My first broody hen. Advice?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by FriendlyFlyer, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 16, 2011
    Ok, I have a black sex link hen that went broody three days ago. I know she's broody because I haven't seen her off the nest for 3 days now. It is her first time so I'm slightly worried she may give up on the eggs and walk away, although I have a lot of confidence she will be a GREAT mother.
    The eggs she's on right now are unfertilized but I'm putting fertilized eggs under her tomorrow (the 4th day of broodiness). Here are my questions:

    1. Will she stay on the eggs to hatch them? Since she's already gone broody before I got the eggs under her will she be broody long enough to hatch them?

    2. How do I know she's drinking water? I put water and food in her nest box with her (little bowls) and have noticed that's she's eaten the food but I can't tell if she's drank any water yet or has only drank a little bit. How can I make sure she drinks?

    3. Do black sex links make for good mothers? Taking into account that it's her first time but she is VERY protective and dedicated.

    4. What should I do with mama and the chicks after the hatch? Assuming that the chicks do hatch (and I know not all will) should I move them to a new coop set-up or can I leave them (the mother and the chicks) in the coop and she will protect them? I would much rather have them stay in the coop but not at the price of dead chicks.

    5. Any other advice for a first time mother and a first time chicken mother owner? Any advice would be VERY MUCH appreciated! Thak you!

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