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Founder
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Discussion Starter #1
Three of my hens are sitting on eggs. One of them hatched out a chick.

What gets me:

Two of the hens are Barred Rocks, which rarely go broody.

One is an Australorp. which has a reputation of going broody.


My first set of chickens was back around 1987 or 1988. My granny kept chickens, but I was just a child and did not pay attention to the details.

My wife and I butchered out that first set of Barred Rocks when they were around two years old, and I did not get any more until 2012.

So in the seven years I have kept chickens, only two barred rocks have gone broody.

For those who do not know, Barred Rocks and Australorps are old hertiage breeds that have been around for more than 100 years.

Barred Rocks were developed from the Dominique, which was Americas first established chicken breed. The Dominique came from chickens that settlers brought from Europe. Barred Rocks are a good dual purpose breed that can be butchered and are decent egg layers. They are not "great" egg layers, but they are good.

Australorps were developed in Australia sometime in the late 1800s or very early 1900s. They go broody and are good egg layers.

Barred Rocks and Australorps are about the same size.

It seems like an odd time of year for a hen to go broody. Winter is about to set in and the chicks will need special attention.

If nothing else, I have a screened in chicken house with wooden walls that has a heat lamp the hen and chicks can be moved to.
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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Please pay special attention to your heat lamp. Make sure it is secure enough that even a fox in the hen house could not knock it over.
 

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Cave canem
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Kev if you plan to butcher more chickens then I would band those broodies so they won't be accidentally killed.

DON'T REMOVE THEM FROM THE FLOCK! If you do that the chicks can't be reintroduced to the flock until they are 10+ weeks old, and even then they will be horribly picked on. Keep them all together. Use cat/dog carriers on the henhouse floor at night if you need to. Heating pads over domed wire (to make little chick caves) are also an option and safer than outdoor heat lamps.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
prepsteading broody hens

Please pay special attention to your heat lamp. Make sure it is secure enough that even a fox in the hen house could not knock it over.
The heat lamp is in the small chicken house. The hen has her chicks in the big house.
 

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I've had Dominiques and Barred Rocks, and of the two, the Dominiques are more broody than the Rocks. And they are about the best mommas I've seen, right up there with Silkies.

My experience with any of the Rocks is that they vary widely on their broodiness. Some won't sit at all, some abandon the nest after a week or two, and some brood very well. It just seems to be a quirk of the breed.
 

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Cave canem
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You said one chick hatched, is she still sitting on the rest of the eggs? And were they set at the same time?

If they were not set on the same day then developing chicks will end up dying in the shell when she has to leave the nest.
 

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The cat carrier down on the floor is a good suggestion. I did it earlier in the year when someone on the boards suggested it and it worked ok for keeping chicks and a mother hen in the coop. I have six chicks that are eight weeks old now. Mom has left them for the perch at night, but they still get into their container. They get pecked at a little, not bad though and they are out most of the day in the yard.

If I spot a broody hen early I'll stuff a few extra eggs under her.

I hope it works out ok for your chicks with the cold weather coming around.
 

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Inglorious Deplorable
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The hardest part is not knowing when the Hen will go broody ahead of time. They may be working up to it for a week. They are attempting to save up eggs, but we keep collecting them.

Does anyone have experience adding all the day's eggs to a broody hen when they catch her on the nest that first day?


edit: [LOL A refresh answered my question]
 

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Infraction Collector
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I've never had one of my barred rocks go broody! That's cool.

I'm going to order some Buff Orphs in spring to try and get some broody hens.

We had to cull all my older Barred Rocks,..Production Reds, RiRs

Right now I have a mix of all sorts of inbred yard chickens....I couldn't tell you what a single one of them is species wise,...lmao

Oh and I got one bastard Turkey chick running around in there.....

I've never let a hen set on eggs,..I've always used a Styrofoam brooder box....but this spring its on!
 

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Cave canem
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The hardest part is not knowing when the Hen will go broody ahead of time. They may be working up to it for a week. They are attempting to save up eggs, but we keep collecting them.

Does anyone have experience adding all the day's eggs to a broody hen when they catch her on the nest that first day?


edit: [LOL A refresh answered my question]
When they show signs just give them a marked "dud" egg to sit on and keep collecting the rest.

When you are pretty sure they are serious (after a day or two) then put all of the eggs you want hatched under her at the same time (all marked).

Starting all the eggs on the say day is critical, as is marking the eggs so "late additions" can be removed. Otherwise late start incubating chicks will die in the shell when the first eggs hatch and the broody has to leave the nest to care for the chicks.
 
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