Duckfarmerpa1

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Ok, so after a looong time of watching this one hen, I’ve determined that she is, in fact, broody. Sleeping in nest boxes. So, I can’t afford to lose a good layer right now..I need every layer! So, do I pull her out and let her set on about three eggs? I was going to do my own hatch, but I screwed it up and realized I just don’t have the time. But, my poin5 of hatching was to sell the chicks at Easter...that’s long gone. So, a broody breaker? Let me see, if I remember, I put her in a cage, with air flow under neath...food and water....how long does it typically take? Just varies and when she lays an egg she’s done? Ok, thanks guy, didn’t want to go to BYC, get so much different advice, it gets confusing.
 

Beekissed

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Ok, so after a looong time of watching this one hen, I’ve determined that she is, in fact, broody. Sleeping in nest boxes. So, I can’t afford to lose a good layer right now..I need every layer! So, do I pull her out and let her set on about three eggs? I was going to do my own hatch, but I screwed it up and realized I just don’t have the time. But, my poin5 of hatching was to sell the chicks at Easter...that’s long gone. So, a broody breaker? Let me see, if I remember, I put her in a cage, with air flow under neath...food and water....how long does it typically take? Just varies and when she lays an egg she’s done? Ok, thanks guy, didn’t want to go to BYC, get so much different advice, it gets confusing.
Every year your layers will lay less and less eggs, so if you need every layer long term also, you might consider letting her sit on a whole clutch so you can raise your own replacement layers. It's a sustainable way of keeping those eggs coming and in a world gone crazy, you have no assurances you will be able to buy chicks when you need them. Why not just isolate her and give her a clutch so you can have an expert do the hatching and brooding for you?

It's the only way I incubate new layers....I've found I cannot do it as well as they can and taking care of a brooder full of chicks is for the birds~literally. Easier if an actual hen does it all...frees one's time up tremendously.
 

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I bring broody hens into our utility room which has a cold, tiled floor and don't provide any bedding. This usually cures them within 2-3 days. A broody hen may not come back into lay for a week or two as broodiness depends upon an hormonal change, so takes a bit of time to reverse.
 

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Got one sitting a clutch right now, two ducks sitting on one clutch together and another hen in the coop that's making broody noises when I move her off the nest, so will likely be loading her up with eggs if she decides to be dedicated to it or possibly hold her off for a bit so I can give her some chicks I've ordered from a hatchery.

Any chicks you hatch this season will likely be something you can sell later if you don't want to keep them....chicks and chickens are a hot item right now. I don't sell any, I just can up cull hens and any extra roosters come fall.
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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Ok, I thin’ im going to let her set...now, wher do I set that up? I know she needs quiet...enough room, but not too far away from the rest? My chickens are free range..and they like to lay in one of our garages that full of hay...ugh!! But, there’s room for me to leave her in there...does she need to be caged? Just a regular type nest box? And, the eggs...do the6 need to be all laid from the same day, right? I don’t want too many chicks....but...do I have to put them in a brooder...or does she do all the work? If she does it, then, sure I’ll up the anti...it’s just, I have one brooder with stinky ducks that I almost sold today...Chris literally had to stop me... :lol: :lol: :love :love I love ducks...only 4 this time, so it shouldn’t be near asbad as last year with 43! But, they stink to high heaven and I have them in the den because we just got 4”of dreaded snow...so, now my house stinks again...
 

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Ok, I thin’ im going to let her set...now, wher do I set that up? I know she needs quiet...enough room, but not too far away from the rest? My chickens are free range..and they like to lay in one of our garages that full of hay...ugh!! But, there’s room for me to leave her in there...does she need to be caged? Just a regular type nest box? And, the eggs...do the6 need to be all laid from the same day, right? I don’t want too many chicks....but...do I have to put them in a brooder...or does she do all the work? If she does it, then, sure I’ll up the anti...it’s just, I have one brooder with stinky ducks that I almost sold today...Chris literally had to stop me... :lol: :lol: :love :love I love ducks...only 4 this time, so it shouldn’t be near asbad as last year with 43! But, they stink to high heaven and I have them in the den because we just got 4”of dreaded snow...so, now my house stinks again...
You may want to start thinking about outside brooders, no matter the temperatures. They are very easy to set up just using hay bales as the brooder sides and a piece of welded wire fence as a lid...easy to minimize or expand according to their needs as they grow and easy to put away afterwards. To minimize smells, you can use a deep litter of leaves, hay, twigs, bark, etc. and keep it at least 4-6 in deep...when the particle size is varied in size, the poop just tends to disappear into the mess and you can flip dry material over wet material each day to keep smells and moisture levels under the top layer. Life will get so much easier on you and the ducklings or chicks if you just keep them outside from day one. To give them heat, you can always go super safe with a heating pad broody mama they can duck under when they need to get warmed.

