let her hatch or break her broodiness?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by bonder, Dec 18, 2010.

  1. bonder

    bonder Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 2, 2010
    I have an EE who has been laying eggs for MAYBE 2 months. The EE was hatched at the end of June.

    She is now determined to hatch some eggs. She will not get out of the nesting box unless we make her. I'm okay with letting her hatch a couple eggs but I'm worried about what to do with the baby chicks once they hatch.

    It's COLD, with temps no warmer than 20. It will continue to be cold here until February or March. So if I let her hatch, do I need to worry about raising the chicks in the house or will she keep them warm and safe in the chicken house? Our chicken house is safe from predators and relatively warm, but not heated.

    And if I let her hatch, should I try to get her to be broody somewhere other than the nesting box? Like a dog crate or something?
  2. knjinnm

    knjinnm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2010
    Sandia Park, NM
    Put a couple of infertile or refrigerated eggs under her, when nothing hatches she'll get off the nest. Other wise let her hatch a couple in the laying box then move them into the garage.
  3. ScissorChick

    ScissorChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 17, 2010
    Under Your bed
    My hens sat on non-fertile eggs until they rotted beneath them. It was MESSY to clean

    up so being myself I wouldn't put non-fertile eggs under her. I'd let her hatch them, then put

    them in your garage. You'll need to seperate them from the others anyways.

    Good luck!

  4. PoultryPeeps

    PoultryPeeps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2009
    Wasilla, Alaska
    A friend of mine had a hen who was DETERMINED to by broody. After trying to break her with no success, she finally let her have her way. Out of 4 eggs she was successful hatching one lone chick. It was winter time, but my friend just let momma do her thing. In the midst of the rest of the flock and with no special care from any humans, the hen raised her chick successfully. Even it she has more than one, I think she would be OK. It is not necessary to separate the chicks from the mom, she is better at raising her chicks than we are!
  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Oh, please, let her hatch!

    I know that there are reasons why some folks "break" broodies, but I just think that whole process is .... not nice. I do understand the need, I guess... no, really, I don't. Okay, I realize everyone's situation is different.

    But *I* would let her hatch.
  6. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Attempts to break broodies don't always work by any means, and if you let them just set, they may set for months, losing weight all the time. IMO the best cure for broodiness is either letting them hatch some eggs or letting them set a while then slipping new chicks under them.

    My young broody hatched hers a few weeks ago. Last week we had a cold snap, lows in 20's highs in 40's. This is the south so my coop is VERY airish, with half of one wall open air, plus other spaces under the eaves. No heat, obviously. After the first week I never saw the chicks go under mama except at night. I''ve watched her several times squat and chirp to get them to come under her to get warm. Mostly they just kept running around. A couple of times they went under her but came back out in less than a minute. I had another broody a couple of winters ago whose chicks were out in even colder weather. That batch would warm themselves under mama but still didn't stay long.

    Let her hatch!
  7. Ken F

    Ken F Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 20, 2010
    Lehigh Valley, PA
    I was just in the same situation a few weeks ago. I have a 7 month old Columbian Wyandotte that
    refused to leave the nest box after days of removing her and trying to "break" her. Finally, I decided to put 10 EE eggs under her (my rooster is an EE).
    I set her up in a dog crate on the floor of my coop and let her out daily to eat, drink and poop. She always returned to her nest within 20 minutes.

    21 days later, 4 of the eggs hatched. I moved them all, with their surrogate mom, to a secluded area of the coop.
    A week later, she is being a great mom. She keeps them warm, taught them to eat and drink and watches after them.

    This is SO MUCH EASIER than when I got hatchery chicks last spring.

    Give her some eggs! I plan to do this every time I get a broody hen.

    Good Luck.

  8. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

    Oct 7, 2010
    Conroe, Texas
    love the picture of momma and baby. [​IMG]
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    If you do some searches you'll find some threads with great information on breaking a broody's mood, and also on how to best accomodate a brooding hen. Ideally, if you let her brood she should go in her own quarters. That keeps her from being interrupted by other hens who may try to push her out of her nest to lay their own eggs there, and keeps her from getting misdirected on her way back from a break and going to set on a different nest, letting her own egglings get cold.

    Read about the ways to move a broody hen, sometimes that is enough to break their broody spell. If you're concerned about the cold you could make her broody quarters indoors somewhere. If she continues to want to set, she will do a great job taking care of their needs.
  10. DPC poultry

    DPC poultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 18, 2010
    Mt. washington Ky
    let her hatch them and let her raise them she will keep them warm but KEEP THE ROOSTER AWAY FROM THEM he will kill the chicks so that he can breed the hen again

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