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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a broody hen in the hen house who has been setting a few eggs for a little over a week. This morning she had moved to the hen box next to it abandoning the 3 eggs!! Will they still hatch? I moved the eggs to her new box. Slipped under her. Why would she do that? I live in the pacific ne so it's not very warm out yet. It's in the 60's here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have it set up for when the chicks hatch. I am not turning it on until closer to hatch date. Chances are I won't be in the hen house when they hatch and am afraid they would try to get out of nesting box and fall. So I set up the little ladder to a temp brooder box in the hope that they may make it there until I can move to an indoor brooder as the setter is in with 8 other hens and 2 roo's. I have never had a broody hen before o this would b my first natural hatch. Any suggestions?
 

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I have it set up for when the chicks hatch. I am not turning it on until closer to hatch date. Chances are I won't be in the hen house when they hatch and am afraid they would try to get out of nesting box and fall. So I set up the little ladder to a temp brooder box in the hope that they may make it there until I can move to an indoor brooder as the setter is in with 8 other hens and 2 roo's. I have never had a broody hen before o this would b my first natural hatch. Any suggestions?
Any chicks hatched by your hen will not need a heat lamp. Heat lamps are only for brooding without the momma. My suggestion is to leave momma alone. The more you mess with her area the more she'll want to move. Let her raise the babies and put away the lamp. Just let her do her thing and dont interfere no matter how helpful you think it will be. Dont worry :) let nature work. I would get rid of the box and anything else not normally there as well. She will teach her babies how to navigate, eat, drink ect.

:) Sit back and relax.
 

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We have a broody hen too. The other day she was in the wrong box too. When I looked in her box she was originally in, she had an egg in there that wasn't in there before. I think she must of got off to go poop, get something to eat or drink and another chicken went in there to lay an egg. I took out the new egg and put her back in her box. I am going to move her soon to her own cage so she can hatch the babies without getting disturbed. So much easier when Momma hatches the eggs! You don't have to worry about them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yea, I decided to move her and the eggs to a large separate kennel. She was not happy about the move. I quickly candled and the eggs look specked inside, what does this mean? I am also hoping she will eat a little more and drink since she is by herself and won't b afraid to leave her eggs for a second. I picked her up and she feels so light, she's def lost weight. She is just cackling away in there like a mad chicken!!!
 

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Did you move her into a kennel that she just stays in? The reason I ask is because I need to do the same but we don't free range ours that have a huge outside pin attached to the coop because he have lots so many free ranging that we don't do it any more, but I just didn't know if I put her in a kennel she will need to poop and if that was the only place she could do that would get gross really fast! So just trying to figure out how I should do this to where she can have her own space inside and out without building a whole new run just for her!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just used an xtra large kennel in the shed near the coop but isolated from the others. She has her own food n water n plenty of room to get up and walk around. I put a layer of pine shaving down and will replace n clean it out every so often. I just hope At least one of the eggs is viable. I have one from her and my maran roo that I hatched in the bator. Feathered feet n all! Just hope it's a hen not a roo. Fingers crossed.
 

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Ok thank you for the info! I will do the same and I am sure they will do fine! If you got one in the incubator then I bet you will get some the natural way! I have 15 in the incubator right now and when I did my 7 day candling they all had good veins and movement so I am super exited but if I can get a hen to do it I think our chances will be better!!! Just have to figured out which hen really wants to sit! But I think if I move them that way then any will sit! I guess only time will tell!
Good luck to you! Looking forward to hearing the out come!
 

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Any chicks hatched by your hen will not need a heat lamp. Heat lamps are only for brooding without the momma. My suggestion is to leave momma alone. The more you mess with her area the more she'll want to move. Let her raise the babies and put away the lamp. Just let her do her thing and dont interfere no matter how helpful you think it will be. Dont worry :) let nature work. I would get rid of the box and anything else not normally there as well. She will teach her babies how to navigate, eat, drink ect.

:) Sit back and relax.
I so agree with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Should I just wait out the days to when I think hatch will b? If it looks like there was no viable eggs (ie, no chicks hatch after 21 days) should I move her back to the regular hen house with the others? I have her in her secluded kennel right now but I don't want her in there forever. The artificial incubation is way less complicated to me. It's prob because I have control of everything in the bator and I don't have any control with this natural stuff.
 

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Should I just wait out the days to when I think hatch will b? If it looks like there was no viable eggs (ie, no chicks hatch after 21 days) should I move her back to the regular hen house with the others? I have her in her secluded kennel right now but I don't want her in there forever. The artificial incubation is way less complicated to me. It's prob because I have control of everything in the bator and I don't have any control with this natural stuff.
You might want to go in one night, any night after day 7, and candle an egg or two. If none are developing then you will want to either replace her eggs or break her broodiness. Brooding is hard on a hen; no sense her sitting if she's not going to have something to show for it in the end. Also, it's important to be sure she is getting up at least once a day to relieve herself (broody poop being one of the world's worst smells), eat a little, drink a little and stretch her legs.
I am the exact opposite of you. I have two bators collecting dust that I never intend to use again. To me the natural way is so much easier and there is nothing sweeter than the sight of a mother hen teaching her little ones about the world. In addition, there's things that only a mother hen or goose can teach her babies that us humans haven't figured out how to do yet.
All you have to do is take care of your hen by checking on her daily, provide her with what she'll need when the chicks hatch (small feeder and waterer), protect her from predators and let nature take its course. Mama hen and Mother Nature will do the rest. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you. Here's another question. The chicks I hatched with the bator are varied from 1-2 weeks old. And one little silkie who is only a few days old. Can I put them in with her or do I have to continue to raise in my brooder since she didn't hatch them?
 

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Thank you. Here's another question. The chicks I hatched with the bator are varied from 1-2 weeks old. And one little silkie who is only a few days old. Can I put them in with her or do I have to continue to raise in my brooder since she didn't hatch them?
I want to be sure I am understanding your question correctly before I answer.

Chicks that are older which you hatched to go in with the hen that is sitting? No, I wouldn't chance it.
I have successfully added (store bought) chicks to a broody hen that sat for the full 21 days but had a bad hatch and grafted a few chicks to a broody hen that had chicks of the exact same age, but never older chicks in with a broody hen that has younger chicks.
 

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K thanks! I appreciate your advice. When can I start bringing them outside for some yard time ?
I start taking chicks for outside playtime on any day the temps. are above 70° F and there isn't much wind.
I stay with them constantly at that age and observe them for signs of getting chilled so I can take them back to the warmth of the brooder.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I candled the eggs and didn't find any viable. So i put my broody back in with the others. She is still trying to set tho. I put her outside for a while but she just came back inside to a nesting box with no eggs in it! Will she just give up at some point or should I be doing more to break her boodiness?
 

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I candled the eggs and didn't find any viable. So i put my broody back in with the others. She is still trying to set tho. I put her outside for a while but she just came back inside to a nesting box with no eggs in it! Will she just give up at some point or should I be doing more to break her boodiness?
Keep trying. If a few days of tossing her out of the nest doesn't break her, you may want to consider a broody breaking crate. The idea is that you have to cool off their hindend. You put them in a crate with a good amount of air circulation but absolutely nothing to make a nest or bedding out of for a few days.

Some broodies will break on their own with enough tries at taking them off the nest, others will broody themselves to death (die from severe weight loss, dehydration).

I've got so much going on in my life right now that I didn't have time to keep fighting a young hen I've been trying to break of broodiness off and on for more than a month now. I'd get her to quit and a few days later she'd be right back at it again. I let her keep three eggs yesterday. My husband is soooo gonna kill me.
 
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