Rooster and egg hatching questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marvun22, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. marvun22

    marvun22 Songster

    Jul 8, 2012
    North Dakota
    I was wondering i have one rooster, he's good and all, but i'm not sure how old he is and how long he will live. i was planning to hatch some eggs this spring and get at least one rooster. my hens are laying now but they only go broody for an hour and then leave it to bite the dust. will one ever stay broody until it hatches. and will it keep it safe from my cats if it hatches one. and will my elder rooster and other hens bully the baby to death. and any suggestions on which hen to let hatch eggs. my rooster is a silver ameraucana. i have buff orpington hens, rhode island reds, new hampshires, 1 black australorp hen, and 1 golden laced wyandotte hen.
  2. Pinky

    Pinky Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    I'll try to answer your questions.
    Broodiness is influenced by a chicken's hormones, so there is no way to tell when or if a chicken will go broody until the bird does so. But there are some breeds more prone to go broody than others, Buff orps and RIRs are two of them and I think the other chickens you listed are as well.
    A good mother hen will throw herself between danger and her offspring. My neighbor has 2 cats that visit my yard often and I have 1 cat. My hens usually hatch at least 1 clutch of eggs a year and I have never lost chicks to a cat with a scary mother hen protecting them. Broody hens are usually pretty good at defending their chicks from small predators, sometimes even giving their own life to protect the chicks.

    will my elder rooster and other hens bully the baby to death
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]This depends on a few things. Are the birds allowed to free range, what size enclosure are they in, how many hiding places are there, is the broody low on the pecking order?
    In my experience, older roosters do not bother broody hens or their chicks. Young roosters may try to and get put in their place by angry mothers. Depending on where the broody sits in the pecking order, the other hens may stay clear of her, or still pick on her and her chicks a little. Free range broodies usually keep distance between them and other members of the flock, especially on the first few days after hatching. If in a run or enclosed area, provide plenty of hiding places for your broody and her chicks and it is usually recommended to separate the broody from the run until the chicks are older and have their feathers grown in.

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]As to what hens to let hatch eggs, that is up to you. If it were me, I wouldn't let the broody hen sit on any eggs until she has been on the same nest for at least 3 nights. If she stays on this long, she will likely stay on the eggs until they hatch.[/FONT]
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  3. marvun22

    marvun22 Songster

    Jul 8, 2012
    North Dakota
    my hens free range during the day. they're in a 16' by 16' coop at night. (we have foxes, raccons) i have probaly around 30 cats. some will be mothers. they have eaten chickens before. i lost some before my coop was completely secured. my barn is huge. there are many hiding spots. i could try to let the hen highest on the pecking order hatch some eggs. one reason my hens may not be sitting on them is because they're not full size and maybe if that happened something would go wrong. and if all else fails i could raise some babies myself. i just figured if my hens would take care of them that would save me some trouble. and i'm pretty sure this isn't a problem but i have 5 big ducks. but is seems my chickens are the boss of them.
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    The decision to be broody is not yours to make it is the hen and her hormones. If one goes broody that is what you get, if its the hen highest in the order or the lowest then that is what it is. Plan for doing it yourself and if a hen goes broody, that to the good.

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