My broody is on eggs! What to do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mychookschick, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Maine
    Ok... I have a broody on my hands and I have decided to let her sit! SOOO EXCITING![​IMG] [​IMG] But, on the other hand- I DONT' HAVE A CLUE WHAT I AM DOING! What do I need to do for her? Food? Water? Separate? I don't know! Please, help me!!!! [​IMG]

    Thanks for your help,
    luvmygoldencomets
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    65,186
    13,224
    786
    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Secure her nest so that other hens or the rooster can not get at her. Don't put food or water too close to the nest. You want her to leave the nest daily so that she can defecate. She'll do the rest. Good luck.
     
  3. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Maine
    Thank you!

    Although I know it is a ways off but what to do when the chicks hatch? do they need to be separated? can they eat the layer food? or can the hen eat medicated chick food?

    Thanks!
     
  4. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,168
    31
    201
    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    She'll take care of the chicks just fine. It'll be fun to watch them interact with her as well as discover the world around them.
     
  5. suebee

    suebee Speaks Silkie Fluently

    2,087
    107
    251
    Apr 1, 2007
    N. Carolina
    Quote:I always separate Mom and chicks from the others for the first few weeks. Other chickens can kill the babies if the Mom isn't watching. Don't feed layer to the babies, get some chick starter. Mom can eat it since she won't be laying eggs 6 weeks after they hatch. Also make sure the other hens don't lay additional eggs in Mom's nest. A staggered hatch will be a disaster. She'll get off the eggs every day or so to eat, stretch, poop. I'd put water and feed in with her while she's sitting also.
     
  6. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    4,742
    1,383
    356
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Mine hatched in the same coop as the layers, and they are all doing fine. I did seperate them during the hatch as the mama was still setting on the unhatched eggs, and the first hatchers were running around with no one to protect them.

    but after that they are all together, although during the day, they are all free ranging, so space is not an issue.

    I found the hardest part, was the WAITING! hahaha somewhere between 20-22 days. The last week took forever!

    Good luck! Mrs.K
     
  7. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    6,117
    67
    281
    Oct 18, 2009
    Connecticut
    I had never utilized a broody for hatching until this month. My Silkie, Frieda, hatched in our regular coop, in a nest box. She hatched one egg (the rest were quitters) and I took one of the bator babies and put it under her, which she accepted as her own with no problems.

    While she was brooding, I put up a little "wall" in front of the nest box b/c other hens were laying eggs in her box (with her IN IT!). It worked great. I opened it up after "laying time" around here.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    When she hatched the eggs, I set up a "nursery" under our droppings board with a cat carrier in it that has pine shavings and hay for a nest. In the morning, I take her, the crate and the babies out and put them in the chicken tractor for play time. At night, I take them all inside and close up the nursery again. I keep water and medicated chick starter feed in the nursery, outside the crate and inside the tractor.
    The nursery:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    In the tractor:
    [​IMG]
    This is our chicken tractor:
    [​IMG]

    I hope this helps. Good luck! (It's actually a LOT less work than incubating and keeping chicks in a brooder!)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2010
  8. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Maine
    Yea! I bet so!

    Thanks for all the help!

    If I understand right Eunice (mommy) will do everything (include keep them warm?) AND she can eat medicated chick starter?

    Thank for your patience with my ignorance,

    luvmygoldencomets
     
  9. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    39,737
    1,249
    516
    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    I haven't had a broody yet, but I've read loads on it. Important items:


    If you are not going to separate her from the flock, mark the eggs she is sitting on and remove the unmarked ones daily. Others will try to sneak their eggs under her, which would cause different days of hatches for the chicks, the momma has to decide whether to let the eggs die and care for the chicks or let the chicks die and try to hatch more eggs.

    Broodies don't eat much, so give her treats that she'll eat. ETA: Be careful, some broodies peck if you get too close. Make sure she gets off the nest to poo once a day.

    The hen will take care of the chicks, including keeping them warm.

    Make sure chick starter and water are available and she'll teach them to eat and drink.

    Good luck!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 2, 2010
  10. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Maine
    Ok.. thank you very much! That is sooo helpful!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by