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OK, if she's broody.....then what?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tcal, Jan 6, 2009.

  1. tcal

    tcal Songster

    Dec 31, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama
    Today one of the girls is setting on a few eggs that were laid today. I put a couple more in the nest with her that were laid in other nests. She rolled them up under her and fluffed her feathers and all that and kept setting. Does all this mean "Gone Broody"? [​IMG] If so, do I need to leave those eggs under her and add the others in later days as they are laid by the others OR hold them back and put them all under her at one time? [​IMG] I have never raised chicks before, only had Mr. Rooster a little less than a week.
    [​IMG] I'm just a simple egg eater who decided to try something new. [​IMG]
  2. Pumpkinpup

    Pumpkinpup Poultry Princess 10 Years

    Jul 16, 2008
    North-West Georgia
    If it were me, I'd give her some eggs from the grocery store (room temp of course)for a few days until I got up my clutch I wanted her to hatch. Then take the store eggs out and place the hatching eggs in.
    Be sure to mark the store eggs so that if other hens lay to her you can take those out to put with the hatching eggs each day til you set them all under her.
    It would be best if you made her a nest somehere by herself where the others can't bother her so they don't accisendtly crack any getting in and out of the nest and rolling them around. Too, when she hatches the babies off they cant hurt the babies either.
    Good Luck!
  3. okiehen

    okiehen Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    She may be and she might not be. If she stays on the nest tonight and doesn't go to roost then she may be going broody. I like to keep an eye on my girls and after 4 or 5 days of on the nest no roosting then I'll say she is broody. If I'm going to set my hens with eggs I collect the eggs, while I'm watching the hen. Then set her at night with the eggs all at the same time. I remove her to her own privet nest away from the others into a dog crate or chicken tractor set up for a broody to raise her clutch of chicks.
    This has worked for me. And you have to do this at night.
    Best of luck.
  4. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Yeah, I was just going to say, my NON-broodies would roll other's eggs under them and fluff up but hop off the nest as soon as they laid their own egg, or shortly thereafter. The most important thing of all, BE SURE SHE BEGINS TO SET ALL THE EGGS AT THE SAME TIME! My cousin kept slipping eggs under his broody and it ended sadly because of the staggered hatch. It doesn't hurt to collect the eggs you want to hatch and keep them in a cool spot until you have all you want to hatch and then slip them under her - best done at night. Good luck.
  5. tcal

    tcal Songster

    Dec 31, 2008
    Sweet Home Alabama
    Thanks for the advice you guys. I am probably a little over anxious. I went back out there and she had already gotten off the nest. [​IMG] .......but I do need to know this stuff! [​IMG]
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I'm not sure how long you need to have the rooster on the job before you can count on having fertile eggs. (Does anyone here know the optimal time?) There might be more fertility to your hens' eggs in the weeks to come.

    What breed is this hen? Some breeds are more prone to broodiness, and some individuals have better broody skills than others. Some hens seem to have only a vague idea about brooding, go through the beginning motions, get started for a few days, then go back to their previous routines. It all depends on what the little voices in their heads are telling them to do each day.

    But I agree with all the great advice you've been given, to wait & see if she'll continue to set, using fake or store-bought eggs to begin, to mark those eggs and remove the newer fresh, possibly fertile eggs daily, and hold them aside for her to set later. And to move her to a secluded spot one night after she's comitted to set, and once she shows she'll continue to set in that new location, then swap out the eggs, again, at night.

    This hen might go back to that nest and try to set again, just have your plans in readiness, wait & watch what this hen decides to do.
    ? ? ? [​IMG] ? ? ?
  7. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I have done staggered hatched under broodies several times, with great results. My chickens are ten miles away, but I would go over once or twice a day to check for pipped or hatched eggs and remove the egg or chick and let it finish hatching at the house, and put the chick in a brooder right away with other chicks, even a week or two discrepancy in ages, none have been injured yet from it. I keep them separate in a little wire cage until they are completely dried off and all fluffed up and they seem to do fine then. The first hour, the older chicks always want to investigate a bit, but seem to get bored in a few minutes if they are not allowed to peck the baby to the point of making it cheep loudly. If you want to do staggered hatches be SURE to write the date you set each egg on the wide end, in permanent ink.
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    The way you're describing, it seems you're just using your broody as an incubator, and taking the chicks away as they hatch, and raising them separately, is that right? I guess it could work that way, that the chicks could grow up together despite the differences in their ages.

    But a staggered hatch left under a hen probably wouldn't work as well. The hen usually sits on the nest while most of her chicks hatch throughout the day, then the next day takes them out for their first drink & meal. If any eggs are left in the nest she might go back to incubate them, but her focus is primarily on tending to her hatched chicks. Neither she nor her chicks will want to stay put on the nest waiting for a newer chick to hatch & dry off.

    That's why staggered hatches are usually not recommended for brooding hens.
  9. jvls1942

    jvls1942 Crowing 9 Years

    Oct 16, 2008
    Quote:I do not know what kind of permanent ink you are referring to.. I hope it is not like a magic marker.. they are toxic and will kill the egg, not maybe.. I illed a whole batch (126) of eggs before somebody told me about the magic marker...

    just use a graphite pencil.. You do not have to write a book.. just put a number or a letter on the egg and write the information on a piece of paper what the letter/number means.. this also saves a lot of open time of the incubator..

    we use clucks for rotation hatching very often.. we limit the eggs to 8 to 10. then we take them as they are hatched and put them into a brooder..

    you have to check under the broody to make sure that the laying hens are not adding eggs to the clutch..

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