Using a broody hen to incubate eggs and also hatch chicks, the method Mother Nature intended, has many benefits due to the fact that she will typically hatch and rear the chicks without needing much assistance.

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In this article, I will look in ~ what to execute with a broody hen throughout the first couple of days that broodiness, gaining a broody coop collection up, comment how numerous eggs she can cover, and also giving some tips because that hatching egg under a broody hen.

If her hen currently has chicks, climate you might want come skip to the next post from ours Broody Hen Advice: Broody Hen treatment which encounters caring because that her and also her chicken after castle hatch.

Broody Hen Advice:

flower Eggs v a Broody Hen (this article) - What to carry out if you want to use a broody hen to flower some abundant eggs.

Not all hens will go broody, and some room much much better at sitting on eggs and also mothering chicks 보다 others. Light and flighty each other won’t commonly go broody, and if they do, lock don’t generally make good mothers.

Utility breeds seldom go broody. It has actually been selectively bred out of them: they are not laying eggs as soon as they space broody!

I’ve mainly owned utility breeds throughout my time keeping chickens, and also I’ve had actually my fair share that disappointments. Part hens have left your eggs partway through incubation; others have actually carelessly trampled or also pecked their chicks.

Saying this, i have likewise kept a few breeds the chickens vulnerable to going broody, and if you obtain “a good sitter”, then, provided a an ideal place to sit, she will frequently be much more successful than any kind of egg incubator you can buy.

What is a broody hen?

During the spring and summer months, when the day length increases and also there is no food shortage, part (but not all) hens go broody.

A hormone dubbed prolactin reasons broodiness. The pituitary gland, situated just behind the eye, publication prolactin. It likewise releases hormones that cause egg-laying follow to the number of daylight hours.

I’m certain you’ve heard of the saying “feeling broody” once prolactin is released: She has actually the urge to sit on part eggs, flower them and become a mother.

She will lose feathers ~ above her breast (this is referred to as a broody patch) so the she deserve to make contact with she eggs to store them warm.

A broody hen takes care of the temperature and also humidity of her eggs and the egg-turning. Once the egg hatch, the chicks are maintained warm and shown those good to eat.

Some breeders (especially waterfowl breeders) will store a breed known for broodiness and also let castle take treatment of every the incubating and also hatching. Of course, friend don’t need to use the very same breed or even species to flower eggs, and there are many mother hens every year, confused by she broods’ love that water, and that’s due to the fact that they are, in fact, ducklings she hatched!

What room the signs of a broody hen?

When a hen is broody, she will refuse to leave the nestbox and return to it as soon as removed.

She will end up being protective, so when you placed a hand near, you will certainly hear her an unhappy scolding sound: a ‘don’t touch me’ warning.

She will puff up she feathers and give her hand one almighty peck if you acquire close to her.

Clucking is likewise a authorize of a broody hen.

A broody hen will certainly not leave the nest, makes noises and also will peck if you get too close!

What to carry out with a broody hen?

Broodiness might be welcome or unwelcome. This post tells girlfriend what to execute with a broody hen come hatch fertile eggs; however, that worth pointing out that if the timing is dorn or you don’t think your hen will certainly sit the term, you might want to protect against her, and also this is kinder since it will avoid her from to run herself down. You have actually three options:

What choices are there?
Give she some fertile eggs to hatch. as soon as you’re sure she’s determined, she can be settled to sit on some fertile eggs come hatch some chicks. If you desire to do this, then review on!

How numerous eggs can a broody hen cover?

Large breeds, such as the Australorp or Cochin, can cover approximately a dozen medium-size eggs; however, the an ext eggs she has, the an ext likely she will break some of them.

Bantams deserve to sit on big eggs, however being smaller, they can’t cover as plenty of of them. I don’t usually offer them many an ext than fifty percent a dozen eggs—eight at the most.

Some the the larger duck breeds (like the Muscovy) deserve to cover almost two dozen eggs.

I ar a reasonable variety of eggs under a broody and also see even if it is she manages to save them all extended in the an initial 12 hours. If not, I remove a couple.

This Muscovy duck flower 21 eggs!


How to make a hen broody?

Unfortunately, you can’t do a hen go broody. All you have the right to do is leave some eggs come accumulate in the nest come encourage broodiness. Even better than this is to leave part dummy eggs in a nestbox; otherwise, girlfriend may end up with damaged eggs.

A hens’ maternal instincts space strongest in the spring and summer months.

You can acquire a great idea of whether a hen will most likely go broody by her breed.

which chicken breeds space the most likely to go broody?

Any hen deserve to go broody, yet some breeds are much an ext prone come broodiness 보다 others.

