Old Fashioned Broody Hen Hatch A Long and Informational Thread

fisherlady

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 22, 2012
7,623
2,437
426
Northern Indiana County, Pennsylvania
MaiMai (the silkie) hatched an orpington egg and adopted a lonely only serama pullet.

Full Story: The serama pullet was very afraid of all chickens after seeing her sister killed. She hatched in late October. Her broody mama decided to abandon them around 4 weeks old on the same day I reintroduced them into the bantam flock. After the tragedy, poor "Solo" lived by herself in a plastic tote. I decided since seramas are so small, I would try bonding her to my next broody- or a chick if that didn't work.

After about a day Solo stopped running away from mama and chick; they co-existed. Yes, Solo was afraid of a day-old chick! There's no pecking and I'm seeing some snuggling. The little chick just started riding on mom's back. It's so cute!!!

I can't wait until the black orp grows larger than her older sister serama and mother silkie. Solo will soon have her own bodyguard the next time I try integrating her into the bantam coop.

Today:
View attachment 2027370



a few days ago
View attachment 2027342
So cute! And such a wonderful thing you were able to do to get Solo a new family. I hope her next integration attempt goes so much better!
 

Mvan42

Songster
Mar 15, 2019
1,503
3,001
246
Garrett County, Maryland
My first broody's were last year.. I separated the first time. But then let them raise with flock two brody's three hatches... No problems either way. I did have a broody adopt 6 -3 week old chicks, she went broody after putting the chicks in the brooder(which is in the main coop but sectioned off). after hatching a single chick (the only fertile egg I could get in short notice) she started mothering the older chicks... they were bigger than her at one point but still trying to get under her.. to funny to see
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
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Georgia
I'm curious if anyone here has a trick to getting broodies to settle into a broody pen?

I already do the move after dark so that's not it. Some of my girls take to the broody pen without complaint and others I just allow to raise their chicks in the coop with the rest of the flock because they weren't having it. I have had predominantly wonderful experiences with my broody hens but a couple bad ones that have left me taking a different approach and I do like to at least have the hen in the pen for the first few days with her chicks while they're all hatching and getting their land legs about them.

So my dilemma at the moment is that I'm having a disagreement with my broody. I want her to settle into the broody pen and she just wants to go back to the coop, lol. Fake eggs are in the box. She's been pacing there all day, I'm thinking this is probably going to break her broodiness but I would rather that than entrust an untested broody to chicks outside of the broody pen. Most of my broody hatches went flawlessly mixed in with the flock but I had a couple go poorly and that's enough for me to proceed with caution with all new broody hens.

This is the broody pen, it's roomy, 4'x10' covered enclosure and is side by side with the main run so that they don't physically get separated from the flock and reintegration is easier. So do I just leave her in there and see what happens? Should I try to move the box she originally selected into the rubbermaid broody box?

1-9-19 (9).JPG
 

Molpet

Crossing the Road
Premium member
Sep 7, 2015
8,378
31,866
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New Lenox township. Illinois USA
My Coop
My Coop
I'm curious if anyone here has a trick to getting broodies to settle into a broody pen?

I already do the move after dark so that's not it. Some of my girls take to the broody pen without complaint and others I just allow to raise their chicks in the coop with the rest of the flock because they weren't having it. I have had predominantly wonderful experiences with my broody hens but a couple bad ones that have left me taking a different approach and I do like to at least have the hen in the pen for the first few days with her chicks while they're all hatching and getting their land legs about them.

So my dilemma at the moment is that I'm having a disagreement with my broody. I want her to settle into the broody pen and she just wants to go back to the coop, lol. Fake eggs are in the box. She's been pacing there all day, I'm thinking this is probably going to break her broodiness but I would rather that than entrust an untested broody to chicks outside of the broody pen. Most of my broody hatches went flawlessly mixed in with the flock but I had a couple go poorly and that's enough for me to proceed with caution with all new broody hens.

This is the broody pen, it's roomy, 4'x10' covered enclosure and is side by side with the main run so that they don't physically get separated from the flock and reintegration is easier. So do I just leave her in there and see what happens? Should I try to move the box she originally selected into the rubbermaid broody box?

