Tips on making a hen go broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tazzy, Apr 29, 2009.

  1. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2008
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    We had two of our Buff Orpington hens go broody last spring/summer. This year, nothing yet so far. I was hoping we would get another broody hen given that it's in the genes of at least two of our flock.

    Do you have any tips on how to encourage a hen to go broody? My husband, who is much more experienced with chickens than me, suggested putting in about 7-8 eggs (marking each of them so we know they're the ones we're trying to use to get a hen to go broody and we don't collect them each day) into an empty nest and waiting to see what happens.

    Do you think that would work? Any other easy tips/tricks? Thanks!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    tazzy, I've tried the letting the eggs pile up trick (16 eggs to be exact) and creating a special broody nest box away from the hustle and bustle of the main section of the coop. Neither worked.
    Everything I've read - and believe me I read everything I can find on broody hens - says nothing will make them go broody until they are ready to. I did read in one book that the pile of eggs trick can sometimes persuade a hen that's already thinking about it, but it didn't work for me.
     
  3. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks, gritsar.

    I asked my husband about it again, and he said that he has had buff orps go broody after doing the eggs-in-the-nest trick. So I guess we'll try it, just to see. Why not?!
     
  4. JewellFarm

    JewellFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Lebanon, Virginia
    It's just something that has to click in their head. Although once one goes broody other are more likely to follow. No way to make em do it, although I with their was.
     
  5. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am very hopeful - the same chicken has been laying on the nest of eggs for 24 hours now. She didn't even get off last night to roost! Amazing!!!! I'll keep this thread updated just in case anyone ever happens upon it in a search. We are going to move her to a brooder with viable eggs tomorrow if she's still hunkered down!
     
  6. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    According to Murphy's law, you buy or build an incubator.

    Set the eggs and three days later you'll get a broody hen.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I'm buying an incubator at the end of this month. Murphy's Law will probably smack me big time. [​IMG]
     
  8. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    lol on murphy's law! I guess we hit the perfect time when the hen was feeling a tad broody. She got up for about 5-10 minutes today and then settled right back down on the eggs. It was funny because earlier today another hen was in the same nest box, standing over her, wanting to lay an egg. She ignored it and didn't budge an inch. Finally, the second hen laid her egg in the next nest box. I wondered why she preferred that nest box, too! I did pick the most private one in our chicken coop.

    Anyway, my husband is cleaning out the brooder from the 59 chicks that recently graduated to an outdoor covered pen, and he'll set up a nice nest in there for the broody hen with a new batch of eggs.
     
  9. ChickenMonk320

    ChickenMonk320 New Egg

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    Apr 4, 2009
    I am not suggesting that anyone try this, but I read a post someplace - most likely not on BYC - where a 13 year old figured out that if you put the hen you want to go broody in a small, dimly lit area with a nest for up to 12 hours per day - say a dog kennel with a sheet over it - and only let her out for feed and water - much like she woudl if she were setting - she will go broody. It could be that he just had a hen that went broody very easily. I'm sure that with all the experts here at BYC, someone would know if this was true or not.
     
  10. tazzy

    tazzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband was right - our hen is definitely broody. And it only took one day with all of those eggs in the nest before she plopped down and didn't get up again! Amazing!

    We moved her to the brooder tonight and put in a new batch of fresh eggs that we know are all being set on at the same time, and she's settled back down on them and is as happy as a hen can be. She cackled in chicken delight when she inspected her new digs and saw the full nest.

    I'll keep you guys posted on the results in 21 days!
     

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