By far, the finest sitters are Silkies and Silkie-crosses. Lock are committed and additionally make fantastic mothers. Still, part say your feathers (which look an ext like fur) can gain tangled approximately the chicks, so they choose to overcome them with other breeds. Then, they have normal feathers however still preserve their mothering instincts.

Here is a list of each other that room most most likely to go broody with web links to our breed pages if you desire to find out more:

i beg your pardon duck breeds space most likely to go broody?

The duck breeds that are most most likely to walk broody are:


When a hen does go broody, you can’t tell how good she will be at it. Many pullets (female chickens under a year old) room inexperienced and will stop sitting before they have hatched. The maternal instinct is more substantial in older hen (at least over a year old).

Once a hen has proven herself together a an excellent broody, she is likely to be reliable again in the future.

Collection and warehouse of hatching eggs

It is essential to keep swarm boxes clean. Collection hatching eggs as soon as you can so lock don’t obtain soiled or broken by various other hens in the house.

Store egg pointed finish down on trays or in egg boxes and find a cool ar for them the end of the sunlight.

Although the is tempting to shot to hatch big eggs, the most viable are usually medium-sized. Do not use an extremely pointed or ring eggs due to the fact that these can make hatching difficult.

When hatching eggs with a broody hen, we generally don’t must store eggs for a lengthy time due to the fact that we have to get fertile hatching eggs under she after sitting for a couple of days.

If girlfriend would favor to keep eggs for much longer than a couple of days, climate I have actually written an write-up on this subject:

Hatching eggs with a broody hen

Moving a broody hen onto abundant eggs

When you an alert the first signs the a hen going broody, please offer her a pair of days to prove she determined. If she goes broody in the hen house where you collect fertile eggs, make certain she is not sitting top top eggs that you want her to flower at a later date, as this will begin the incubation process too soon. Administer her v a couple of dummy eggs to sit on.

Tip: Dummy egg

If you don"t have any type of dummy eggs, golf balls do a an excellent substitute, yet if friend still don"t have actually these, you deserve to use old eggs that space marked plainly with a pencil or mite pen so that they room not inadvertently collected.

Broody hen home specifications

A broody hen home is no more than a small coop v an enclosed run. Your hen will be fairly happy sitting on the floor; it doesn’t should have swarm boxes. It ideally has actually the following features:

Protection native predators and also bad weather.Located in the shade during the hottest component of the day.It is different from various other poultry that may disrupt her.It has adequate ventilation.A grass-run for her to use as soon as her chicken hatch.Somewhere quiet, away from other family members pets.

A timeless wooden broody hen house
An Omlet Eglu go plastic chicken coop
My favourite broody hen residence was a an extremely old wooden coop that was creosoted and also stored away at the end of every summer; however, after using an Omlet Eglu go for a few years, it has come to be my brand-new favourite.

The Eglu walk is double-skinned, making that well insulated, and also cleaning is straightforward due to the fact that you have the right to hose under the plastic floor trays which slide out.

You have the right to learn more about this house on the Omlet website.

Inside your broody coop, place an upturned sod the grass or some damp earth as the base for a nest. Steep it increase in the corners. The idea is to type a ‘saucer’ form for the nest so the no eggs can roll out, but additionally it will help her administer much-needed humidity for she eggs. On peak of the soil, develop up a swarm of clean, dried straw.

The Omlet Eglu also enables you to eliminate the floor completely to build the swarm directly ~ above the ground. This does rise the risk of predators (such as rats) digging underneath, for this reason exercise some caution through this.

Moving a broody hen

Settling she into brand-new quarters

Waterfowl, turkeys, Guinea fowl and quail don’t favor to it is in moved. Lock will likewise nest in some odd places and also often provide up if you try to relocate them, therefore it’s better to construct some suitable nesting web page in advancement to encourage them to use one of these.

Thankfully, chickens are fairly easy to relocate (with a tiny care)!

After a couple of days, you will understand she is serious about brooding. As soon as you are all set to settle her, take she to the quarters whereby she will hatch and also look after her chicks. Provide her through some dummy egg to sit on. I usually relocate my broody hen at dusk to save disruption come a minimum.

Her coop and also run should be situated in a quiet corner, away from disturbance. keep it the end of direct sunlight during the hottest part of the day, or she will overheat and find it an overwhelming to save the egg at the correct temperature.

Once you have actually put her into the broody house, leaving her alone to settle.

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The following video clip clip is the contempt younger variation of me in 2010, settling a broody bantam into a broody coop to sit on some duck eggs. She had been broody for three days beforehand but needed moving from the key chicken residence away indigenous the other hens for this reason she could sit.