Putting eggs under a broody

lutherpug

Crowing
6 Years
Jan 5, 2014
602
635
252
Kansas City Area
I have my first broody hen who my husband thinks has been broody for about 4 days (I’ve been out of town). I have a dozen hatching eggs coming by Thursday or Friday. Is that too long for her to be broody before getting eggs to her? If so, I’ll try to break her and just hatch in the incubator but my preference would be to have her hatch them.

One more variable-her 22 roommates are all hens (whole flock is 6-7 months old) but I have a rooster in quarantine who I’m hoping to introduce in the next few weeks. However, I have a contingency plan if I need to remove the chicks.

Thoughts?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
17,849
20,872
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Colorado Rockies
It's not too late to give the fertile eggs to your broody. If she's really broody, she'll be happy to tuck them under her and carefully arrange them.

However, introducing a new rooster will upset the flock dynamics, and you would be better off erecting safe barriers so the broody isn't disturbed and the chicks will be safe from the turmoil as they hatch.

Very often a rooster will automatically accept new chicks in the flock, but a rooster that hasn't got "history" with the flock can be unpredictable with new chicks. I would rig up a see-not-touch safe area for the broody and her chicks as she introduces her chicks to the flock.
 

chicksandchores

Songster
Mar 17, 2019
118
193
106
Middle Tennessee
Six months after I got my first babies, I had a Buff Orpington go broody. Nala took a week or so to get good and settled in. She started going broody around sept 4 and because I wanted to be absolutely certain she was broody, her chicks didn’t hatch until October 3. A few days (or a week and a half) is no problem for a lady set on being a momma!
 

lutherpug

Crowing
6 Years
Jan 5, 2014
602
635
252
Kansas City Area
Thank you both for the advice. My hatching eggs will be here Thursday. I'm positive she is broody-she is sleeping in the nesting box. I did see her sneak out to the run for about 10 minutes to take a dust bath but then right back in the box. She switched boxes today but I assume that was because there were more eggs in that one. Silly girl.

Interesting points about the rooster. I'm going to have to think about how I want to handle that. He's about a year old and will be the only rooster in the flock. He was not at all aggressive in his previous flock-he was given up as they had too many roosters for their hens. He has been a character in my quarantine area-not friendly but not at all threatening either. He is in quarantine at this point mostly because I think he came with a case of scaly leg mites. I've treated him with Ivermectin pour on-.5ml directly on the skin on the back of his neck. I'm not 100% that he has this but he had some sores on his leg that made me suspicious. Of course I didn't realize this before I brought him home. I know you may not see any visible improvement long after the mites are gone which is why I'm still debating when to introduce him to the girls. I'd much rather treat this in 1 chicken than 24 but I don't want to keep him in my outbuilding for months either. @azygous do you have any thoughts on that?
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
17,849
20,872
912
Colorado Rockies
It seems to me you have very good instincts and good sense, too. There may not be any danger from the rooster, and he probably will be good for the time being. But once he gets settled he will begin to view the hens as his and not yours. I can't even predict what he might do about the chicks, but I certainly wouldn't trust him not to hurt the chicks.

Usually, a broody behaves like Godzilla and the other chickens are terrified or disgusted and won't mess with her chicks, but no chicken should be trusted around the chicks for at least a week. I keep barriers up for two weeks after the chicks hatch before I take them down and let the broody and her chicks begin to mingle.

Last summer I had a tragedy where another hen pecked and killed a two-day old. This was a hen that had been BFFs with the broody since they were two-day old chicks. I shouldn't have assumed the chick would be safe. This one time when I chose not to barricade them, the broody didn't protect her chick. It was a very sad sight.
 

HeartsDelight

Songster
Mar 3, 2019
175
788
156
San Jose, CA
My girls had been broody for 8 and 10 days respectively before my shipped eggs got to me, and they happily hatched them.

Hens don't have a distinct sense of time the way we do, which is why broodies can sit perpetually on dud eggs until they lose condition.

They basically sit until they get feedback from the eggs that they are about to hatch--movement and cheeping inside the egg. Until that "we are hatching in a few days" signal gets relayed, they just keep doing their thing.
 

penny1960

Yippy Do Da, Yipptye Ay my oh what a beautiful day
Premium member
Dec 29, 2015
34,834
114,767
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Mossyrock, WA
I left egg from the Silky with them I call them my living breathing alien incubators
now I left their own eggs two days Mud one of my silky growled a a Silky Growl when i took a banty egg so gave her a marans egg I had in my little mechanical bator 6 of those valid all went to Mud to finish they are due to hatch next week but the silky have their own private coop co brood co raise them
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
7 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
She switched boxes today but I assume that was because there were more eggs in that one
That's why I like to separate from the flock by wire wall...remove wall at about a week after hatch.

When I have a broody I wait until she's been in the nest most the day and all night for 2-3 days...along with those other signs I posted.

Then I put her in the broody enclosure with fake eggs in the floor nest, she won't like being moved, but if she is truly good and broody she will settle onto the new nest within a half a day.
Then I give her fresh fertile eggs and mark the calendar.

I like them separated by wire from the flock, it's just easier all around.
No having to mark eggs and remove any additions daily, no taking up a laying nest, no going back to the wrong nest after the daily constitutional.
 

lutherpug

Crowing
6 Years
Jan 5, 2014
602
635
252
Kansas City Area
Thanks again for all the great advice from everyone. Eggs get here tomorrow but I will move her tonight and partition off a space for her. Only question I have is that this will keep her confined to the coop as I don’t see a way to give her and everyone else access to the pop door. If she has enough space in her area is this a problem?

Thank you
 

penny1960

Yippy Do Da, Yipptye Ay my oh what a beautiful day
Premium member
Dec 29, 2015
34,834
114,767
1,617
Mossyrock, WA
Thanks again for all the great advice from everyone. Eggs get here tomorrow but I will move her tonight and partition off a space for her. Only question I have is that this will keep her confined to the coop as I don’t see a way to give her and everyone else access to the pop door. If she has enough space in her area is this a problem?

Thank you
Start looking on craigs list for a second coop Please for now I do not see a problem with you doing that
 

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