Is there any way to tell if a broody will be a good mom?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by PtldChick, Feb 4, 2012.

  1. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My 8-mo old Blue Copper Marans may be going broody, and if so, I'm thinking of letting her try to hatch some mixed bantam eggs I'm getting from another BYC'er. They're not expensive, rare or show quality so if it doesn't work out, it's not a total disaster. And if it does, I should have some pretty and interesting little bitties - d'uccle over silkie, OEG and Dutch. [​IMG]

    This would be my first broody hen and my first attempt at letting one try to hatch. I have a place in the coop where I can put her in a nest box and secure it from the other chickens. I can also put food and water in there so she doesn't need to come out unless she wants to.

    Are there any rules of thumb on how to tell if a broody will be a good hatcher and chick mom? Age? Breed? Does it matter if this is her first time going broody? BTW, none of my chickens are over a year old.

    Also, the place where I would put her is not her usual nest box; is there anything I can do to make sure she takes to the new location and sits on the eggs?

    Thanks in advance.


    ETA: Moderators, please move this to hatching forum - thanks, and sorry.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2012
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I don't think there is really any way to tell. It's all governed by hormones, so if she sits faithfully, then hopefully the hormones are there to be a good mama as well. I've only had a few broodies, but all the ones who sat to hatch the eggs also did a good job of mothering.

    Moving a broody to a different nest can be tricky. Once I tried it and entirely broke her broodiness. If you do it at night and move the entire nest, or at least all the nesting material, I think you have a better chance of success.

    One caution. Sometimes I read about broodies dying on the nest. I think some don't have the instinct to get up at least once a day to eat and drink, and get a little exercise. I always keep their food and water a few feet away, and I lift them off the nest and prod them til they get moving for a few minutes every day. You should at least see a nice fat once-a-day broody poop every day, to let you know they've been off the nest.

    You might enjoy this article:


    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html
     
  3. poseygrace

    poseygrace Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree with all the above.
     
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I disagree with the two above. DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!! I let my Marans hatch out some Silkies. Even though so was a good mother she was too big for the babies. I bought some Catdance Silkies and se ended up killing 4 of them before I knew what was up. Marans like to scratch a lot. What mine did was buried 2 and two were squashed. The batams are small babies. Just what happenes to me.
     
  5. i had three had one chick each this summer, each first timers and were successful. i didn't think my hens would really hatch anything, so i took her off the nest about three times a day her eggs were just fine. so i would let her try and give it a shot, but take her off the nest a few times, or at least once a day.
     
  6. my one big hen that brooded, the two others were bantams, she was just fine, but it might just be the hen, who knows?[​IMG]
     
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Yeah you are right. I took the chance and only have one baby that cost me 50$
     
  8. WOW! you mustve lost quite a few eggs destroyed.and i have a ? is it normal for a hen to quit brooding after a few hours?
     
  9. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, maybe I will try moving her now before I get the eggs to see what she does. I can put a couple eggs in there to see if that helps her settle in the new location. I guess worst comes to worst, I can let her brood in place, then move her and the chicks to the safe location once they have hatched.

    Thanks.
     

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