    Under "meant to be" I went out to give her the eggs during one of her short breaks from the nest. The duds she had been sitting on were nice and toasty so she'd just gotten up- so my hands were spared.[​IMG]
     
  5. nhrocks

    nhrocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a six month old dark cornish pullet go broody on her hidden stash of eggs and successfully hatch them out and raise them. Under a bush. Unprotected. In November. In New Hampshire (cold!!!). I guess she knew what she was doing.
     
  6. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is so amazing and extremely encouraging. This one's got it a lot easier in Oregon in late May in a cozy floor level nesting box in the main coop- which I built there with the idea that if a broody emerged that would be a great spot and easy to section off when the time comes. Nobody's tried laying on top of her, and most have gone to the opposite side of the nest box bank since she's been on eggs. So far she's shown dedication and good sense- taking care of herself- quick dust bath, food, water, back to it, still a ways to go, 6/9 is the expected hatch date. Very exciting!

    Thank you for sharing your young broody experience!
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    My best broody is a bantam Cochin, and she only laid 5 eggs before going broody for the first time at 5 mo. old; she has been broody like clockwork ever since. I gave her just one egg the first time and she did such a good job with him that now she gets batches of 4 at a time (I have other broodies, so I try not to overload my chick house haha) and she usually has 100% hatch, unlike some if the newer broodies that accidentally get on the wrong nest or fight over eggs or chicks. She will raise them to a month old, lay 5 eggs, and go broody again... just hatched her 6th batch of experimental "blue Anconas"...awesome mom :)

    On the other end of the spectrum is a Wyandotte that can be a nightmare lol; first chick drowned. My fault BTW... second batch she got on the wrong nest for a couple nights before I figured it out and we lost most if them and the ones she did hatch actually disappeared, in the coop. (I think there may have been a scuffle and chicks got trampled and possibly disposed of by the other hens) ... the latest brood, she attacked my other broody and almost killed a single yellow chick they were fighting over. To top if off, she hates me and her chicks do too lol.. worst broody ever lol :p

    Its trial and error to find out how good as broody will become with experience, just like a first time human mom, they'll make mistakes but hopefully learn from them and become very good mothers in the long run. Way better than brooders and lights and having to buy special chick feed, but we lose the ability to handle them so broody chicks tend to be a little less docile than brooder reared chicks.

    Sounds like she knows what she's doing so far, best wishes on your hatch! :)
     
  8. szczur

    szczur Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a 9 month old first time broody on Day 17 right now. All are alive and developing at this point!! I let her be broody for a week before putting the eggs under her. She was serious: plucked out her belly feather and only got up once every 2 days, so I figured she was likely to be broody till the end. I have another hen, an ee who only flirts with being broody and attacking my hand when I try to get eggs, she doesn't set for long and gets off her nest for long periods of time.
     
  9. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Outstanding! Yep, I also checked out the undercarriage (the only time I've had to use anything but my hands to catch a chicken, SASSY!) and she'd plucked herself with care. Because she's not a pleasure to handle I haven't checked on the eggs- nature will take its course and my hands won't bleed...heheheh
    Congratulations! Hope your hatch goes really well. [​IMG]
     
  10. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Holy smokes, 5 months! What a fantastic chicken to have around, feathered perfection! Hopefully nature speaks to our broody in the same way. Most excited to see if the Cream Legbars and White Faced Black Spanish hatch out- in there along with BR, sex-link, GLW's and EEs. I'll be ready with a brooder setup just in case things go really wrong, but looking forward to watching the show instead of running the show.

    [​IMG]
     

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