Question on coordinating broody hen and eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by McGoo, Jan 4, 2008.

  1. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would like to get a few maran eggs to put under a broody hen.

    I've never done this before, so I have a couple of questions and plenty more that I haven't even thought of.

    How do you know that a broody hen will stay broody and make a good mom? Should I wait until a specific hen goes broody? Like maybe the Light Brahma or the RIR? Or doesn't it really matter? I've got BOs too.

    Okay, so let's say that I've got the broody hen that I want. How many days do I have to get the eggs that I want to place under her to replace the golfballs or whatever that's under her? It will take more than 21 days for the replacements to hatch. Will she stay on them?

    Should she be separated from the other chooks at the beginning of this process? Don't know if it's best then or after the babies have hatched.

    Lots more questions to come. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    Well I'm sure you'll get better answers than mine but here goes...lol

    I hatched silkies last year cuz everybody said they are about the best for being broody. So far this winter 3 of mine have tried to hatch golf balls. The first two sat for a month solid before they gave up...so I think they will work out for me....next time they go broody..lol.

    I have another that just started to sit on golf balls the last couple days. I brought her and the nest box of balls into the house today....she is still sitting. If tomorrow she is still sitting I will swap out a couple eggs and see if she does ok. I brought her and the crate she chose to sit in inside because the temps here were -1 yesterday morning...much too cold to hatch anything safely. I figure if I bring her inside I can see if she'll go the distance..so to speak.

    Have any of your birds gone broody yet ?? Brahma's are typically good brooders, as are Buff Orps. I don't think RIR typically are good sitters, but I haven't had one in many years so I can't swear to it.

    I've heard ppl say they swap the eggs out and a few days before they are done incubating the hen gives up... you gotta remember she has already been sitting for days before. The closer you can get eggs to the start of her broody mood the better in my opinion. That makes it hard if you have to send for eggs.

    Every hen is different so I guess you're just gonna have to try them each as they get the mood and see which is your best gal for sittin.

    A lot of folks differ on leaving well enough alone or separating a hen before the chicks hatch. A lot of ppl pull the chicks and put them in a brooder once they hatch. In my mind that sort of defeats the purpose. I would prefer "mom" do it start to finish likes it been since the beginning of time...lol. Maybe thats just lazy I dunno, but if it looks like she can handle it then I'm leaving her and the chicks alone.

    It doesn't hurt to have an area you can separate off so the other hens can't steal her eggs or break them if she takes a quick nip out to get something to eat/drink. It also helps to have the nest box on the ground so the eggs/babies don't fall out and get hurt.

    If left to their own a lot of hens will wander off and hide to make their nest and won't wander back until they have their brood following, but most of us lock our flocks up these days.

    There is no guarantee that if you try to move a hen once you think she is starting to brood eggs that she will be happy and stay where you put her....sometimes that makes them leave their eggs too.

    Best of luck in your hatching ventures !!!!!

    Julie [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2008
  3. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    I want to try the same thing!! I'm hoping you get lots of answers.
    I have a few cute hens, I'm thinking my BO's are my best bet - I am hoping to get some eggs from Jody so time will be an issue for me as well (or the eggs)

    I also don't know what to do with the broody, keep her with the others or separate her right away etc... etc...
     
  4. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    Quote:I want to get started ahead of the game and section off an area in my coop for a nest box and a place to put a waterer and food..... with any luck I can figure something out that will work.
    I have a huge coop - its 20X8 so lots of space to section off somehow.
     
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    I've never tried it with chickens, but I have done it with one of my call ducks. She is a very good broody and when I switched out the infertile eggs for the shipped eggs it didn't even phase her. I'm sure it depends a lot on the individual bird. I knew when I did it with her she was very good about sticking to a nest.
     
  6. gardener

    gardener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    From the sources I have I was instructed to wait a week to see if the hen is commited to being broody. Then give her the fertile eggs to hatch.
     
  7. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

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    You'd need to order those eggs sooner than a week - probably in a day or two of the girlie going broody
    Right?
     
  8. gardener

    gardener Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes figure in the days to have them shipped, but wouldn't think it should matter a few days if the hen is commited to hatching eggs. It is really up to the individual hen so it is always good to have a plan B.
     
  9. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 19, 2007
    Plan B like having a bator up and running in case your hen decides to give up. I tried this once and slipped a bunch of mailed eggs under a broody hen that was sitting on infertile eggs. She gave up on on like day 25 which was day 16 or 17 for the ones I put under her. I didn't have a bator at that time so I put the eggs that were growing under a heat lamp but lost all of them. Lesson learned...have a back up plan if you need it.

    Cory
     
  10. McGoo

    McGoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    You guys are so great - I never thought about having a plan B just in case. I don't have a bator, so I'll need to improvise somehow. I'll have to work that out over the next 2 mos.

    As for getting the eggs quickly, through my research I found out that I have an American maran breeder very close by. Gee, aren't I lucky. Who would have thought.
     

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