OMG- My first ever broody hen!!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Gypsy07, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'd never seen it before so it took me a few days to figure out what her odd nestbox-hogging behaviour meant (d'oh!) but once I realised I, installed her in her very own big broody coop with a new nesting box and eight eggs. She's settled down to it with an almost scary intensity, so hopefully I'll be back posting photos of chicks in three weeks time. I'd take a photo of her now, but I'm being very careful to disturb her as little as possible. This is WAY more exciting than doing it with a incubator!

    She's a 10 month old Marsh Daisy pullet, and the eggs are from my utility White Leghorns, fertilised by my Marsh Daisy roosters. I can't wait to see what the chicks are going to turn out like. And just in case she gets fed up with the whole thing, I've got a spare incubator on standby...
  2. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    Congrats on your 1st broody. [​IMG]

    Take lots of pics.
  3. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I'll be too scared to go near her. She's taken to growling at me when I change her food and water! At least she's a sensible broody and she's getting off once or twice a day to eat, drink and poop. I've read all these horror stories about broody birds starving themselves to death and I was really worried for her, but I think she'll do fine...
  4. Highlander

    Highlander Tartan Terror

    Oct 1, 2008
    how exciting! Hope it goes to plan and can't wait to see the chicks!
  5. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I handle mine all the time. They growl -- but their bark, or in this case growl, is worse than their bite. If you try to reach under her you will no doubt get pecked -- but it's the eggs she is protective of, so I just gently hold her head with one hand and reach with the other, or even sneak both hands around her body and pick her up. At first I wore heavy gloves. I have 3 I'm doing this with now. I hatch eggs under broodies but this is not a good time, so I'm just getting them moving more often so hopefully they will eat and drink more, and maybe stop the sitting a little sooner.

    I've read a horror story or two as well, but I really think this is unusual. They all, however, seem to lose some weight, or at least mine do, so whether they are sitting on eggs I hope will hatch, or sitting on air, I take them off their nest once or twice a day at least. Maybe it's unnecessary, but I do it anyway.
  6. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I already got pecked like mad when I was moving her from the main coop to the VIP coop. Now I'm just leaving her to it. The feeder is emptying at a decent rate so I know she's eating enough. I'm not planning to candle the eggs at all - I'll just wait and see what happens. I'm not worried about rotten eggs as I've never had one yet, but I just hope they're okay. I wasn't planning to hatch these ones, so they were picked from the general 'eating' bowl on the kitchen counter. They'd been washed as well, which is something I always do with eggs I'm incubating, but I'd have preferred to have left them unwashed for going under a broody.

    Well, time will tell...
  7. RapidEye

    RapidEye New Egg

    Aug 4, 2010
    Peepers Natural!
    My year old broody hen hatched her first clutch last Fri and Sat.
    I got 5 out of 7 eggs to hatch. Of the other 2, one was never fertilized and the other appeared to have been dead for at least a week.
    The 5 peepers are all doing good - its pretty darn warm during the day, but moma is doing a really good job keep in them warm all night.

    Its really neat to watch the hen do all the work of incubating the eggs and now raising the chicks.
    Its amazing how strong the instinct is for this.

    Link to Photo of Hen and Peepers

    She would fuss a bit if we bothered her when she was sitting on the eggs, but if you talked to her a bit and gave her a scratch on the neck before moving her, she wouldn't peck. Now that she has the chicks on the ground, she is certainly getting more wary and is much faster to peck.

    All the chicks are eating and taking water fine and all have nice straight legs, so I'll just leave them be and let her continue to do her job![​IMG]
  8. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 4, 2010
    Glasgow, Scotland
    Oh wow! Your chicks look really big and fat and healthy. Nice job mom!
  9. FeatheredObsessions

    FeatheredObsessions Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2010
    "VIP Coop" [​IMG] That is so cute !
  10. skillswife

    skillswife Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    SW Montana
    I have my first broody too! So exciting! Millie hisses at me, never thought I would hear a chicken do that, but she has let me take the eggs to candle without pecking, just a lot of growling and hissing lol.

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