Is my girl broody? Should I put some eggs under her?

cherylcohen

The Omelet Ranch
10 Years
Sep 18, 2009
5,357
37
271
SF East Bay CA
Lately my favorite girl mabel, a buff orpington has been shying away from the rest of the flock and spending hours!... I mean hours so far today it's been almost 7 hours in the nest. When I took the eggs out from under her she got very made and gets all puffed up! I've taken the eggs out from under her but she won't leave. Yesterday I physically picked her up out of the box, held her for a while and put her at the end of the run. She's healthy and all, just seems out-of-sorts....Is she broody? We don't have a Rooster so I don't have any fertilized eggs for her to sit on
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Should I get some, or will this end soon?
41441_mabel.jpg
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
I'd give her a few more days and if she's still sitting tight go ahead and put some fertile eggs under her if you want some chicks. If you can't get fertile eggs or don't want chicks I think it's kinder and healthier for them to break them from being broody. Sure wish one of mine would get the urge!
 

cherylcohen

The Omelet Ranch
10 Years
Sep 18, 2009
5,357
37
271
SF East Bay CA
She's been at this for about 5 days now, I've just been kicking her out of the nest

I would LOVE to have her hatch some chicks...it sounds from your post that it's not healthy for them?

I want to get a few different types of eggs, do you know where you can pick and choose like you do when ordering day old chicks?

Also do you know how many I should get for her?
 
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annanicole18

Songster
10 Years
Mar 16, 2009
546
86
186
Cincinnati, OH
If you don't care what kind of eggs you could try getting some off your local Craigslist. My bantam Silkie mix is handling 8 eggs very well so a full size hen should be able to handle a dozen I would think. Have fun but watch out if you have a dog....my hen got off to poop and my dog went over to investigate and got a very vocal peck on the nose it was hilarious for me my poor dog ran and hid.
 

cherylcohen

The Omelet Ranch
10 Years
Sep 18, 2009
5,357
37
271
SF East Bay CA
Thanks, but I do care what eggs I'd get. Does anyone know a place to be able to pick in choose?

I was going to get day old chicks of the following breeds, but now that Mabel wants to pitch in...

Silver Laced wyandotte
Barnvelder
Sicilian Buttercup
Speckled Sussex
White Plymouth Rock
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
I guess I was kind of confusing, wasn't I? Being broody is a natural and perfectly ok thing for a healthy hen to do. The unhealthy part is when a hen doesn't have any fertile eggs to sit on. The hens will often continue to sit well after fertile eggs would have hatched, sometimes for months at a time. Hens only get off the nest once or twice a day to eat/drink and drop a huge stinky broody poo, that's all good for a month or so, but if it goes on too long they'll start to lose condition and are more vulnerable to parasites and disease. That's why I think it's better to break them instead of just letting them go if you're not going to give them fertile eggs to hatch or try to stick some day olds under them at night.

You can check out the buy/sell page here on byc or put a fertile eggs wanted add up on your local CL. I'm currently collecting a few dozen eggs for a woman that was advertising for them on CL. I wouldn't give her anymore then a dozen for her first time, but she looks like a big healthy girl so I think you would be fine with anything between 6-12.

Does she have a good place to brood? There is always a lot of debate about whether to seperate them from the rest of the flock or not. I like the idea of leaving them with the flock myself, but if you do that there are a few things to think about. You don't want other hens laying eggs in the nest she's brooding on--they can break eggs and/or you have different age eggs in with her, both bad things. Is there enough room for her to keep other birds away from the chicks and will she be able to protect them if the flock gets nasty? The chicks will need a higher protien feed without all the extra calcium so how will you handle that--I just use 22% gamebird for everybody and put out oyster shell free choice for the laying hens.

Anyhow, if you think you need to move her do it before you get the fertile eggs. You can get the eggs and put them under her after she settles back down from the move.
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ETA: You could let her brood fake eggs for a couple of weeks and then put the day old chicks of your choice under her at night. It doesn't always work so you would need to be prepared to take over. It does have the advantage of being able to get *all* pullet chicks as well as your preferred breeds.
 
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cherylcohen

The Omelet Ranch
10 Years
Sep 18, 2009
5,357
37
271
SF East Bay CA
so if I don't kick her out of the next will she sleep there too? I've been kicking her out and then goes up to roost sort of reluctantly.

I have to go out of town this thursday to next tuesday. i have a chicken sitter but i'm not sure I want to have her on eggs while I'm gone (AND I probably can't get any that quick)

Is it true, if she had viable fertilized eggs under here that we would just stay there night and day? that sounds amazing.

No the nest she's in is one of 6 that we have in the coop portion. She squacks whenever any of the other chickens come into lay. But they don't seem to bother her. If it's ok she can sit on them there or should I move her to a new isolated part. (of which I don't have but I could build something I guess.

While I'm gone should I have chicken sitter take her out of the box and into the coop? Then when I get back get some eggs under her?
 

Kittymomma

Songster
10 Years
Sep 9, 2009
3,873
31
204
Olympia, WA
When they brood eggs they sit on them night and day. It won't hurt anything to just leave her alone. I'd only be taking her off at night if I was trying to break her from being broody. As far as letting her sit on eggs there or fixing up another place for her I'd personally be more comfortable fixing something else up for one of my hens. I wouldn't want to run the risk of one of the other hens bothering her or of her getting confused when she gets off to eat/drink and
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and coming back to the wrong nest. It's up to you though, a lot of people just leave them and it works fine for them.

I am a little confused about your comment about taking her off the nest and back into the coop. Are your nest boxes outside of the coop, and if so are they still in a safe protected area?
 

Organie-Cochins

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 21, 2010
26
0
22
Quote:
That's what were going through presently. We have two broody hens at the moment.
I didn't know what brooding was until i joined BYC.
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One went broody with no eggs. She lost half her weight about in the 3 weeks she was brooding. The other went broody on two eggs. Then every day there appeared a new egg, and now she is at 12. I didn't know if this was normal at first, then asked on here and apparently others have come and layed on her nest.
So yesterday we candled them all to see how far along they were. Marked them with a pencil. We made incubator for the ones that are 1 week or more late (were hoping to get them in tonight) and leave the first ones that are near hatching with her.
Now that they are marked, any new eggs that appear each day we are removing.

We are going to remove the small batch of chicks when they hatch because we didn't sperate her from the rest and it is going to be cold here still. Now we'll know for future and were going to fix and set everything up for a next time.

The one who broodied and lost half her weight i broke a few days ago by taking away her nest. It seems to have worked so far.
Good luck on your broody!
 

MANNA-PRO

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