View attachment 2027693
I have moved box and bird successfully.... but I think it depends on the bird
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
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I have moved box and bird successfully.... but I think it depends on the bird
Thanks, that has been my experience as well. Some don't mind at all and others will run back to an empty box to sit before they even consider staying with their eggs in a new box, lol. I was kind of hoping there was some trick I wasn't aware of.
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
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Jan 12, 2019
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I opened the door because she paced all day, she's back in the coop in her favorite nest box. Oh well, I tried. lol, I guess I'll try to move her with newly hatched chicks and see if that goes better.
groooan.gif
 

fisherlady

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 22, 2012
7,623
2,437
426
Northern Indiana County, Pennsylvania
As you have previously found, some hens are more cooperative than others.
Best chances on stubborn hens would be to either move her still in her entire box or if the box isn't moveable then place a rubbermaid tub type insert into her favorite nest when she is out for her daily break... then you can cover her with a towel and carry her nest and all to the broody hut that night.
Once she is in the new hut, but still in her old box, cover the hut to block out light for the first day. Make sure she still has ventilation though and doesnt get overheated. Uncover the next night and hopefully she will be accustomed enough to the smells and sounds of her new area that she will stay put the following day.
I have noted that keeping the hen oriented to a similar view or direction seems to matter to some. I also have managed some minor moves by placing a covered box in front of her chosen box when she is out, usually they will settle into it (since it is the same general location, direction and view). Then once settled into the covered box she can be place on the floor in the coop and a small fenced area placed around her for peaceful brooding. Once she hatches her chicks she will be much more cooperative about moving to the new hut.
If she doesnt then I am out if suggestions...
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
4,833
18,459
602
Georgia
As you have previously found, some hens are more cooperative than others.
Best chances on stubborn hens would be to either move her still in her entire box or if the box isn't moveable then place a rubbermaid tub type insert into her favorite nest when she is out for her daily break... then you can cover her with a towel and carry her nest and all to the broody hut that night.
Once she is in the new hut, but still in her old box, cover the hut to block out light for the first day. Make sure she still has ventilation though and doesnt get overheated. Uncover the next night and hopefully she will be accustomed enough to the smells and sounds of her new area that she will stay put the following day.
I have noted that keeping the hen oriented to a similar view or direction seems to matter to some. I also have managed some minor moves by placing a covered box in front of her chosen box when she is out, usually they will settle into it (since it is the same general location, direction and view). Then once settled into the covered box she can be place on the floor in the coop and a small fenced area placed around her for peaceful brooding. Once she hatches her chicks she will be much more cooperative about moving to the new hut.
If she doesnt then I am out if suggestions...
Thank you! You've suggested several things I didn't think of!
 

Faraday40

Free Ranging
6 Years
Aug 1, 2013
8,853
11,121
581
Illinois
I opened the door because she paced all day, she's back in the coop in her favorite nest box. Oh well, I tried. lol, I guess I'll try to move her with newly hatched chicks and see if that goes better. View attachment 2027976
I agree that much depends on the indiv hen. AFTER the eggs hatch, I've never had a problem moving mama & chicks anywhere. The hen will simply go wherever her babies go. That may be your alternate plan.

Often I have a hen hatch in the coop but I want her to raise her chicks (plus all the incubator chicks I hatched). I simply move her to my big brooder in the garage. I keep sneaking more chicks under the hen until my incubator is empty.

My big brooder is an old pack-n-play. I add a heating pad for overflow chicks
IMG_9339.JPG
 

CluckNDoodle

Hatchaholic
Premium member
Jan 12, 2019
4,833
18,459
602
Georgia
I agree that much depends on the indiv hen. AFTER the eggs hatch, I've never had a problem moving mama & chicks anywhere. The hen will simply go wherever her babies go. That may be your alternate plan.

Often I have a hen hatch in the coop but I want her to raise her chicks (plus all the incubator chicks I hatched). I simply move her to my big brooder in the garage. I keep sneaking more chicks under the hen until my incubator is empty.

My big brooder is an old pack-n-play. I add a heating pad for overflow chicks
View attachment 2028071
Oh my goodness that must be the happiest broody hen ever! She's overflowing with babies! :love

I have two incubators running with chicks due to hatch Tuesday and Wednesday. I was going to put some of the eggs under her to hatch (she's been broody for a month) but I think I've decided since she wants to be stubborn I'll just hatch them in the incubator and try to move her with live chicks and see if she cooperates better that way.
 
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