The natural way


In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 13, 2012
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada
Hi all,

Background: I have a 2yr old RIR cross that is broody. She has been broody for almost two months so I decided I would have a go at raising chicks the natural way by using my broody.
I popped 4 eggs under her but lost two in the first 4 days due to the other girls or boys eating them. We moved her out immediately to a make shift brooder (a dog crate) whilst we built a proper one. We moved her in there last night. She has a nesting box (with the two remaining eggs in) and a run with feed and water.

Question: how long can she come off the nest for before the eggs are in danger? She obviously feels comfortable to do this now and has spent the last hour off the nest, foraging and bathing. This is the second time I have seen her out today. Should I be worried?

Many thanks in advance for any help
Normal incubation period for a chicken egg is 21 days. If your hen has already gone 60 days, there is a strong possibility that her 'over term' broodiness coupled with the move may cause her to stop setting. Do you have a back up incubator?
You said that she has been broody for two months. That is 60 days - far longer than most hens will set.

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