.does she need to be caged? Just a regular type nest box? And, the eggs...do the6 need to be all laid from the same day, right? I don’t want too many chicks....but...do I have to put them in a brooder...or does she do all the work?
She needs to have an enclosure the other birds cannot enter and she cannot exit...just enough room she can get out to stretch her legs, eat and drink when needed. If you don't confine her, she will head right back to the coop and the other birds will keep adding eggs to her clutch. A regular nest box is fine...it can even be a cardboard box with nesting materials.

The eggs don't need to be laid the same day....you can hatch out eggs that have been laid for 15-25+ days(a broody will lay eggs in a nest until she gets the clutch size she wants and then she will sit on them...usually a clutch is anywhere from 10-18 but can even be more~at that point, she stops laying altogether)....but most folks who incubate try to get eggs that have been laid in the past 10 days or so. I'd load her up with around 16 eggs, as some may be duds(not fertilized), some won't grow a chick to completion, some may die, etc., so allow for those events.

Don't be alarmed if you check and find some of the eggs have disappeared while she is sitting these eggs...she isn't cannibalizing her chicks, she's removing damaged eggs, eggs that are not progressing, etc. and you want that, trust me. Sometimes there are bacteria that can enter the shell and kill the chick...and then it sits there and rots for 21 days~it's a smell you will never forget and they can explode if you just touch them...this I know. :sick Any eggs left behind after she and the chicks get off the nest, handle with care and give them a nice big toss as far as you can unless you want to see what was inside.

I usually leave my mama's and chicks a few days in the brooder if it's warm outside but up to a week if it's nippy...then they are out on free range. She will want to come back to her nest with the little ones each night for some time after they have hatched but eventually they will integrate with the rest of the flock in their own time and way. I integrate them by not feeding them in the brooder any longer so they are forced to go eat in the coop with the rest of the flock....I have to wait until the chicks are big enough to hop up into the pop door, but it's usually by week 2-3.

Any easy way for chicks and Mama to drink without a huge mess(regular chick waterers are a huge mess because mama will scratch up bedding like crazy while showing her littles how to hunt for food in the floor litter....so the waterer gets buried if it's within chick reach.) is to get a small bucket(you can get them at Lowe's with lids or even use an ice cream tub) you can hang up that has chick nipples on the bottom and a cup nipple on the side so both parties can drink.

All nipples easily found on Amazon and easy to install into any container you wish~pop bottles, ice cream buckets, etc.:

Cup nipple...


straight nipple.....



You will thank the good Lord the day you invest in these little gems....they can transform your life when raising poultry and water fowl in brooders and even afterwards, especially if you ever do CX broilers. Clean water, no mess, WAY less water waste and moisture in the bedding.

You can teach chicks how to drink from the nipples by simply ticking them with your finger like you would be pecking them....and a chick comes to see what you are pecking at, pecks at it too and gets water. Monkey see, monkey do and they ALL want to peck at the little red things that give water.

Some CX chicks in a hay bale brooder in my coop, with a heating pad "mama"....

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Drinking from a nipple bucket....

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...and using the heating pad brooder mama....

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Once you've had a broody mama and chicks, you'll never want to go back to raising chicks and ducklings in a brooder....she does it sooooooo much better and you won't have to worry about if they are eating, drinking or staying warm. She's got it...

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Hope this helps!
 

Duckfarmerpa1

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As for outside brooder...I had them in our house/barn...with some heat...but we got 4” of snow last night so hubby brought them back in!! Ugh!! Last year it was the opposite!, I like your broody idea with the hen...I think I’ll do it tomorrow. I can either close off an addition to the coop for sick birds etc. it’s 4’x 11’. Or I could put her in a large dog crate...what would you do? Should I put her in the quiet? Great info..thanks @Beekissed !!
 
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