The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Encouraging broody behavior in a hen?

encouraging broody behavior in a hen

This is the latest attempt at encouraging one of our hens to get in a broody mood.

We've been saving fertilized eggs, and with any luck one of them will start sitting full time in a few days.

The plan will be to block her in once she shows an interest. We also want to keep other hens from disturbing that broody feeling.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I don't understand what the device is that you show in the photo. Is it something designed for the application or is it a plumbing connector adapted for use.
Comment by zimmy Wed Mar 21 21:23:00 2012
I'll be interested to follow along on this. We've been hoping one of our hens will go broody so we can hatch some eggs but so far no luck. She has not been acting very broody lately but last fall she would love to sit in the nestbox for several hours and would make quite a ruckus when we gathered the eggs after she hopped off the nest.
Comment by John Amrhein Thu Mar 22 07:34:54 2012

Zimmy --- It's an old plumbing connector adapted to a broody area. Clearly, Mark should have made one of his collages --- maybe he'll make another post about that!

John --- I keep thinking that managing broody hens shouldn't be that hard, but it does seem to take a lot of learning and TLC! We've never had full luck with one yet, but are still trying.

Comment by anna Thu Mar 22 09:28:48 2012

Some girls feel the need to boil some eggs, while others don't...

I put all of my eggs in incubators, but I think Its good insurance to have broody hens. That being said! Its not as easy to find good sitters as you might think.. Iv had alot of problems finding any broody girls, even in broody breeds, that are willing to sit and actually be good mothers..

Maybe its just the way it is with domestic breeds, even crosses.

I'm raising some feral chicks atm(That I actually caught outside the city dump of all places) in hopes that I will get a nice line of broody hens going...

Comment by Anonymous Fri Mar 23 12:29:42 2012
Anonymous --- I agree that it's much tougher to find a good broody hen than you would think! Your idea of capturing ferals is a great idea.
Comment by anna Fri Mar 23 13:07:03 2012

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