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Author Topic: Broody hen chicken?  (Read 1973 times)
twb
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« on: September 22, 2008, 08:00:04 PM »

We have kept laying hens for several years without a rooster.  One of our Isa Browns is remaining in the nesting box on some eggs for hours at a time.  Is that our cue she is getting broody?  We have not had this happen before.  I guess they try to breed the broodiness out of them nowadays.  So, can I get some fertilized eggs from a friend and slip them under her and move her into an old unused dog house or something and have her raise some chicks?  Could it be that simple?
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
randydrivesabus
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2008, 05:51:55 AM »

it is that simple except that its the wrong time of year for it with cold weather just around the corner. But there's no reason not to see what happens. All there is to lose is some eggs. I have one hen who is acting broody but not very consistently.
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Hillbillenigma
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« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2008, 10:11:13 PM »

If she thinks its time then I would try it. 

Place the eggs under her at night (take ALL the old eggs out) and you won't have to worry about ripe eggs busting.  Mark you calendar, keep an eye on her to insure that she keeps sitting.  She may get up for a few minutes on occasion while you are there to just get a bite to eat or a drink but she should not leave the nest for any long period. 

I would start to figure out a place that you could sort of isolate her and the chicks (inside the Barn or house that they are in if possible) that way she can start her babies off right without have to worry about other Ladies bothering her babies.   Also, she may or may not turn out to be a great Mama so you will have to watch her and the little ones close the first few days, she will need to keep them close and let them get under her for warmth quite often, and she will need to teach them to eat and drink.  I miss seeing those little ones running around!! 

Let us know if you need any advice.   
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twb
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« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2008, 08:43:06 PM »

Thanks for the encouragement.  We did it today.  I placed the hen on to 9 eggs I got from someone with a rooster.  I screened the dog house temporarily to keep her in it for 2 days or so.  Food a water are available to her.  I just peeked at her now that it is dark outside and she is firmly planted on the nest of eggs so that is hopeful.  Once I unscreen the doghouse can/should I place the food and water outside of it into the run or just leave it in the dog house?
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
renmag
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« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2008, 08:58:22 PM »

usually our hens stay on the nest non-stop. depends on the weather.  Ours have gone broody in the late fall when it is getting cold and they don't seem to get off for anything.  Soooo, I would leave the water and food close.
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Hillbillenigma
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« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2008, 09:41:14 PM »

I would agree with keeping a small amount of food close and water too.

I would encourage you to watch her closely as while she is sitting she is very vunerable to predators (she will be reluctant to leave the nest even if she is in danger).  If you want to leave the Screen on to keep out any Rats or anything larger I would say that would be a good idea.   

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"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in the world. The Marines don't have that problem."
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twb
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« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2008, 08:20:52 PM »

I would agree with keeping a small amount of food close and water too.

 If you want to leave the Screen on to keep out any Rats or anything larger I would say that would be a good idea.   



Thanks, she is screened in to the large dog house which is open only to a screened (all around and on top) chicken "run".  I will probably remove the screen to the house tomorrow to allow her to releave herself in the run area. But, it looks as if she has not touched either her food or water in this first 24 hours since her transfer.  Should I be concerned about that yet?  She is very firmly planted on the eggs though. 
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
randydrivesabus
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« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2008, 06:09:57 AM »

don't worry...she'll handle it. but don't be surprised if her broodiness doesn't last for the 3 weeks required.
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Cindi
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2008, 09:27:25 AM »

TWB.  Have fun.  It sounds like your hen has gone broody.  WHen a hen is broody, you can sometimes tell that because if you go to touch her, she will fluff out and look enormous, she will make some weird sounds to try and scare you away.  Love nor money will move a broody hen.  You can move her, along with the eggs, and she won't budge an inch.  When my hen goes broody, I never see her get off the nest.  She sits there for 21 days, not eating, nor drinking.  Not to say that they don't, maybe they do eat and drink and get off the nest when I am not looking, that for surely could be possible.  But I don't think so.  Same with my turkeys.  I had a turkey hen that was broody, sat on the eggs for 28 days (yes, they are 6 days longer than a chicken), those eggs were not viable.  There had been a disturbance with the other young turkeys and she must have got off the eggs for a while or something I think.  After about 33 days, I figured out the eggs must be bad.  I took away those eggs.  She still sat in the house.  I put another group of eggs in another house for the other hen, in case she went broody.  But this broody girl must have got off that empty nest, found the group of new eggs and began to sit again.  So she sat for over 2 months, being broody, she did hatch out the second group of eggs.  But let me tell ya, it was kind of freaking me out that she would have sat for two brooding of egg cycles, and I only saw her get off the eggs during the last part of the second sitting two times, to get some bread that I had thrown out for the chickens.  I think they can go a long time without food (or eating when I am not looking, hee, hee).  Just some of my experience.  Have one of the wonderful and awesome days, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008, 08:28:48 PM »

don't worry...she'll handle it. but don't be surprised if her broodiness doesn't last for the 3 weeks required.

Yeah, my last broody hen got off the nest 3 days early.  Made for a batch of rotten eggs.
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poka-bee
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2008, 10:29:29 PM »

Cindi, they sneak off & back quickly when we aren't around.  I caught my my duck racing back to the nest when she heard the back door open, food falling out of her mouth!  They are so funny!  J.
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twb
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2008, 04:44:48 PM »

It worked!  Twenty one days after placing 9 eggs under our broody hen we have 7 chicken nuggets. Smiley  Now we are enjoying once again the wonder and awe of new life.
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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
twb
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2008, 05:00:44 PM »

Here is a picture for your enjoyment.

[
URL=http://g.imageshack.us/thpix.php][/URL]

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"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."  Proverbs 16:24

Sincerely,
TWB
poka-bee
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2008, 06:58:48 PM »

twb, they are just too adorable!! She looks like a good Mama.  It's fun listening to her talk to her chicks, they have a whole new range of sounds!  Have fun & keep the pictires coming, love looking into others worlds! J
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Cindi
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« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2008, 09:17:04 AM »

TWB, oh they are so ding dang cute, I love the little bobble-heads that new chicks have, so roundy looking, looks like the mamma is a Rhode Island Red or something?  Cute....have that most wonderful day, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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