Suddenly Broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mrsodell1980, Nov 27, 2012.

  1. mrsodell1980

    mrsodell1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2012
    Clarksburg, CA
    We have a Barred Rock that has gone broody. This is our first broody hen, and I'm excited! We put 2 fertile eggs under here that we were incubating to see if she hatches them. I've read through this thread. Should we leave her in the box she's claimed with her clutch and just section it off from the rest of the hen house? And then when the chicks hatch, should we take them and put them with the rest of the chicks that will hatch in the incubator, or leave her 2 with her?
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Congrats on your broody! That is so exiting, I love it when I get a broody hen. They are great fun to watch with their chicks.
    How long were you incubating the eggs before you gave them to her? I've heard of hens having a "biological clock" when it comes to hatching eggs and if the eggs hatch too quick, like within a week, it'll confuse them and they may not accept the chicks. But if they still have a while to go it should be O.K.
    You can leave her where she is with her eggs, broodies hate being moved and will often reject the new nest. Just make sure she can get out to eat and drink and have a dust bath every day.
    When the chicks arrive it would be kinder to let her raise them. Depending on how many you are hatching, you can even add the incubator chicks, or some of them to her. This is easier done in the evening, when she's sleeping. Then just keep an eye on her in the mornings.
    When the babies arrive you can leave them and mom with the rest of the flock, but keep an eye on them, in case they attack the new arrivals. It happens sometimes, depending on your chickens, some do, some don't.
    Make sure the chicks don't eat layer food! They (and mom) must get chick starter. Don't feed mom layer as she will give it to the chicks and if she's broody, i.e. not laying, she won't need it anyway.
     
  3. mrsodell1980

    mrsodell1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2012
    Clarksburg, CA
    The eggs had been incubating for a week already, so that might throw off her clock a bit, but hopefully will be ok. If not, we'll just put them inside with the others. I'm not sure if they're going to hatch though, because yesterday she abandoned them completely for the entire day :-/

     
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    It takes a long time for the egg to cool down enough to harm the embryo, so hopefully they'll be O.K. still. I think you should candle them in another day or two and check anyway.
     
  5. mrsodell1980

    mrsodell1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2012
    Clarksburg, CA
    That's a good idea! Not sure why I didn't think of that :) I also didn't know it took a bit to cool down. I thought they were super sensitive. Now I feel silly for how much I baby the incubator in the house! :)
     
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    We all do [​IMG] I remember when I turned the eggs before I go to bed at night, I'd sit in front of that thing until the humidity and temperature was spot-on again. No matter how tired I was!
     
  7. mrsodell1980

    mrsodell1980 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 1, 2012
    Clarksburg, CA
    ahahaha, ME TOO!! :-D
     

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