Newby with broody hen - what do I do?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Rachel&Martin, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Rachel&Martin

    Rachel&Martin In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    Hi there,

    one of my hens appears to have gone broody - we were just contemplating buying an incubator so we are tempted to see if she can hatch some eggs for us.

    My questions are

    (1) She is a welsummer - I seem to remember reading that Welsummers aren't very good broody hens - does this mean she'll give up?

    (2) Should I move her out of the main chicken house? She shares with 5 other hens and a rooster...

    (3) Do I bring her food and water - or will she hop off occaisionally?

    (4) Anything else I should know?

    Many thanks,

  2. jacyjones

    jacyjones Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Aberystwyth, Wales
    I think you should move her away from the others - we tried to give a broody some fertile eggs but left her with the others and she pulled all their eggs under her so she ended up on a mountain!! Nothing hatched of course and I was cross with myself for being so stupid. If she is separated you can be sure she gets food and water too and if she does not eat you will need to try and tempt her as she will lose weight fast. I know nothing about Welsummers - sorry!
  3. alaskanhenhouse

    alaskanhenhouse Songster

    Mar 3, 2007
    Wasilla Alaska
    for first time broodies i put the nest they selected with fake eggs into a dog crate with enough room in the front for food and water. I incubate the eggs in the bator until 18 days then give them to the broody to hatch out or i slip chicks under her in the middle of the night depending on what is available out of the bator.
    I have recently had a cuckoo marans broody refuse day old chicks, she picked them out and threw them. so she ended up with eggs at day 18. on day 20 we found a dead fetus thrown out. she has chicks now but i've not yet seen them, just hear them and i'm not going to disturb her until i know she is well bonded. so basically i'm saying not all broodies accept what i give them at first but just keep trying.
  4. Rachel&Martin

    Rachel&Martin In the Brooder

    Mar 30, 2008
    Many thanks for the advice. If we are unsuccessful in getting any eggs hatched I will certainly try the tips on slipping in incubated eggs next time.

    An update on our broody hen - she has been successfully moved to her own house - and is still in fierce occupation of the nest. Following advice given in one of our books, we have lined the bottom of her nest box with turf to help keep the moisture at the right level - has anyone else done this with success?

    She won't voluntarily eat (refuses food and water when sitting on the nest), so I have been lifting her off every other day and putting her directly infront of the feeder and waterer - at which point she takes her fill then hops straight back onto the nest - is this OK?


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