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
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

Update on Broody Hen and a few questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rafa, May 24, 2010.

  1. Rafa

    Rafa In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Hi there, Rafa has now been sitting on eggs for 13 days and I am starting to get a little excited. Shes been really good, coming out everyday for about ten minutes to eat, drink, poop and have a dust bath in the sand pit. Its quite funny watching her go on a hundred mile an hour mission doing everything she would usually do in a whole day. I have a few concerns though, she has always been at the bottom of the pecking order and is a bit of a loner and she gets picked on alot, however when she comes out now the other five ladies are even meaner than ever, is this normal? How will she and the chicks manage? Will they pick on the chicks too? Rocky the Roo is being an absolute star by trying to keep them all away from her but think he is finding it rather hard to cope with all five.

    My other concern is that three eggs have broken so far in the nest. I'm not sure if shes done it or the others have as when she comes out the nest they all pile in to see whats going on. If I'm around I try and get them out, but I'm not here all day. She's just been out and I've noticed shes covered in broken egg and to be honest her and the nest are abit stinky. Should I attempt to clean her or will she clean herself? I rushed in and grabbed the broken egg and threw some clean straw and shavings in but think the whole thing could do with disinfecting, I'm a complere newby and think you have probably gathered that! Any advice would be great.
  2. MareeZoCool

    MareeZoCool Songster

    [​IMG] from Ohio Hi Rafa CONGRATS ON THE BROODY HEN![​IMG] When my hen went broody I sectioned off her nesting area, so that she & her brood had complete privacy & security from the others in the flock. I used chicken wire for the dividing wall. That way, everyone is still in contact visually. PM me, if you'd like
  3. Rafa

    Rafa In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Hiya thanks for the advice, if it carrys on I think I will have to section her off, I didnt really want to have to do it as I wanted the other ladies involved so that they would accept the chicks, if that makes sense! Is it possible that if they dont like the hen that they wont like her chicks?
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    [​IMG] from sunny South Florida! And congratulations on the broody hen too!

    It really is ideal to keep the broody separate from the flock, to keep them from disturbing the hen, adding their eggs, and possibly breaking some in the process. Either put her in a separate place or make a barricade. If she's low on the pecking order & you want her to maintain some contact with the flock then keep her there & make a barricade.

    After dark tonight you can try & clean out her nest box a bit more thoroughly. It may not need deep disinfecting, but scrape out any egg goo, put in new straw & scrape any crud off the eggs. I wouldn't try to wash them, just remove the main part of the gunk. The hen will clean herself in her dust bath.

    Some hens are able to defend their chicks from other adults, and some chickens are more tolerant of other's chicks. But to be safe it's best to keep the Mama hen & her chicks separate from the flock, at least until they've gotten some growth. The hen may be ready to leave her chicks anywhere from 4-8 weeks and you'll need a place to finish raising the chicks afterwards.
    Let us know when they hatch! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2010
  5. Rafa

    Rafa In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Thanks for that, will try and move her later to clean her out, shes abit wild though and doesnt like being handled so wish me luck. If she doesnt I will definately have the hot water ready for tomorrow when she ventures out!! Will also go out and find the chicken wire to make some sort of barrier. Will def be letting your all know when (if) they hatch:)
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging 9 Years

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome! [​IMG]

    Sounds like this one is a good candidate to separate from the flock while she is on her nest. I personally like letting the hen raise the chicks with the flock, and it sounds like you have a good rooster that would help her, but if the hen is wimpy, there are certainly risks in that. I'd be nervous in your case.

    These threads may help you in your decisions and give you a few pointers.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread

    Raise with flock? thread

    Good luck!!!
  7. I have a hen on 16 eggs. If hens had 'lockdown' then she would go to lockdown tomorrow. They are due in four days. Usually I section off sitting hens but everyone left her alone so there is no enclosure around her nest box on the floor in the coop. Tonight I'll move her into a dog crate and put fencing around her for the hatch. I leave it up until the hen takes the chicks off the nest and appears to want to take them 'outside' with the rest of the flock which is usually in two or three days even though there is food and water in the little enclosure. Then I clean the crate of eggshells and unhatched eggs and put in fresh shavings. Then the hen will take them in at night to that crate to sleep until she decides they are old enough to be on their own...the last two hatches that has been at about six weeks. Then she won't go into it anymore although they continue to do so crying and peeping plaintively.
  8. write2caroline

    write2caroline Songster

    Jun 21, 2009
    Mine sat on her eggs with the flock for most of the time and we moved her the day her eggs hatched - they hatched on the 20th day. She was fine and has been a great Momma. I have her in the brooder coop and the lower area where she can bring her chicks below is fenced but she can see and interact with the other chickens. They were all very very curious. My three non broody pullets were actually the layers of the eggs she hatched. The chicks are now about 2 weeks old and growing like weeds. She still makes the broody sounds and keeps her peeps close. I guess I should not be soooo amazed that nature kicked in and she is the perfect Momma. It is much much easier letting her raise the brood rather than me keeping them in the bathroom. I have more chicks coming on Aug 2 so I am hoping I have a broody to raise them. My other girls are wanting to go broody but I have been preventing them by finding their illegal egg stashes and removing eggs promptly.
  9. Rafa

    Rafa In the Brooder

    Jan 22, 2010
    Nottingham, England
    Thank you all for your great advice, I really do want this to happen naturally and let nature take its course, please keep your fingers crossed for me, and good luck to all you other mothers to be!!!

    Great site I'm addicted [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: