Never Hatched Before - Using a Broody Hen - Need advice

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Eggclucktic Acres, Dec 13, 2010.

  1. Eggclucktic Acres

    Eggclucktic Acres Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2010
    Western Washington
    One of my (tame) Silkies has gone broody (on the floor of the coop). I wasn't ready so she is sitting a clutch of mixed eggs (3 silkie, 6 full size mixed breed eggs). I tried to move her out of the coop and separate from the flock and she threw a fit. Instead I grabbed a cardboard box and made her comfy. I have a flock of 18 (3 roosters and 15 hens) and this is my first clutch.

    At what point do I really need to move her?

    The books say give her whole wheat and grit. Is this true?

    What advice would you give to make this go as smoothly as possible?

    Thanks much!
  2. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm Premium Member

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Okay, she needs enough room in that box, hope it is reallly really large to move about. stretch, go to get food and water 2 times daily. Try to let her be and not disturb her....I would make a separate broody pen and then move her and the nest quickly and quietly so the babies would be protected. Probably do this after they are born. Is the box now protected from the others getting in it, if not put a window screen or something on top of it so she will not be disturbed by rooster or hens flying in her box! Great luck.
  3. NoseyChickens

    NoseyChickens Feathers On The Ground

    Aug 3, 2009
    Southern California
    You can give her something like flock raiser. It's just that when they are broody they don't need the extra calcium. I have a broody in the nest box in the main coop on 2 duck eggs. I may put her in her own run once they hatch out, but right now she is dead set on where she is at an none of the other birds care that she is there doing her thing. You could always put yours in a dog crate inside of the coop. That way she is not lonely, but is still safe and the chicks will be too once they hatch. I have done that before as well. I have never had the rest of the flock bother the new chicks before. Maybe I have been lucky. I do prefer to move them to a little broody grown out coop and run for safety, but I have done it both ways and it's been fine. I do suggest, if you leave where she is at, that you mark the eggs she is on. Silkies love to collect along the way, from my experiance. Mine always try to add more to their clutch.

    Good luck!
  4. Eggclucktic Acres

    Eggclucktic Acres Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2010
    Western Washington
    Thanks! That is all great advice. I'm using the cardboard box to get the eggs off of the floor. She is still able to move around the coop as always. Yesterday she hopped off for about 2 minutes to go in the yard and eat some treats. I'm just worried that the roosters may hurt the chicks when they hatch. You are right, right now everyone is just ignoring her for the time being.

    Another question, the book says not to add eggs that are less than 24 hours old. Being a complete novice, yesterday I picked up a freshly laid egg and added it to her nest. So now what will happen to that egg?
  5. Winisk

    Winisk Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 13, 2010
    I recently went through the same thing. I was hoping that one of my hens would get broody in the spring but lo and behold one fine afternoon in November, my Phoenix hen was sitting on her egg and would not get off. I was thrilled though concerned as I wasn't at all prepared for this. I left her alone and minimized disturbance though the other hens would continue to lay eggs in the same box. Hers was the only white egg so it was easy to distinguish it from the others. She did not like me pulling the eggs out so I eventually thought it best to seperate her from the others and basically built a coop within the coop around her. I didn't change the diet at all. She rarely got off her nest. The chick is now big enough to mingle with the others. It sticks very close to mom and she is protective. While there was the occasional peck and hen fight, I no longer worry. They seem to have accepted the little one among them. At night they go back to their own seperate roost. I'm looking forward to when they are fully intergrated with the others. This when they are all in the coop full-time as it is cold and snowy here.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010

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