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Why would I use a broody pen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Momagain1, Aug 14, 2011.

  1. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    really what are the pros for it?

    We are NOT going to be hatching eggs..except we have one poor li'l broody turken who has been broody since day 1 of maturity lol...
    she just kinda squeaks when we reach for her eggs ...she moves into diff. boxes it seems...but always sits in a box..period...

    so we marked an egg with a big X w/marker so we know to not collect that egg...have no idea if it is fertilized or not...

    we are NOT building another pen..coop..no way no how...

    do I really need to put an enclosed nesting box inside the coop? or is she fine where she is??

    I dont know anything about this...

    when would I know if that egg is anything?

    TIA...
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I don't candle mine, they hatch or they don't, and my broodies raise their chicks in with the rest of the flock. So far, I think 6 hatches, this has worked fine, and the mamas have protected the chicks. When mama stopped mothering, the chicks did fine in with the flock, though they tended to stay together and away from the others. Now, my chicken yard is large, maybe 70' x 70', and has some vegetation and cover. It's not the safest way to raise chicks if you really want the chicks -- but it is how chickens have been raising their offspring for a long time.
     
  3. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2009
    Quote:Ditto
     
  4. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2010
    Alabama
    I have a broody pen because I'm trying to increase my flock. When the broodies are in the ordinary nestboxes, the other hens lay in their nests, or they forget which nest they were on, or they get into fights on top of the eggs.

    So when I'm sure the broody is serious, I collect a dozen very clean eggs. Then I move her into the broody pen for a day to make sure she'll stay on that nest, and then give her the eggs. I don't candle them, but they've got a good hatch rate. My biggest losses have been to snakes.

    After they hatch and come off the nest, I move them back with the others. The process is complicated because I have to put the newest chicks and mama into a snake-proof cage every night, but otherwise they just roam around the big pen (50 x50) and their mamas take care of them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
  5. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    how long do I give the eggs to "hatch" and what if she moves to a diff. box altogether???

    and leaves the "X'd" egg alone...
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    They hatch in 21 days, more or less. Sometimes you see a little movement of the egg or hear chirping. It takes a while from when the shell starts to crack til the chick gets out. I think about 24 hours, not really sure.

    I've had broodies return to the wrong nest several times; I just put them back on the eggs. Usually another hen has sat on the eggs at least part of the time, and so far they have (mostly) hatched. The eggs can actually get pretty cool and still hatch, they just may take a little longer. In the summer it especially shouldn't be much of a problem.

    I've never had one abandon her eggs, though I've read of this happening now and then. I guess you could try using a heating pad and a damp towel and try to hatch it if it does.
     
  7. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    so if she keeps moving nest boxes; could she truly not be broody?
     
  8. rittert3

    rittert3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    Ks (Manhattan area)
    If you don't want her to be broody I once saw a design for a cage that swings from the ceiling you the hen in for 12 or 24 hrs at a time until she quits trying to sit, also if you are going to let her set she will turn that egg with the "x" or should be so make sure you don't accidently collect it. Not sure on your last question thats kind of a coin toss unless you could read her mind.
     
  9. Hot2Pot

    Hot2Pot Fox Hollow Rabbitry

    Feb 1, 2010
    West TN
    Sometimes roosters or other chickens will attack and eat chicks. Also, chicks need a different feed and you don't want all your chickens eating chick starter.
     
  10. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Alabama
    Quote:Nope, she's just a chicken - can't remember which box she was in! If you check several times a day, and put her back on the right eggs, they'll likely hatch.
     

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