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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone had any luck with this? I've got a doghouse and dog run that my dogs would never deign to step foot inside, and I'm thinking of setting up some nest boxes and putting my cochin and my brahma hens in there. It's dark and private. Should I stick a rooster in there too? Or will he just harrass them? I don't want to hatch out their eggs, but it seems like their instinct would require a rooster to get the process started.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Oh, sorry. I might hatch a few of theirs, but I want to sneak in the eggs of my better layers, the Ameracaunas and the Australorps, probably. Should have made that clearer!
 

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Ahhh...makes more sense now<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"> Honestly though I haven't had much luck with this yet. I think that it is worth a try though. Do you know for sure your eggs are fertile, is your hen rooster ratio such that you can be sure they aren't sitting on unfertilized eggs? I do believe that they don't want the roosters around when they are broody. If I had your set up I would keep an eye out for broody behavior and just put a couple of eggs in the nest and see what happens. The worst that can happen is they push out unwanted eggs and if they don't want to set they won't. I don't know if any of this helps but keep us posted. Hopefully you will have some chicks in 3 weeks.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I have three roosters and 25 hens, so I think there's a good chance they're fertile. Plus, the three guys are busy!<br><br>
So what's broody behavior? Nobody stays in the egg nests longer than to pop out their eggs and move on. Maybe it's still too cold/early in the season?
 

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Wow 3 roosters have they figured out whos the top "Cock" yet? When we had 2 and spring came we could have charged people to come watch the fights. I am just kidding I wouldn't ever do that but they were sparring intensely, even threw the fence when we separated them.UGH. Eventually the guy who lost up and left one day(forever known as the "free lone ranger")<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br>
Whenever we have had broody hens they stay in the nest for extended amounts of time, set on as many eggs as they can keep you from taking and kind of growl and puff themselves up when we enter the coop. It is actually kind of cute. So we have then moved them with a clutch into a nice dark spot with their own food & h2o and they seem to either hunker down or decide they liked where they were better and won't set. We have only successfully hatched out 3 chicks, the broody mama was a Buff Orpington. Hope some of this helps.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natensarah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10690033"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">... I've got a doghouse and dog run that my dogs would never deign to step foot inside, and I'm thinking of setting up some nest boxes and putting my cochin and my brahma hens in there. It's dark and private. Should I stick a rooster in there too? Or will he just harrass them? ..</div>
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No, no rooster needed (they do pester the hens) - main thing is, some comfy nest boxes, enclosed, with lots of bedding, & 6-8 fake eggs in each nest. I don't let more than 1 broody set in the same run though, because they will sometimes all wad up in the same nest after their daily break, leaving their nest to get chilled. Or fight over a nest, & break eggs. A 3 sided, roofed, 4 x4 ft pen is ideal for brooding - & I use those cat litter boxes with the clip on hoods as nest boxes - but I bought them years ago, when they were cheaper; 5 gal buckets on their side, blocked so they won't roll, work well too. Make sure all the girls are de-bugged before setting, & that the nests stay clean (check for broken eggs/feces regularly). Oh, & if you're checking on them, or moving a broody to another pen, do it at night after dark. I used to hatch over 200 chicks a year, using hens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Shahbazin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10734687"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">No, no rooster needed (they do pester the hens) - main thing is, some comfy nest boxes, enclosed, with lots of bedding, & 6-8 fake eggs in each nest. I don't let more than 1 broody set in the same run though, because they will sometimes all wad up in the same nest after their daily break, leaving their nest to get chilled. Or fight over a nest, & break eggs. A 3 sided, roofed, 4 x4 ft pen is ideal for brooding - & I use those cat litter boxes with the clip on hoods as nest boxes - but I bought them years ago, when they were cheaper; 5 gal buckets on their side, blocked so they won't roll, work well too. Make sure all the girls are de-bugged before setting, & that the nests stay clean (check for broken eggs/feces regularly). Oh, & if you're checking on them, or moving a broody to another pen, do it at night after dark. I used to hatch over 200 chicks a year, using hens.</div>
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This is great advice! Thank you! Just one question, did you wait for your hens to exhibit broody behavior, or did you ever just put them in there and hope they would become broody?
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>natensarah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10739392"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">This is great advice! Thank you! Just one question, did you wait for your hens to exhibit broody behavior, or did you ever just put them in there and hope they would become broody?</div>
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Usually just waited, although if I was in a hurry, I might stick an experienced hen in a pen by herself with a bunch of fake eggs (I like plaster ones best), & hope it would give her ideas; I never gave them real eggs until they'd stayed on the nest several nights in a row. Hens like privacy, seclusion, a dim/dark nest box just big enough to turn around in, & some nice bedding, like grass hay, all rounded in a smooth bowl shape, maybe some shavings or finer chaff at the bottom, in the nest box. Plus, 8 eggs or more are a real trigger that it's "time to set" (you can use less, like 4-6, if there's hens laying in the boxes, or it's later in the spring). If you set eggs under 2 hens at once, you can give all the chicks to 1 hen to raise, then re-set the other, & let her raise the next batch; don't let them brood more than about 10 weeks, & only if they're holding condition OK (most breeds won't set more 6-7 weeks anyhow). The reason here is, chicks are more compressable than eggs, so a hen can handle 20-25 chicks, but only 10-15 eggs - & eggs don't peep or crawl back under if they roll out & are getting cold.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Shahbazin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10740538"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">The reason here is, chicks are more compressable than eggs, so a hen can handle 20-25 chicks, but only 10-15 eggs - & eggs don't peep or crawl back under if they roll out & are getting cold.</div>
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Great information! Thanks so much! I'm going to have to just wait it out, because I have no experienced hens. I might try to push my little cochin. I'll have to get some plaster eggs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>slymamato3</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/10706025"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Wow 3 roosters have they figured out whos the top "Cock" yet? When we had 2 and spring came we could have charged people to come watch the fights. I am just kidding I wouldn't ever do that but they were sparring intensely, even threw the fence when we separated them.UGH. Eventually the guy who lost up and left one day(forever known as the "free lone ranger")<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue"><br>
Whenever we have had broody hens they stay in the nest for extended amounts of time, set on as many eggs as they can keep you from taking and kind of growl and puff themselves up when we enter the coop. It is actually kind of cute. So we have then moved them with a clutch into a nice dark spot with their own food & h2o and they seem to either hunker down or decide they liked where they were better and won't set. We have only successfully hatched out 3 chicks, the broody mama was a Buff Orpington. Hope some of this helps.</div>
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That's funny about your roosters. Ours got along great, though the head honcho, who was a beautiful Cuckoo Maran, attacked the baby this weekend and so dh butchered him. Our other two are a giant Brahma and a blue Cochin, and they're actually kind of buddies. They're the only ones too big to get up to the high roosts, so they cuddle up on the low one at night. It's cute. I would guess it's their breed, since they're both so nice and mild.
 

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i had one rhodie that was at least two years older than the others, and she was the one that went broody. probably comes with age..? we called her 'granny' because she was the old lady, always watching the little ones.<br><br>
once she had a nesting spot she liked (i'd set some up, but it wasn't dark enough there - and she preferred a spot under the roosting branch for ambience. so when i put a shelf overhead to protect the nest from droppings, she was good to go.)<br><br>
wait and watch, wait and watch.
 
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