Old Fashioned Broody Hen Hatch A Long and Informational Thread


10 Years
Sep 3, 2009
Jersey, GB
I like to keep the broody separate. At least that way I know what is going on.

Next time I might try separating her but keeping her 'nursery' within the main run with the others. Will see how brave I am when the time comes!


9 Years
Jul 9, 2010
Delaware, Arkansas
Well....I'm next I think.

Due date is July 3rd or 4th.

I have a Partridge Rock sitting pretty on 8 eggs. We made a nice nest for her out of a huge plastic dog crate and a home made pen that is about five feet long....room for the feeder and waterer and later for the little ones a little room for them and their feed.

Pretty Baby does not seem to have lost any weight but she was not eating her layer feed at all. We feed her everyday something special that she will eat. Yogurt, oats, scrambled eggs....veggie or the fruit of the day.....frozen peas in this heat are a favorite.

We will be watching extra close over the next few days as 21 days is the norm but not always when the hatching starts. My incubator hatches sometimes started at 19 days. I am thinking as hot as it has been that she might have eggs hatch early too.

Was not 100% sure all eggs were developing at day 6 when we moved her. I know that 7 were....one was questionable to me but it was early to candle really. She is so protective that I did not try and candle again. Heck, it was all I could do to move her to her safe place. My plan is to move the entire enclosure over to the run...right by it after the chicks are born so that the mob can see her and the chicks. Right now it is where it is to keep it in the shade all day.

Wish us luck....we are all excited. My DH has always wanted a broody hen. We lost our first one to a racoon earlier this year and we were all sick over it. THIS one cannot be gotten to by a racoon.....we have her in there so wired up that the racoon would have to take the entire enclosure to get to her and her eggs. My DH laughed when he first saw it and then he started adding things to it to make it more secure!

Pictures to follow over the next few days......first...a not real good picture of Pretty Baby


Then a picture of my wonderful chicken partner helper...my SIL taking care of my broody hen


Picture of my super safe brooding nest for my broody hen. This is before we put everything on it to make it secure. We used metal stakes around it driven into the ground to keep it from being moved by anything. Then my DH went in and added more security. We also used a tarp over the dog box part to keep it dark for the hen and to keep the sun off of it. In the daytime we make sure there is air curculating inside for her comfort.
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8 Years
May 8, 2011
western central lower michigan
Thank you SO much for posting this. I just got a cat carrier at a yard sale yesterday for .50 and it is currently being disinfected so I can put one of my broodies in it. I like your set up, it has my wheels turning!! I am looking for a metal dog cage to use...hoping to find one soon!!


9 Years
Sep 16, 2010
Canaan Ny
a few pics and of course a broody update.

Black Mama Sumatra AKA Broody # 6 and her 3 little babies. The other broody with 2 babies isn't cooperating with the camera:




all 3 of her CUTE little fuzzy butts will grow up to be BEAUTIFUL Black Sumatra's.

Now for the broody update, and a few more pics. Mama (yes that is her name) my Stunningly Beautiful Blue Sumatra is showing signs of going Broody AGAIN! Walking around puffed up and generally complaining and angry. Also when she is broody, she follows me around, REALLY close until I give her a special meal of her own. I THINK her nest is in the shed........ but NOT positive of that.

1st a shot of her partially puffed up, with a few of the Reds, and Loverboys Butt!


and now Mama right at my feet, giving me her "HEY FEED ME" look


now Mama just raised 5 broody chicks, and kicked them loose MAYBE a month ago. She IS named Mama for a reason......


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 9, 2010
Mendocino coast
OK.. SOOO! The first week of May I had a hen go broody.. Tried to break her and nothing worked. The first week of June I got a fertilized egg from a neighbor.. Well sometime yesterday this little egg hatched. Only one chick. I have a couple questions.

First what do I watch for? When will she leave the nest to show the baby how to eat and drink?

Second The nesting box is 10 inches off the ground will I have to help the baby chick get out or put a ramp up?

Third The hen and chick are in the same coop with 3 one year old hens, 5 ten week old hens.. do I need to set something up to separate them or will she do a good job of protecting the baby?

Any help is much appreciated.. This is the first time we have hatched an egg.. What now?


9 Years
Sep 16, 2010
Canaan Ny
Just watch to make sure no one else is messing with the baby. I know here, NO ONE and I mean NO ONE DARES mess with mama. She will leave the nest when ready to show the little one what to do.

move the nesting box to ground level. If she and the chick are already down, my Broody's have always just made a new nest to keep the little ones in.

If she is anything like my many broody's, she will not let anyone mess with her or her chicks.

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