Finally! A Broody Hen!

Broody Hen

Jerry was checking the chicken coop for bees nests today, and just happened to see this hen’s head poking up from the little nook in the peak of the roof.

He walked over to me, as I was planting some celery seeds in the garden, and asked, “Have you seen that little black hen in a while?”

Come to think of it… “No, actually. I haven’t.” And then fearing the worst I asked, “Why?”

“Because she’s up in the peak of the chicken coop. She might be sitting on some eggs,” he answered.

“What?! Let’s go check!!” I dropped what I was doing and went into the coop to see for myself.

I’ve been dying for one of our hens to go broody. It’s so fun watching them hatch out their own babies!!

Shorty that I am couldn’t see way up there, so I had to get a ladder. Sure enough, she was sitting on a bunch of eggs. As a matter of fact, there were 10 eggs scattered around that she couldn’t fit underneath her. And she was sitting on another 10!

This was a real surprise, especially ’cause I didn’t even think this hen was laying yet. She’s been one busy girl!

I hated to bother her, but I needed to mark the eggs that she was sitting on. I put my gardening gloves on, in case she pecked me, and gently picked her up off her nest.

She was plenty angry with me, but she needed to get up and eat and drink anyways, so I didn’t feel too badly.

I removed the 10 eggs she had not been sitting on, and with the help of Jerry and Jada, we filled the spot with fresh hay and placed all of the warm eggs back in a nice, clean nest. I also marked an “X” on each of the eggs in case she lays any new ones in there. That way I’ll be able to tell which ones to remove if there end up being more than 10 again. Ten eggs is a good amount for her to be sitting on, much more than that and her body won’t be able to cover them all to keep them warm.

I’M SO EXCITED!!!

I have no idea how long she’s been up there. At least four days. And I’m kinda worried that the chicks might hatch and fall out of the nest. Do chickens teach their babies to stay in the nest like other birds do? I’m thinking no. Do you think we should move her to ground level?

Anyways, I’ll have to keep a watch on her for the next couple of weeks. I’m hoping she has success hatching!


Kendra
About Kendra 1104 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.

11 Comments

  1. I had the same fear as our hen picked the uppermost box to hatch her brood. As soon as they hatched and dried and fluffed I moved them. They stick close by – as you’re finding out – and now that mine are about 3 weeks old, they are out and about with the rest of the flock and momma takes good care of them. 🙂

  2. There were two eggs, but after 23 days we broke the other one open (it seemed safe as it felt like it was sloshing) and apparently it was never fertilized–hadn’t grown at all. But we had two broody hens and this was their second attempt (of the first two, one egg had started to grow and the other egg not at all). One of the hens finally gave up two days before the chick hatched (good thing since there was only one baby), that one looks exactly like your hen–I love their eyes!!

  3. Kendra, we just hatched our first chick under a broody hen. I heard the egg chirping on day 20, so we brought the hen and egg inside. The chick hatched that night and we’ll keep them together indoors (it’s cold outside still) until we move them out together in a number of weeks.

  4. You should probably candle the eggs to see if anything is growing in them just to make sure she isn’t wasting her time and body fat to incubate empty eggs. You will be able to see how far along they are too. You can put a little wall around the nest to keep the babies in for a couple days. Then move her and babies but do it withing a few days of hatching or they will be big enough to jump out of the box. you can also try doing it at night so she wakes up with her babes in an appropriate nest.

  5. Wait till she hatches, then move the babies, and she’ll go with them. Just set her on them, and they’ll all be fine. Moving her now will likely make her stop setting.

  6. I would wait a couple days and then move her…at least a few will fall out of the next for sure I wouldn’t chance it…

  7. Is there a way you could tack some wire to keep the babies contained? I’ve tried three times to move my broodie hens, and it’s broken them up every time. I’ve only had success with one broody hen.

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