My First Broody Hen

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by 64peeps, Feb 15, 2014.

  1. 64peeps

    64peeps In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2013
    My nine month old Buff Orpington has become broody and I'm looking for some advice to ensure her health.

    I've taken the last of her unfertilized eggs (no rooster) two weeks ago and she continues to sit in an empty nest, even after I have moved her to food and water area. I gave that up and to allow nature to run its course, I have borrowed two fertilized eggs from a well know chicken breeder in our area and placed them in her nest. She has accepted them and has been sitting for four days now. She has even plucked more of her feathers to give the eggs more of her body heat.
    My question is, will she get out and eat or drink? I have taken her out several days before providing her eggs and she ate and drank. I am able to get her to eat some oats but she will not take water. Should I intervene with providing food? her feathers are looking awful as she is not preening.

    If all works out, she will be a surrogate mother to two Americauna chicks on March 5.

    What should I do?

    Thank you,
  2. fintuckyfarms

    fintuckyfarms Chirping

    Dec 31, 2013
    Finley WA
    As long as there is food and water available, she will get up and get it when she needs it. I've not yet seen a hen expire from malnutrition while broody. If you are wanting to let her raise some chicks soon, I would leave a few eggs under her. Switch out the eggs for chicks at night but continue to watch her for a few hours incase she throws them out.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  3. 64peeps

    64peeps In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2013
    Thank you for the reassurance! The few times I picked her up last week, she seemed to be nearly weightless. I did place a couple possibly fertilized eggs in her nest when I last took her out. She walked up to the nest, looked at the eggs and then walked in and laid as flat as she could over the top of them.
    I filled the food tray and moved a water bowl closer to the nest so that she would not have far to go to get the essentials, but she appears to be letting herself go for her surrogate eggs. I will candle the eggs in about two weeks. If they hatch, I'll post pictures of them. The roo is the beautiful colored one in my avatar and the mom is the grey hen.

    Again, Than you for the reassurance that she will survive!
  4. PimentoPlymouth

    PimentoPlymouth Chirping

    Mar 9, 2012
    You will notice she isnt eating or drinking much right now. The only time they get up is to use the restroom and grab a little bit of food and water and right back on the nest they go. To me it is one of the coolest expierences while being a chicken owner you can have. It is super easy and simple to allow a broody hen to raise her young. It takes alot of the guess work out of it. I know when I raised my first flock in the garage I had to deal with paste butt, teaching them to eat and drink and so on. With a broody she does all that for you. I have always had good success with raising chicks using broody hens. Good luck and enjoy it is a cool expierence.

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