We have a Black Copper Marans hen who has been broody for several weeks. If you are here for the recipes and don’t know chickens, being broody means sitting on eggs for the purpose of hatching baby chicks. This hen lives in a coop without a rooster so the eggs she has access to are not fertile and will never hatch a chick. Broodiness is natural in some breeds and less so in others. They don’t control it and it is hard to “break” a broody hen. I thought this girl would just give up but she hasn’t. Every couple of days I reach under her and retrieve the infertile eggs she is sitting on and replace them with fresh, infertile eggs. I do this to keep they eggs from spoiling under her. We have so many hens laying that I can afford to waste a few eggs.
Today was her lucky day. I took three eggs from my Icelandic hen Lukka so she could finish incubating and hatching them for me. I decided to give the three eggs Lukka has been sitting on to the Marans hen. Look how excited she is!
Before giving the eggs to the broody, I candled them using a flashlight in the dark to be sure the chicks were still alive. I took a little video of the candling, removal of the infertile eggs from under the broody and placement of the eggs with chicks inside. You can see in the video that the chick has broken through the inner membrane inside the egg and now just has to break out of the shell. I could hear at least one of the chicks cheeping! If all goes as planned, they should hatch tomorrow. In the video if you listen carefully you can hear a little peep. The broody hears it and she feels the eggs moving under her. You can hear her start to cluck and talk to her babies. Please excuse the bandaid on my arm. I am always getting dinged up around here!
Wish her luck! Please check back for baby pics!
Update! 24 hours later and all three eggs have hatched. It looks like two Cuckoo Orpingtons and one Chocolate Orpington. Mom and babies are all doing well. It is amazing how quickly they dry and fluff up under a hen on a hot day versus in the humid incubator.
That’s one broody down and three to go!