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Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by joann, May 3, 2008.
Don't laught. Very new chicken owner.
broody is wanting to set on eggs etc.
setting on eggs
It's when the hen goes through hormonal changes that makes her want to be a mama. She will quit laying,puff up in a ball and growl at anything that comes close. She will also set on eggs and get off only once/day. Oh, she might peck you,too. My marans hens are really gentle,but I have a bantam hen that is vicious!
Broody is when they decide they are actually going to SIT on their eggs until they hatch.
I have never had a broody as mine are all still chicks... but this is what I have learned on the board....
When a chicken goes broody she will either lay until she has a full clutch of eggs... around 9 or so and will then sit on them constantly, maybe only getting up once or twice a day just long enough to get a drink and stretch her legs.
A hen can go broody on someone else's eggs.
You can sometimes switch out the eggs for eggs you want her to hatch or sometimes with day old chicks.... done by placing new egg or chick in hand and reaching under her while she is sitting and performing a slight of hand switch-a-roo.
A broody hen will often growl, peck, defend and act all grouchy about her clutch of eggs.
Some breeds are better broodies or more likely to go broody... silkies, bantams, etc. Some have had the broody gene bred out of them... leghorns, etc.
Make sure to have water and food available to the broody so she can reach it from where she is.
Sometimes you can move a broody to another spot. Most reccomend you seperate her from the rest of the flock as they may pick on her or run her off of her eggs. Sometimes if you move a broody, she will abandon the eggs. Having movable boxes that can just be picked up, hen eggs and all and moved to a new spot is very useful.
Broody poop is the WORST! They spend so much time on their eggs that their first poop after they hatch can be startling and scary, especially to the first-time chicken owner.
That is what I have learned so far
I had 2 white leghorns go broody,set and raise chicks last year. They were some of the best mothers I had. I think they would have taken care of their babies until they laid eggs.
See, I learn something new everyday. Certainly there are exceptions to every rule. Maybe there is actually no way to completely breed the broody instinct out a chicken, but rather some are just far less likely.
Same here, the one constant I have learned with chickens, is there is no constant. I guess they haven't read the manual
I just had an 11 month old Buff Orp go broody on me. She sat on nothing for 2 weeks then I got her 12 fertile eggs. She was very sweet and allowed me to put the eggs under her and move her to a broody coop we built for her inside the big coop. I think that Buff Orps are a breed known to go broody. She hatched out 6 out of 7 fertile eggs (1 cracked on day 9) and 5 never developed. I didn't have to worry about incubator temps or humidity - the hen handled everything. The best part of this is..... BABIES!!!
It is very interesting to watch the mama hen teaching the chicks how to eat and drink and well as teaching about dangers.
The one downfall about a hen raising her own chicks is that they don't get handled as much as babies and might be harder to handle as adults.
BTW - I have nothing against incubators, I am acutally thinking about getting one next spring when I can add another coop and run!