broody hen : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have my first broody hen. She is 11 months old. She has been sitting for just over 3 weeks. I went to check on her this morning and she was sitting in the WRONG net box! All of the eggs she had been so careful with all this time were cold. I moved her into the right box and removed all of the fresh eggs. Now what do I do? I am sure these eggs won't hatch. Do I just remove them and hope she will forget them? Do I let her start all over with a fresh batch? I only have one set of nest boxes so I can't separate her from the other hens(We have 8). Or can I?

-- melissa (, March 07, 2000


You may want to wait to let her set ,maybe until last frost or when you think they wont freeze.Throw out the eggs she set on.Pick up the eggs often until your ready to let her start again.

-- Patty Gamble (, March 07, 2000.

Last summer I had a young red determined to sit on a batch of eggs. We left her alone to see what would happen and the last week she abandoned them ! The following week she tried to start another nest but I postponed that until she got a bit older. I also have a black hen that lays green eggs and she prefers to be off by herself. The other hens will come and lay in her nest and she will set on them. She is bound and determined to hatch out a batch! Last summer she did but another red tried claiming the chicks. I never saw anything like that before! Two hens trying to raise the chicks! I felt sorry for the black hen but they adjusted and both took on the job. They had a fit though when the baby chicks would go under the other hen for warmth. My hens are free ranging so I wasn't sure how to handle it. Anybody out there that has a good idea on what I should have done-feel free to reply.

-- Pat (, March 07, 2000.

If you have a broody hen that thinks she is broody, throw her off the nest and see. If she returns after a few min. and gets back on the nest, she usually means busness. I have a small pen that I call my chick pen. I will put the broody hen in the pen with a box of fresh eggs(my choice). All by herself with the eggs and it might take 2 days. But she will settle herself on the eggs and hatch them out. There is no other chickens in the pen to lay, and theres just one nest. This way she don't get off and get back on the wrong nest. This has over the years worked quite well for me.

-- LInda Hess (, March 07, 2000.

Several years ago, my father was raising Rhode Island Reds, and had one hen that was ALWAYS broody. He read somewhere to cure that he should dunk her quickly in a bucket of cold water, then put her under a 5 gallon bucket or bushel basket for an hour, then let her go. Sounded like hogwash to me, but he tried it, and forever after that, she would chase him and peck on his shoes. Guess she had to let him know she didn't appreciate the bath! I dont' recall whether it cured the broodiness or not. Later that summer a rooster pecked a hole in the back of her head and she died, poor thing.

-- Jan B (, March 07, 2000.

I agree with Sarah in the posting below. Don't throw the eggs away yet. Let the hen sit a while longer.

-- Green (, March 08, 2000.

I wouldn't throw the eggs out, either. I've had hens get back on the wrong nest, I put em back on the right one and the eggs still hatch. Now if it's overnight or a whole day or the temperature dropped below freezing, I'd probably chunk em...

I've had two banny hens sit on the same nest. Last spring I let em do it just to see what would happen. Well, I guess they liked each other, cause once the chicks hatched out, they both tried to see who was going to be the best mother. Chicks would run from one momma to the next. When they roosted, or rather 'sat' for the night, the two little bannies would huddle together in a corner of their 'fledgling pen' (where I keep my free rangers for a couple of weeks, till they can maneuver over all the obstacles laying about)with all the chicks hiding somewhere amongst em. The satisfaction I got out of watching their comical antics was well worth any potential brooding risks that I feared beforehand.

-- phil briggs (, March 14, 2000.

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