chicken question (broody hens) : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

ok,,I dont have any roosters,, but this spring,,I was going to put some fertile eggs under some banties,,, question. Without a rooster,, will they still go broody?,, and how do I tell,, if I collect the eggs on a regular basis?

-- Stan (, February 06, 2002


Stan The hen will go broody naturaly, if they start wanting to stay on the nest all the time is a good indication.You have to remove them to collect any eggs.Get some plastic eggs and replace the eggs with the plastic ones to fool the hen untill you get the eggs your going to set.I once used white rocks that were round.Banties are real good setting hens just cant get alot of eggs under them.Pam

-- pam (, February 06, 2002.

We don't have roosters anymore. My hens get kinda flat looking on the nest when they get broody. They'll bristle when you put your hand near. Some breeds will peck at your hand. If all eggs are removed, she might give up, but once they're broody, they can be hard to discourage. A few marked eggs should keep them setting. When it's certain that the hen is broody, slip the fertile eggs under her at night, and remove the old ones. If you want to move her and her clutch to another location, do that at night, too. Just make sure she's in a location where she'll feel protected. Give her access to food and water. Some won't leave the nest to eat or drink, so my daughter will tease them with a banana so they'll bite a bit of food.

-- Nina (, February 06, 2002.

Believe me, you'll know when a hen goes broody, and they don't need a rooster around. They don't have to have eggs, either. They will happily sit on an empty nest, refusing to go to roost at night. When you walk near a broody hen, she'll fluff up, get a mean face (with open beak) and growl at you. There will be no doubt. :)

If you've not had a broody hen before, it's a good idea to move her & her nest of eggs in a cage (i use a rabbit size breeder cage) so the other hens won't hassle her. if you can, keep her inside your coop, so the rest of your flock won't forget she's a part of the group, and also so they can get used to the new chicks when they hatch. Even though i provide food & water in the cage, I'll also unlatch the door once a day so the hen can come out & stretch her wings, legs, take a dust bath, etc.

And when the chicks hatch, provide chick starter, make sure the water is shallow so they won't drown, then sit back and enjoy. Momma hens taking care of their baby chicks is the absolute cutest thing and they make the best pictures! wait til you see a week old chick taking a dust bath!!

-- Buk (, February 06, 2002.

I use my nose!! When I have a really broody hen that is ready to set she will stay on the nest for such long periods that she builds up a really huge dropping that smells to high heaven; so I know that if I remove a protesting bird from a nest, set her on the floor and she sets there all fluffed up like a tea cosy and then lets fly with the whopper that there is no doubt!

-- Bee White (, February 08, 2002.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