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When should I expect one of my hens to begin brooding a clutch.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sgray136, May 22, 2007.

  1. sgray136

    sgray136 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Huntertown, Indiana
    I have a rooster led bantam trio that I have free roaming from our horse pasture based in a portable coop. The hens are laying but don't seem to set the eggs. Should I leave the eggs allowing them to build up?

    I would like to have the hens raise their own chicks.

    Shaughn Gray
    Huntertown, IN:)
     
  2. pipermark

    pipermark Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2007
    Arkansas
    Depending on breed some hens will never go broody. To find out , let them eggs stay until they lay at least 10 (I know). They will always build up a clutch first (I think).
     
  3. sgray136

    sgray136 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    139
    May 11, 2007
    Huntertown, Indiana
    My best guess is that they are Nanking bantams. I will leave the eggs alone. Thanks
     
  4. JamesC

    JamesC Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 2, 2007
    Hens will go broody whether or not there are eggs in the nest, that is, if they have broodiness in their genetic makeup. Leaving eggs in the nest will often just be a waste of eggs. Broodiness is brough on by a change in hormones and until that happens, there is nothing you can do but wait.
    It's better to save the freshest dozen to have available when one of them does go broody. Just save a dozen, date them with a pencil and replace the oldest with the freshest as they are laid, store them in a cool place. The oldest will still be great to eat.
    When one of them does go broody have a separate pen set up to move her into. You can't leave her with the other hen who will continue to lay until she goes broody as well.

    James
     

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