Is this broody or so/so broody. Help, time senstive about chicks


In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 11, 2011
Hey all,

I have a hen that I'm thinking may be broody. We're getting 21 new chicks in the morning and I'm thinking of seeing if she'll be a surrogate for 11 of them (the other 10 are for meat) and want to put them under her at night. So, here's my question...

She's broody inasmuch as she will sit on her eggs for awhile after laying and if you take the eggs, she'll get you told all the way back to the house and then some lol. However, she's not totally broody in the sense that she will not stay on the eggs all the time. So, is she technically broody, in the beginning stages or just half hearted about it all? Should I bother trying to see if she'll take on the babies? I'd like to have her be the mama, so she can do the job of introducing them and protecting them.
One test is whether they sleep on the nest / eggs. If she is roosting, no chance, I'm afraid. Also, she should fluff out if removed from the nest and growl at you if you come near her. Mine when removed from the nest will often run around clucking a short, continuous bok-bok, with their tail feathers spread wide and their whole body fluffed out -- just to get from the nest to the feeder.
Sounds like the beginning stages. My hens always start acting broody a week before they set. They will stay longer on the nest after laying each day, some started clucking during the day while out foraging.. and at night they can be found in the nest box. If they are roosting at night, no she is not broody.

Even if she was, it would be too soon. My hens have never accepted chicks before 1 full week of sitting (at least). And I have serial broody breeds (silkies) - only one accepted chicks before 3 weeks of sitting. She hatched an egg that she stole from another broody, so that could be why.
Thanks for the reply! Ok, so it's unlikely. What about putting her with the chicks? I know she may pick them and we can watch for that, but what is the possibility of that being successful?

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