1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Is there a minimum number of eggs needed for a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by elmarie, Apr 14, 2017.

  1. elmarie

    elmarie Just Hatched

    6
    0
    12
    Apr 14, 2017
    I have 14 hens and one rooster and I'm not really looking for a bigger flock, however one of my hens is broody. It's my first experience with a broody hen. My two little girls asked if we could give her chicks. I don't mind a few more, but I don't want a dozen more. We marked two eggs for her and are removing any others that she sits on at the end of each day. Is two enough? Also, I'm not sure exactly when we left them so I'm not sure when 21 days will be up. I know it was within the last week. How important is it that I know? Thank you for any help! I'm only going on two years of being a chicken owner
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,167
    10,501
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - thanks for joining us. Personally, I'd go for 4 eggs. With only two eggs, you run the risk of one of them not making it, or having issues after hatch and a lone chick will not thrive, since they prefer chickens of their own age.

    If you do decide to increase the number of eggs, I'd advise removing the existing eggs and collecting the desired number of freshly laid eggs to put under your broody. Store the egg fat end up, and if you can prop one side of the egg tray on something so its at a 45 degree angle. Rotate the tray twice per day.
     
  3. elmarie

    elmarie Just Hatched

    6
    0
    12
    Apr 14, 2017
    Thanks CTKen, I am glad to be a part of this very helpful forum! I'm a little confused about what you mean at the end there. I don't have the eggs on a tray. They are in the nesting box with the hen. Switching the current two out for four will help me know the exact day to count down from, but since my hen has already been broody and nesting for about a week, if I switch the eggs will she sit on them for the full 21 days?
     
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    27,167
    10,501
    616
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    She should, yes.
     
  5. BlueShadow

    BlueShadow Chillin' With My Peeps

    400
    211
    136
    Jun 13, 2015
    Nebraska
    I second this advice. Four eggs is a good number - with your hen:rooster ratio, there is a good chance they are not all fertile anyway. So chances are reasonable that with 4 eggs, you may get only 2 chicks anyhow. Definitely crack open the two that have been incubating to see if they were developing chicks, and pay attention to the eggs you crack open for eating. Look at that yolk to see if you find a simple white spot or if you find a bullseye. That will give you an idea what percent of your eggs are fertile.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    I hatch Chicks under my Broody Hens all the time...I advertise them and have no issue selling them...A larger Hen can hatch out 12 eggs and a Bantam can do well with 8 or less..:)....

    Do what will work for your current situation..:)


    Best of luck...:)


    Cheers!
     
  7. elmarie

    elmarie Just Hatched

    6
    0
    12
    Apr 14, 2017
    Ok thanks everyone. I'll switch out the 2 for 4 and see how it goes.
     
  8. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Ok thanks everyone. I'll switch out the 2 for 4 and see how it goes.[/q


    OMG....You can hatch two if you want..?...If a Chick is raised by a Broody?...Numbers do not matter..The chick never is lonely with Momma Hen..Hatch out two...;)....LMAO...;)....
     
  9. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

    751
    34
    159
    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Let me just ask, is your broody in a favorite nest box by any chance? The reason I bring it up is I have had experiences in the past with broken eggs under a broody (and of course there were developing babies inside those) because the broody was in a favorite nest box and squabbles happened when the other hens insisted on also laying in that box. I had to end up moving my girl each time to a different nest to avoid the broken egg situation.
     
  10. elmarie

    elmarie Just Hatched

    6
    0
    12
    Apr 14, 2017
    She is in one of the favorite nesting boxes and there has been a broken egg. I don't really have a place to move her though.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by