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Just home from NYC and have a broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Robin'sBrood, Nov 29, 2008.

  1. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Hi y'all. Well, I'm home from trip to NYC with my son's high school marching band (did y'all see them in the Macy's parade -- West Johnston H.S., in teal & white, the last high school band? Weren't they great! [​IMG] And yes, I was one of the multiple millions of people on the lined up on the street to see the parade. )

    Anyway, while I was gone I talked to my husband several times and he was telling me that one of my bantam girls kept disappearing and he couldn't find her or figure out where she was going. She wasn't around in the evenings to be cooped either but would appear the next day to eat and drink. I told him not to worry about it that I would find her when I got back. Sure enough, took me about 5 minutes to figure out where she is nesting. She is UNDER their coop, which is up on a couple of bricks.

    So, she's been sitting on her nest for at least 5 days now. My questions... since I've never had a broody before... since she is under the coop and is protected from wind and rain, is it safe to leave her there? She is inside of her run and we don't seem to have a predator problems other than the occasional hawk. We can't get her out anyway, so I guess it's a moot point to ask that. Will her chicks be okay after hatching in the cold weather or should I move them once they're here?

    I'm extremely sleep deprived right now after having to attempt to sleep on the bus ride home, so I hope my questions make sense. [​IMG]
  2. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    It pretty doesn't matter! She won't move. You can move her but she will go right back again. give it up, let her alone. Dealing with a broody hen is like dealing with an ornery boss. Count your losses and leave her.... [​IMG]

    ETA: She will keep her chicks plenty warm enough.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2008
  3. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Thanks Ms. Yappy Fingers.... I think you've gone beyond merely yappy now though. [​IMG]

    All I saw of Mama hen was a little bit of her tail feathers. Looks like she is tucked away in a corner under the coop. I must admit, I can hardly wait to have babies. Mama is a Millie Fleur D'Uccle and Daddy is a Silver Laced Wyandotte (standard) so it'll be interesting to see what the chicks are going to look like.

    [​IMG] for GIRL chicks!
  4. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Took another peek at my broody girl and could see two eggs sticking out a little from underneath her. I took some pine shavings and stuck them around the bottom of the coop to shield her more from the wind. Now, do I need to do anything else for her as far as feeding her? She's less than 5' from her food and water, do y'all think she'll continue to come out to eat and drink, or should I put food and water under the coop for her?
  5. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Well Ms. Broody was off her nest for a while this morning so I was able to get a good look at her clutch of eggs. Looks like she has a dozen or so in there. She was making these cute little funny noises the whole time she was eating, drinking & scratching and she kept fluffing her tail feathers/shaking her rear end too. Is that normal broody behavior? I have lots to learn about this broody stuff. [​IMG]

    Also, once her babies are here, how long before she brings them out from under the coop? I know the babies will need starter food, will Mama need it too? HELP, I want to be prepared!
  6. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I've moved a broody only after she's been sitting at least 5 days. I take a plastic tidy cat litter contianer cut off the larger part of the lid put clean litter in it, wait till dark pick up her then put her and the eggs in the box as fast as I can. Move box to a sfe place then put a cover in frount of the box much be solid. keep her locked in for at least 12 hours quit and dark take the cover off watch her if she try to get out fo the box and take off close her in for awile longer. Have food and water close to the box. then leave her along as much as you can.
  7. Robin'sBrood

    Robin'sBrood Flock Mistress

    May 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Thanks for the info but there is no way I can move her or the eggs. She has made her nest way up under the coop and I can only see them if I use a flashlight and take a peek underneath. I really want to just let her do her thing and hatch out her eggs -- she's been determined to be a mama ever since she started laying... in fact, both of my Millie Fleur D'Uccles have tried hiding eggs right from the start, is it a breed thing?

    Anyway, I want to be prepared for her and any babies that hatch. I have a wire tractor and a plastic dog house coop that I'll use to lock both mama and babies up tight in once they're out from under the coop. My questions: how long before I can expect to see them once they've hatched... and will mama hen need to eat starter feed too (don't see how I could separate the food anyway.) Thanks! [​IMG]

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