Make hen go broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by amysue2012, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. amysue2012

    amysue2012 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2007
    Montpelier Ohio
    Can I make my Cochin hen go broody? I've been collecting her eggs the last few days and she is in a cage by her self now. She seems to be just sitting around alot and squawking at me when I walk in the animal barn. I was thinking of putting a nest box in and trying it with a small glass egg.

    I guess my question is, am I going at it right or am I just wasting my time? Im not sure what to do. But I would like her to try sitting and hatching some of her eggs.
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Going broody is a hormonal change the hen goes through.

    You should do a search on broody hens - there is ton of information on this site.
  3. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2008
    South Central KY
    You can't "make" a hen go broody. The broodiness has been bred out of many strains, and they rarely brood. Others still trip right over into broodiness at the mere sight of an egg, or even without it. Some of mine see a darkened nest site, and boom, there they are, brooding straw.

    Cochins are usually good moms, but yours evidently hasn't heard the hormonal call. Some say that feeding cracked corn raises body temp, and can help push a hen over into broodiness. Keeping her locked up won't do anything but annoy her.

    Golf balls make good fake eggs. You could let her rejoin the other birds, start feeding some cracked corn, and keep a handful of golf balls, (or ping pong balls, or wooden eggs, they're not picky, hens have been known to brood light bulbs and peach pits) and if she goes broody, she'll pick a nest and camp out in it, and squawk and growl at you if you bother her on the nest.
    She'll stay on it even at night, instead roosting normally.

    At that point, you can give her a clutch of fertile eggs, (they don't have to be just her eggs) all at the same time, marked and dated, so you'll be able to easily identify any new eggs that other hens may lay in her nest, because you need to take those out everyday, and only leave the original marked eggs.

    Then, with luck, 21 days later she'll have a clutch of chicks.

    This may seem like a dumb question, but you do have a roo, don't you?
  4. amysue2012

    amysue2012 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 6, 2007
    Montpelier Ohio
    Yes, I have a roo I just wasnt sure how to go about it cause I've always gone and collected eggs 3-4 times a day and never let any of the hens keep their eggs.
  5. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 14, 2008
    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    My bo hen went broody at 24 weeks and wouldn't leave the nest boxes. She would move from nest box to nest box just to sit on eggs. I tried pushing her off all last week with no success. I finely bought some fertile eggs and placed them under her and she is been sitting ever since. Been a week now. Will wait and see what happens. John
  6. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Well, if you want to try........

    It's best to separate the hen and her eggs from the rest of the flock. Set up a nest in the cage. Put it where the rest of the flock can't access the nest or bother her. Make sure there are no drafts.

    She'll need food (it can be her layer feed), water, oyster shell, grit. She will lay eggs until she has completed her clutch. She will need space to get out and walk around. Because if she is broody, she will sit on the nest around the clock except when she gets out to eat, drink, possibly dust bathe, and poo. The broody poo is huge and smelly. If you have her indoors, you'll want to dispose of the broody poo immediately.

    Leave her alone and in approximately 21 days, if the eggs are fertile and everything goes well, they will hatch. Mama hen will keep the chicks covered for the first couple of days. As long as she isn't hurting the chicks, leave them alone. As soon as the chicks start hatching, remove the layer feed, if you used it. We use FlockRaiser for our chicks, but you have decide what you are going to feed mama and the chicks. Take the oyster shell away also.

    We keep our mama hen and her chicks together away from the flock for the first few weeks. If the weather is good, we set up a dog kennel where mama hen and chicks can get outdoors without the flock injuring them. But the flock can see them, and after a few weeks pass, we start to let mama and her chicks forage with the flock during supervised visits. During this time, mama hen and chicks are still in the broody area at night. Watch out for fighting during this time, as mama hen will attack any bird that goes near her chicks.

    When mama hen is ready to leave the chicks, she will start pushing them away from food and treats. She will start squatting and start laying again also. Depending on the weather and the age of the chicks, they can go out to general population or continue supervised visits.

    There are advantages and disadvantages to having mama hen raise the chicks. No heat lamp is needed, mama hen keeps them warm. She will show them food and warn them of danger. They are adorable walking the farmyard trying to keep up with mama. Depending on the hen, she may or may not attack her humans when they pick up the chicks. I have seen even docile hens become very ferocious when she thinks her chicks are in danger.
  7. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    My hen ( black australorp ) went broody .

    It was her 1st. time , so I only put 4 eggs under her .

    Today was DAY 21 . Yesterday we had to chciks born and another today . Candled the other egg and it was totally clear .

    3 out of 4 is not bad for a 1st. time.

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