My very first broody hen! Questions.... help I don't have a clue...

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by mychookschick, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Maine
    Ok I went out to the coop this mornin' to find a wonderfully broody hen that bit me when I tried to take her egg! LOL Good mama.

    Anyway this is my first hen that made her nest inside the coop so I decided to let her sit on them. But, I have absolutely no experience and have some questions, so here they are:

    1) Exactly how long do I have to wait before I see chicks? (very impatient) [​IMG]
    2) Do I need to do anything special to her or for her? [​IMG]
    3) How many eggs can she sit on at one time?
    4) When the chicks come do I need to separate them and their mama or just them or do nothing at all?
    5) When the chicks come (if I dont need to separate them) do they need special food or care?
    6) When they hatch do I need to be there or can they do it by themselves?
    7) Will "mama" let me hold them and what-not when they are born? because I want them to be lovable when they get older! [​IMG]

    Just tell me to [​IMG] but I don't know anything.... If you can answer at least one of these question I would be eternally grateful and if there is anything else that i would need to know please include that in your post! THANKS FOR ALL INPUT!! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thanks so much,
    luvmygoldencomets
     
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 24, 2008
    Ocala, Florida
    1. 21 days is the average for chicks to hatch. 2. Is momma in a coop where other hens have access to her? If so you might want to separate her some way so they don't try to lay in the same nest which could cause her to get off the nest. 3. Depends on if she is standard size or bantam. My bantys usually sit on about 9-10 eggs. 4. Mama should keep them warm but other hens might try to kill them. 5. Chick starter would be the type of food the chicks need. 6. They shouldn't need any help to hatch. 7. Mama will try to protect them just like she is protecting her eggs. Hope that helps to answer your questions. [​IMG]
     
  3. MiniBeesKnees

    MiniBeesKnees Chillin' With My Peeps

    1) Exactly how long do I have to wait before I see chicks? (very impatient) 21 Days give or take
    2) Do I need to do anything special to her or for her? keep other hens from laying more eggs in her nest
    3) How many eggs can she sit on at one time? I had a little banty cover 16 with 14 hatching
    4) When the chicks come do I need to separate them and their mama or just them or do nothing at all? it is usually recommended to isolate them
    5) When the chicks come (if I dont need to separate them) do they need special food or care? protection from other hens and chick starter food, and a watering dish shallow enough they can't drown in it.
    6) When they hatch do I need to be there or can they do it by themselves? She can do it all alone
    7) Will "mama" let me hold them and what-not when they are born? because I want them to be lovable when they get older! that's between you and the hen

    The hen will be getting off her nest once or twice a day...don't panic if she skips a day...to eat, drink, and make this giant, extremely smelly poop. The rest of the time she sits on the eggs in a sort of broody chicken coma. Often I know the chicks are born because I hear peeps from under her, can't see a thing.

    I put my hen in a wire dog crate (in the coop) with a small run made out of dog pen fencing added to it (two by four feet) and I cover the wire crate and the top of the run with a tarp. I put food and water in that run. I wear a disposable rubber glove and remove the giant poops because they will make the entire coop just reek.

    At some point in 24 to 48 hours the hen will take the chicks off the nest and abandon the other eggs. I then take the fence away as the chicks walk right through it anyway. I've had good luck letting the hen take them where she wants to take them and letting her protect them from everyone else. My last batch of 14 on about day five she took them into the woods that they all roam in and only came back with 11 so that is a risk.

    I use a chick feeder and a chick waterer in which you put marbles, or small clean rocks so they can't drown in it. It is OK if the mom eats the same food, but don't let chicks eat layer food.

    Generally other hens are more of a danger to the little chicks than the roosters are...but I do have a Silver Seabright...a little guy...who picks on the chicks. So sometimes the roosters will hurt them, but it is not as common as other hens trying to get them. My hen mothers seem to handle the other hens just fine.
     
  4. jrleader99

    jrleader99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have to agree that you should remove her from the general population of other hens because they will definitely lay mroe eggs under and around her than she can handle. I had a broody earlier this year that had 40+ eggs under her. I kept 32 under her but none developed. I don't think that she could transfer enough heat and/or rotate them enough for production.

    Good luck and be patient.
     
  5. Bloomie

    Bloomie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Rural Nevada
    Quote:[​IMG] from Nevada!
    I dont have as much experience as some of the others who will most likely reply, but I'll share what I learned so far.

    The setting hen should be given a place separate from any other hens where she can set on her egg/egg without any inference from any other hen who may take to setting.
    Dont want a fight over the nest and have yer egg/eggs harmed. I penned in a small dimly lit area inside the coop, made a nest box out of a small cardboard box filled with nesting material and cut an opening for the hen to get out to drink, eat and poo if she chooses. I place the eggs in the nest and VERY carefully removed the hen and placed her on the nest.....marked the calendar and wait 21 -23 days. From what I've read a hen will continue to set until the eggs hatch or its apparent that they wont.
    But dont get scared if she leaves for short periods to eat or poo.......just check to make sure she returned and didnt abandon the egg/eggs.

    The folks here can give you some excellent advice on Candling the eggs.....using a light to see inside the egg and monitor development.
    THere some great posts here regarding candling and hatching.....look under "Incubating & Hatching Eggs" and at the very top you should see a post about candling that has some great photos.

    Leaving the chicks to their own when they do begin to hatch is the best way to allow nature to work its course.
    Once you have chicks make sure your hen isnt pecking at her chicks, sometimes they wont like their young. IF thats the case you can take them and put them in a brooder.
    Either way, you'll need to provide water & chick starter for them. Small tuna cans work well if you dont have a water & feeder for chicks. Put some marbles or rocks in the water can so the chicks cant get in and drown.
     
  6. mychookschick

    mychookschick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2009
    Maine
    Will she sit on the eggs if I move her into a kennel in the bottom of the coop?

    Just wondering because earlier she refused to sit on them until I let her outside and then she walked back in and sat on them...
     

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