Encourage Hens to Hatch Eggs


| 4/23/2010 12:00:56 PM


Tags: chickens,

Broody hen with Welsummer chicks

I’ve tried using a foster broody hen to raise chicks, and it can make brooding chicks easy. To use a hen to hatch eggs (or foster chicks), you first need a broody hen. We’ve heard of different things people have tried to encourage broody behavior (sitting on eggs to hatch them), so in a recent survey, we asked our poultry advisory group which methods have worked for them. You can see all the results of the survey, but here’s a quick look at the highlights.

Nearly 100 people took the survey. Thirty-seven people said cooping a hen in a small, dark space with a nest of eggs works sometimes. Twenty-nine people said increasing hours of daylight with artificial lighting works sometimes. Sixty-six people said selecting for broodiness in a breeding program works every time (27 people) or sometimes (39 people).

But people who took the broody hen survey said that Buff Orpingtons, Silkies, Dorkings and Ameraucanas tend to go broody easily. In the Survey of Chicken Breeds and Hybrids, Silkies, Aseels, Modern Games, Old English Games and Cochins were rated as best breeds for natural incubation.

Some of the comments people made when asked about other methods they’ve successfully used to encourage hens to go broody:

“I find just leaving wooden eggs in the nest will encourage nearly any hen who has broody ability. I don't even have to confine them. I do find that if I locate the nest box or house in a quiet, dim area, broodiness happens faster.”

“If a hen is not from a breed type for broodiness, she will not be inclined to set. When the seasonal conditions are right, the hen will set, and are difficult to discourage. To encourage, mark some eggs and leave them in the nest so she thinks there is an adequate clutch to set on. I rely on hens that are broody often and hatch eggs. Then the chicks usually grow up to be broody.”

muhammad
8/27/2013 6:10:09 AM

Hi, I have a question regarding the problem I am facing. My aseel hen is almost 8 months old but not start laying eggs yet. But the hen sits on others eggs daily for sometime and then leave the eggs. Kindly tell me that whether my hen gets broody or will lay eggs or not.


muhammad
8/27/2013 6:09:42 AM

Hi, I have a question regarding the problem I am facing. My aseel hen is almost 8 months old but not start laying eggs yet. But the hen sits on others eggs daily for sometime and then leave the eggs. Kindly tell me that whether my hen gets broody or will lay eggs or not.


dudley boyle
10/28/2011 12:40:34 PM

I have raised Cornish x Rock for over ten enjoyable years quite succesfully. If you let them continue after two and a half months they generally get to heavy and die of a stroke or heart attack. I add sugar to thier water with a vitamin and most survive without paralasise and you must keep bedding clean.I have made a Whiz Bang Mecanical chicken plucker and it will clean three birds in fifeteen seconds. These chickens taste even better if you Brine them over night.


tammy hermansen_2
6/9/2010 3:26:46 PM

Thank you. I found your article it to be straight forward and informative. My husband and I are 1st time backyard (1.25 acre)chicken farmers who purchased a dozen pullets of varied breeds from a local feed store about 8 weeks ago. We bought them to raise breed for meat and eggs. In the past weeks I have become very attached to them especially the 2 enormous white hens named Ava and Zsa Zsa and decided I couldnt slaughter them. However, yesterday I concluded that we do not have White leghorns like our receipt shows but Cornish Crosses. Their rate of growth and eating habits are astounding and amusing. Your article helped me realize it is inhumane and unreasonable to attempt to keep these gentle (lazy) birds beyond thier aniticipated slaughter age. Thank you for helping me make an informed decision.


diaann_2
6/4/2010 3:57:18 AM

i love to read motherearth news.would like to fine fresh cows milk,don't know to contact,i love fresh milk.


robyn_7
5/10/2010 10:57:44 AM

Where can I read more about broodiness, brooding breeds etc ?





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