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Getting your chickens broody

 
Amy Saunders
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I have buff orpingtons, along with several other breeds. I bought the orpingtons, specifically, because I read that they would be good mommy hens. I've tried and tried to get them broody, separating their nesting area and putting a black drape in front of it. Two hens did seem broody, so I placed them in separate boxes with their eggs, but about two weeks into it, they both broke all the eggs and deserted their nests. There were fully-formed chicks in the eggs, but of course they didn't live. I'm really tired of having to buy hatchlings and raise them myself.

Also, our rooster is a Rhode Island Red, and I have lots of different breed hens, will all of the baby "mutt" chickens be good laying hens?
 
Bev Huth
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Location: AR, USA
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I've never had any trouble getting my hens to brood, did have two of them over mother and kill 4 chicks on me last spring. (One would move to let them out of the nest, the other would jump in and keep them in the nest.)

Mine are Buff Orpingtons, Black Jersey Giants and, the resulting cross bred chickens. I don't separate nests, just leave one box I don't gather from and the hens brood those just fine.

What I do is pull the rooster to a separate pen once they go to sitting the eggs. Moving the hens is not a good idea, mine will quit laying for 1-3 days if I move them but, the rooster constantly wants to ride them so, once I have the fertile eggs I need for the year, I move him away from the hens to give them some peace from him.

You have the rooster and, good laying hens. If they won't brood, why not get an incubator and hatch them yourself? Not hard to do. I do that too, to get more chicks and, it works well.
 
Renate Howard
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Buy some chicks that were brooded by a hen. That's how we got our broody hens and all the chicks grew up to be good moms. Except two that set and raise the chicks together, silly birds!
 
Amy Saunders
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Bev Huth wrote:I've never had any trouble getting my hens to brood, did have two of them over mother and kill 4 chicks on me last spring. (One would move to let them out of the nest, the other would jump in and keep them in the nest.)

Mine are Buff Orpingtons, Black Jersey Giants and, the resulting cross bred chickens. I don't separate nests, just leave one box I don't gather from and the hens brood those just fine.

What I do is pull the rooster to a separate pen once they go to sitting the eggs. Moving the hens is not a good idea, mine will quit laying for 1-3 days if I move them but, the rooster constantly wants to ride them so, once I have the fertile eggs I need for the year, I move him away from the hens to give them some peace from him.

You have the rooster and, good laying hens. If they won't brood, why not get an incubator and hatch them yourself? Not hard to do. I do that too, to get more chicks and, it works well.



When you hatch them in an incubator, you have to take care of them yourself, right? I want the hens to take care of the chicks so I don't have to.
 
Burra Maluca
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It sometimes takes young hens a few attempts to successfully raise chicks. If your buff orpingtons have been broody once, they are very likely to do so again, and will probably have more success this time round. Don't give up on them yet!

 
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