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New Broody and Broody Owner

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by sarahs31, Feb 18, 2009.

  1. sarahs31

    sarahs31 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    I was just saying to meandthegals that "nope, no broodies on this side of the state and never've even had one in the year we've had chickens" and of course, I head to the coop this weekend and what do you know....one of my Faverolle crosses is sitting and sitting...

    So, we tried breaking her brood, stealing the eggs and nothing. She sits in the box on an empty nest even! So, I'm going to make the best of it and let her sit. Might be fun...

    We have 8 boxes for 32 layers and her box isn't the favorite. Moving her isn't an option at this point. Any harm in letting her stay in the main coop? Birds free range during the day so coop is empty on nice days. Should I add a few eggs to give her a clutch?

    Ideas? We do have two seriously big brooders for chicks, so we could move the babies later. But I'll cross that bridge when I get there.
     
  2. rockabilly7

    rockabilly7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 30, 2008
    Florida panhandle
    i think you should let her sit, it could be fun and it takes all the effort out of incubating!!! I wish one of my girls would go broody!!!
     
  3. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

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    Jan 30, 2007
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    Quote:Make sure you date and mark the eggs that you set under her as other hens can want to lay in the same nest and you will have to take those eggs out. You won't know the set clutch from the others if you don't. If you leave her there to hatch remember you will have to take the chicks and or her with them after the hatch is finished. Chicks can't get back up into nesting box heights. Adult hens can be mean to chicks if the hen is not there to protect them, plus they need their own food, water and warmth from her.
     
  4. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Any harm in letting her stay in the main coop? >> No harm now, maybe later though... it very much depends on the setting hen's nature, and the temperment of the flock as a whole. Other hens might start picking on her in the nest.. if it's not their fav nest, it might be fine.

    If you can figure out a way to give her a protected corner, wire off a seperate area for them. If she's a tough sort of hen, once they hatch, she might manage, but really, it is good to give her a safe place within the coop. The others need to figure out what those peeping things are, and that the mama is protecting them, you still may have a nasty hen or two that will attack the chicks though. Mine have accepted them pretty quick, but there's no guarantee.

    Should I add a few eggs to give her a clutch? >> Sure why not? I'd mark them all though with a date and what eggs they are etc. Others may add eggs and you really want them around the same age. You can gather any extra eggs that way.

    I know there's a lot of maybes there, hens may be great incubators, but they aren't machines... hehe. Still, I love letting my hens do their own thing. Having an extra little pen right inside the coop for them to do it in is really handy though...
     
  5. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    I usually let my broodies sit in the main coop with everyone else. The only things to watch out for is if another chicken lays more eggs in her box, but other people mentioned marking the eggs. The other problem is if she switches nest boxes. I had one brand new first time broody sit in one box for about 2 days and I gave her eggs, she sat on the eggs for a day or two, then switched nests. I think she was just young and confused, but all her eggs were wasted! I ended up putting her in a dog crate with one nest box and new eggs, problem solved. Another time, a broody had taken over the favorite nest box and I saw the more dominant hens drag my poor broody off the nest to lay their eggs in the favorite box. I ended up moving her to a brooder box, so she could have some peace. Overall, I'd say if none of the other chickens has bothered your girl by now, she should be fine to brood where she is: She's stuck tight to her nest, it's not a favorite nest and no one is picking on her.

    You could leave Mama and babies in the main coop after they hatch, but it's easier to take care of the hatched chicks when they're seperated from the main coop. I put Mama and the babies in an old brooder box, she keeps them plenty warm, even in freezing temps. She would protect them from the other chickens just fine, she goes totally ninja on them, complete with sound effects! [​IMG] My biggest problem is that the other chickens think chick starter tastes so much better than layer pellets and at $20 a bag - I don't want to share! And you have to keep the food at water so much lower to the ground for the babies and it gets trampled and shavings kicked in it by the bigger chickens.

    Congrats on your first broody! I love broodies - I have 10 Silkie hens and I've had someone be broody at all times since they turned 5 months old. I love it, I don't have to worry about high or low temps, humidity levels or power outages during incubating. I get a steady crop of babies and I don't need to keep them in the house, even in the cold!
     
  6. sarahs31

    sarahs31 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    I went and pulled her off to add 8 eggs underneath her and while she was off (5 minutes) and someone else took her place! SWAAAACKK!! SWAACCK!!

    I left the situation alone for a while and when I went back she was sitting on another empty nest. I've pulled the second hen off her original nest and put her back in.....

    She's sweet enough to let me move her. She pulled the eggs in, fluffed herself over them and we'll see. What a sweetheart!

    I've got an Ameraucauna roo who's eggs are at 75-80% fertile and that's with 30+ hens. He's pretty gentle with the girls too. I've added the Leghorn eggs, the Welsummer, the Dorkings, (mama is a Dorking Favorolle cross already) an Ameraucauna, and some other unknowns. This could be seriously addicting.

    So off to research some hatching posts! Oh brother!
     
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

  8. sarahs31

    sarahs31 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Waukesha, WI
    Excellent article but now I'm worried. Do I sweet talk my hubby into making a broody box in the barn? Do I move my hen to a lower and larger nest and shut her in with cardboard? Do I make a box on the floor for her and the eggs? Should I set her up in the barn in my stored chicken tractors? What's a girl to do?

    The nest she's in is about 4 feet off the floor and seems a bit small to be hatching! Hmm, I need to think about this a bit....any ideas?
     

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