My First BROODY! Need advice!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickyboomboom, Apr 3, 2012.

  1. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi friends!

    I have our first broody girl. She is a cuckoo maran and has been laying flat in the nest for about 3 days now. She comes out for just a few minutes in the morning to let the other girls lay and then she sits on their eggs all day! She's so protective over them we are scared to even go near her! Yesterday, we took the eggs from her and she was so mad! We felt really bad so we replaced them with some play wooden eggs. She's still in her same spot now, and I assume she's laying on the 3 wood eggs and the other girl's three real eggs today. Poor lil mama wants babies real bad!

    So since she is broody, I've been thinking about getting her some fertilized eggs and making her a real mama. I've never done this before so I thought I'd ask the experts what I needed to do!

    Should I move her? We have a little doghouse she can hang out in. How should we do this? First should I get the fertilized eggs, and then set them up and move her at night? The coop is set up really high and too dangerous for baby chicks if they do hatch.

    How long do I have to get the fertilized eggs? I really wanted to get some Bantam easter egger eggs, but it might take awhile to find them and have them shipped.

    Is this a project that I should not take on? Is it stressful, am I not cut out to be a chicken grandma yet? I am a pretty busy mom with 2 human kids and 2 dogs and chicken dad and everything else!!! Do I have to be vigilant? will I have to do anything special or just let nature take its course? Is it a magical educational process that my kids need to see? Or will we even be able to see the babies hatch?

    I called the feed store today to ask if they had any hatching eggs (they don't). But the lady told me that I could get some day old chicks, and place them under her at night. Then the next morning she would think her babies hatched. Anyone tried this before?

    Any tips, tricks, advice and stories would be so helpful!

    Thanks in advance PEEPS!!!
     
  2. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm afraid I don't have many answers for you. I will be anxious to see what advice you get. We had some Silkies go broody a couple of years ago. They were sitting on eggs in the coop before we knew what was happening. It was neat, but ended in tragedy when the chicks ventured out of the coop and couldn't get back in. They ended up drowning in a rain storm.

    I have some Cuckoo Marans. I didn't know they would go broody. I have read on here how to break a hen from being broody, so that's an option, too.
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    you may have a good chance of fooling the hen.... let her sit 21 days (or so ) on the fake eggs, out of your regular chicken coop---and at night sneak in day old chicks. (if she has already been broody for 3-days... see if the feed store can get you day old chicks in 18-days.)

    I guess there is some gamble involved any way you handle it. She may not stay broody and then you have day-olds coming your way that will need care. She may not accept the chicks, and then you will still have to care for the day olds...or it may go smoothly, and you have chicks. I guess the same with hatching eggs...but with chicks, at least you would know when the live chicks would be arriving, and you wouldn't have to candle.

    I think a broody hen can save a lot of work in the chick rearing business..... Here is a thread that is really long I think -- perhaps it contains all things broody....

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...ody-hen-hatch-a-long-and-informational-thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/619505/broody-hen-hatching-is-easy-and-awsome

    One is 799 pages long....:O)
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    oh this is all the fun of new chicks and none of the stress!! Once you do chicks this way, you will never want to go back to raising chicks by hand! This is so fun, and I am currently praying for a broody hen, my one of the last three years, died.

    However, this is apt to be the longest 21 days ever!

    ok, - heres the deal, if the other hens have a place to lay, you can leave her where she is, but if they keep adding eggs, if you keep having to get those eggs, it won't work, plus, you will get a good thumping or two.

    If you decide to move her, and lots of people do. Move her at night, and hope she will settle on the nest. If she does, wait 2-3 days, add the fertilized eggs. Sometimes they can be very convinced that they like THEIR nest best. Once, I had a broody hen, take the move, and then a week later went back to the original nest. [​IMG]But not all is lost.

    You can buy chicks and slip them under her, and it won't really matter if they are a couple of days old. But what will mater is the hen needs to be broody for about 3 weeks, say 18-21 days. Then go down at night in the dark and slip them under her. I remember, the first time I did this. I remember thinking it sounds easy enough, but how do you get them under her? I decided to put them all on her back, and then lift the hen. Well you don't have to lift the hen, those chicks just slip through the feathers, and disappear! The hen's cluck will change, and in the morning, she will be a one proud mama!

    As for eggs, once, it was July, and no baby chicks around. I called everyone, that I knew that had chickens, and they would tell me of someone that they thought had a roo. So the conversation went like this: " Hello, you don't know me, but I have heard that you are a chicken lady too..." Anyway, I had a lovely lady give me two dozen, and I kept one of the roos, so I am not in that position again.

    Mine always hatch out within the flock, my broody hens have always been willing to take your hand off at the elbow and the other hens gave her lots of respect. I let the laying flock free range, and for a few days, I moved the water and feed outside the run during the day. But after that they were on their own. The mama hen tends to stay closer to the coop/run, but she will have those chicks outside eating bugs and crawling over pretty steep obstacles. It has to be healthier than all crowded together in a bin.

    Even if the weather gets cold, she will keep them the perfect temperature.

    I really don't think that there is anything cuter than a hen and chicks. If you are nervous about hatching, for your first experience, and your hen's too, you can just leave her alone, keeping the other layers out of her nest. and then add the chicks.

    oh... if you do decide to add the fertilized eggs, don't add more than 12, and really 8 is better for a full size hen. Mark them with a marker so that you can tell which eggs are which, cause sometime they can get mixed up.

    hope this helps

    MrsK
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2012
  6. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Buff Orphington hen went broody about two weeks ago. She had 3 eggs under her, and her hen mates kept trying to get into the nest with her or on top of her. So she moved, and when I went out, the eggs were cool (4 days of laying). So I brought them in & cracked them, only 1 was fertile. On her new nest, she laid 3 eggs, and was getting squished again, so I made her a broody house, we moved her in 2 days ago. She will growl, but not peck, so I got her & my hubby got the eggs. Put her in and she has not moved off the nest. I put food & water in their for her, and had to chase two of my other hens out of her house. (She has 6 eggs under he now, and one is a EE).
    Tonight when I was checking everyone, there was a Buff on the last nest in the main coop. when I locked everyone up for the night, she was still there. So now I have two that are broody. So Broody 2 is a week behind Broody 1. [​IMG]

    I am not going to touch this one. When the 21 days are up, I will make a 2 nest broody house & pray that no other go broody on me.
     
  7. chickyboomboom

    chickyboomboom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for all the replies! I am starting to think that fooling her and putting the day old chickies under her in a few weeks may be a good idea because we are not allowed roosters here. Although I would love to have the experience of hatching eggs, it would be hard to not know how many girls I would be getting and I think roosters are hard to sell/give away.

    Madison is serious, this is day 4 and she is SUPER trance like laying on about 5 real eggs and 4 wooden ones. We are going to try and move her into the dog house tonight and see if she stays... and then the hunt is on for some day old americanas!!
     
  8. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good Luck! Keep us posted.
     
  9. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck! If your feed store does have chicks, common ones at feed stores are americanas (or ameraucanas/easter eggers). They actually will all be Easter Eggers, just usually feed stores label them wrong. Another common type is 'red pullet', which can be red sex link or production red. But they're a good bet if you want pullets.
     
  10. SilkieCrazy123

    SilkieCrazy123 Out Of The Brooder

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    You know, you don't even have to wait three weeks, you can put them in anytime, but at night. Someone on BYC already said this, and I'll repeat it for you.Chickens cant count, so they don't know the difference
     

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