What to do with a broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PotterWatch, Mar 18, 2009.

  1. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    So I'm pretty sure I have a broody. I went to see if there were any eggs after dark tonight and one of my girls was still sitting on the nest (I saw her there hours earlier). When I went to try and move her or check under her, she fluffed up and growled at me a little. There weren't any eggs, just the golf ball I leave in there. Even when I picked the nest up (it's a milk crate), she didn't get up and she is one of the flightiest hens I have.

    So anyway, I'm assuming she is broody, but I'm not sure what to do about it. I could possibly move her to a small coop and put some day-olds under her at night. I could try and get some fertile eggs from someone (I don't have a rooster, so no fertile eggs here). Or I could try and break her broodiness. I don't really have room for more layers if all 8 layer chicks I have in a brooder are girls, but I think a couple might be boys so it might be ok to have two or three more chicks. What would you do?
     
  2. dancingbear

    dancingbear Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds broody to me. If you want to let her hatch some, get her some fertile eggs. Separating her from the others is a good idea, less chance of broken eggs in the nest, and it would keep the others from adding eggs to the nest. Mark the eggs if you get her some, so if there's a mishap and she has extra eggs appear at some point, you know which ones to remove.

    Hens and pullets are going for pretty good prices right now. If you have extra hens, you can probably sell them very easily.

    As for roos, bear in mind that a good hen/roo ratio is 12-15 hens per roo. If you have more roos than that, there's often trouble, nervous, naked-backed bald-headed hens for one thing, egg production can drop, and roos may fight each other. Too many roos also increases the odds of one or more becoming human-aggressive.

    I have 2 roos with 30 hens, and fertility of the eggs is high. I seldom see an infertile egg, when I break them open for eating.
     
  3. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Having too many roos with my hens won't be a problem since all roos either will be sold or sent to freezer camp. We aren't allowed to keep roos on our property. I'm just having a hard time figuring out which option to take. Put day-olds under her, put eggs under her, or try to break her broodiness. Just looking for input of what others would do from those options. Thanks!
     
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

  5. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Thanks Lollipop, that was helpful. I'm thinking I might move her to a different location tonight with some golfballs under her and try to put some day-olds under her if she is still broody in a week or so. Of course, where I can let her and her chicks roam, away from the rest of the flock, if she accepts them I don't know.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    If you get live chicks to put under her, be prepared to brood them if she does not accept them. If you get one or two day old chicks, I think you have a pretty good chance of success, but the odds go down as the chicks get older.

    As long as your space isn't real tight, I would not worry too much about separating the hen and chicks from the flock. Mama will take care of her chicks. She does need a little room, but not as much as you might think.
     
  7. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    I have plenty of brooder space if it doesn't work out. There are a couple breeds I don't have that I wouldn't mind getting, but I don't know that I want to pay the shipping. I wonder what my feed store has in stock...
     
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Send her to me! I just got a gorgeous Ameraucana roo and two hens, and I know the hens were exposed to an even more amazing roo that won at the Ohio National, but I don't have a broody to stick the eggs under, so we're eating them. In fact, out of 25 hens including Delawares, Orpingtons and Australorps, I haven't had a broody yet. And I want one!
     
  9. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

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    Well, I moved her to her own area last night (really just a spare brooder box). We'll see if she still wants to set after the move. If she does I'm thinking of trying to get some eggs for her. If I can't find eggs that I like locally, I'll just get some day-olds and try that. Here's hoping!
     

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