Question About A Broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BettyR, Jun 15, 2008.

  1. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    I’ve never let one of my broodys hatch eggs before and I would like to give it a try.

    When you have a hen that has gone broody and you want to let her hatch some eggs would it be a good idea to place her in a separate coop with her eggs so no other hen can get in there and just let her out a little while each day?

    I have a 3 foot x 4 foot cage inside my chicken coop that I have used in the past to separate an injured chicken from the rest of the flock.

    By keeping her in the chicken coop with the other chickens but just out of reach, when I do turn her out with the rest of the flock I don’t have any problems reintroducing her after she has recuperated. Should I put a nest and my broody in it?
  2. CleverYou

    CleverYou In the Brooder

    Jun 14, 2008
    [​IMG] hi there...I my self leave my broodys right in with the flock....i have seperated hens before....but when i re introduced the hen to the flock they didnt take to the chicks very good right away...if you let her stay in with the flock it seems to me the flock will be there to hear peepers peppin and so on and will accept the chicks build early social behavior......but thats all up to u [​IMG] either way is fine....if you have a good broody hen i assure you she wont let no one bother her.
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
  3. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I just had my first broody hatch one chick two weeks ago. Thus, I have very limited experience but this is what I learned from others here ....

    I let my broody stay with the other hens ... I won't next time. My other hens kept getting on top of her to lay their eggs in that nest box. I didn't want all those extra eggs under my broody. I did mark the fertile eggs so I could pull out the ones that weren't supposed to be under her each day.

    Also, she would get up to go eat and drink and another hen would get into her nest and thus, when momma came back she would go to another nest box (whether it had eggs or not) and then the other hen would leave the broody nest box and the eggs would get cold. I had to physically put the broody back on the nest multiple times and believe the reason I only got one egg to hatch was because they got cold several times.

    I have heard many people say that the other chickens pecked the new chicks to death because the momma wasn't able to or didn't protect them.

    So - I will move my broody to a safe, separate area when she starts to sit next time.

    This time I moved her after the chick was born and kept her separate for two weeks. They were in a rabbit hutch in the chicken run so the other chickens were always milling around them during the day.

    At one week old I fenced off the area around the rabbit hutch and let momma and chick out into that area. The other chickens were again just on the other side of the fence and could see them all the time.

    Today my chick is two weeks old and I moved the fence and let everybody together. There were a couple of minor squabbles as the other chickens got near momma's baby. But, thus far, everything seems fine. I'll be keeping a close eye on them for a few days to make sure. I also am going to be keeping momma and chick in the rabbit hutch at night since I'm not comfortable leaving them all together yet inside the coop.

    As CleverYou said it's a personal decision but through my one time personal experience I will do it differently next time. Maybe down the road I'll change my mind again. It's always a learning experience.
  4. BettyR

    BettyR Songster

    Mar 1, 2008
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Thank you both so much for your help; having been around chickens on and off all my life I had a feeling that leaving a broody trying to set would present problems in the coop.

    My grandmother’s chickens were totally free range and they would hide their clutch until the little ones were a couple of weeks old then just show up with them one day. There was not a lot of squabbling going on between her birds but then there were so many of them and they came and went as they pleased. I think they were all so involved in the day to day work of finding food and taking care of their own business that they really didn’t care what the others did.

    My mom and I have always had smaller flocks and they have always been confined to a safe area where they are provided with all the food they can eat and finding a few bugs here and there was more of a treat than a question of filling their stomachs. These busy bodies seem to look for something to squabble about. I can very well see them sticking their noses (beaks) into anything and everything that doesn’t concern them.

    I believe I will keep them separate but in the same coop where they can see and hear each other but not bother the little mom.
  5. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing

    Jan 20, 2007
    Yep, I think that is the best solution.

    While old school methods did work fine in their time of alot of extra birds without alot of concern....I think times have changed, with a closer eye being kept on the flock.

    Good flock management is a good thing, and should be practiced on a daily basis.

    The broody hen with her own private place works the best. Mom will introduce the newbies when she feels they are old, or big enough, usually around 3 months old or a little sooner.

    I agree that a good broody mom will not allow any badgering from anyone in the flock.


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