1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Questions on broody hens

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by wjallen05, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    844
    6
    161
    Apr 8, 2008
    North Georgia
    How does one know if one has a broody hen?

    What if I were to collect several different eggs (of different breeds) and put them in a nest for my hen to set on? Would that work?
     
  2. Crazy_For_Chickens

    Crazy_For_Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    111
    0
    109
    Nov 18, 2008
    Minnesota
    You will know when you have a broody hen because she will probably peck and bit at your hand when you try to collect eggs.


    And yes you can put different eggs under a broody hen.
     
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    7,008
    18
    261
    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Heres a video of 2 of my broody hens.

     
  4. Portia

    Portia Chillin' With My Peeps

    919
    0
    149
    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    One of my BA just went broody. We can always tell b/c they sit in the nesting box and pitch a fit when anyone or anything comes near. That said, when you reach under to collect the eggs she will continue to fuss and may even peck at your hand and fluff her neck feathers. When I have a broody hen I will take all the eggs laid on the 4-5th day of her broodiness, mark them with an X and put them under her. We have 5 different kinds of hens, so this provides for a nice mix of chicks when they hatch. The broody doesn't care if they are her eggs, someone else's eggs or golf balls.
     
  5. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    Yes, just what they all said already.

    Also, if she is broody she will sit on her nest and NOT leave it. After a day of this you can assume she's gone broody. She will only get up for very short periods of time maybe once or twice a day to eat, drink and poop. And, some don't even get up for that stuff.

    She'll puff up and often 'growl' at you when you come near her.
     
  6. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    844
    6
    161
    Apr 8, 2008
    North Georgia
    Thanks for all the info!

    More specifically, how many eggs need to be in the box before she becomes broody?
     
  7. Portia

    Portia Chillin' With My Peeps

    919
    0
    149
    Feb 29, 2008
    South Central PA
    The number of eggs doesn't seem to matter for my girls, they may hole up in a nest without any eggs at all. I've never tried to force a hen into brooding by leaving a clutch of eggs in a nest, so I can't comment on that.
     
  8. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    You cannot make a hen go broody. Although there are people who have said that they put a clutch of 8 or 10 eggs in a nest and their hen did go broody and sat on them. But, that's the exception, not the rule. If a hen goes broody she doesn't need any eggs to sit on... some just sit on an empty nest. Some will steal eggs from other hens, some will sit on a golf ball.

    If a hen does go broody AND you want her to hatch chicks - you need to have fertile eggs under her. If you have an old enough rooster running with your hens then that will provide you the fertile eggs. If you don't have a rooster then you need to get fertile eggs from either a local source or through the mail... as quickly as possible, and get them under her.
     
  9. wjallen05

    wjallen05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    844
    6
    161
    Apr 8, 2008
    North Georgia
    Thanks for the advice. I do have two roos, a Cuckoo Maran and a Buff Orp. I am hoping that one of my 4 Buff Orp hens will go broody and raise up some BOs and some CMs. Not till spring though.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by