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  1. #1
    Sidewinder
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    getting chickens to set?

    I've got a small flock of chickens Rhode Island Reds,Barred Rocks,and Americaunas.They're laying good but I would like to get them to set so I could get some biddies.I've owned chickens before but could never get them to set.What is a good way to go about this?
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  2. #2
    Deadeye
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    I had better luck just getting broody varieties, as opposed to trying to convince them to set. Our broodiest full size birds were always Buff Orpingtons, but we had a Barred Rock or two that did the job as well. Otherwise, get a couple of banties. You can put full size eggs under them and they'll gladly raise those, too. I don't think any of our Auracanas ever set on eggs, but they sure were pretty birds and we liked the colored eggs.

    You can try taking a next box, letting a few eggs get piled up for a day or two and then putting one of your barred rocks on it and closing her in somehow for a couple of days. We did get that to work once or twice early on in our chicken raising days, but the banties were just so good at it naturally we just let it go after we got some of them.

  3. #3
    ratrabbit
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    I had chickens as a kid and now I have them again. Bottom line, you cannot "make" them set. They should start doing it on their own when they are ready.

    Nowdays there is so much interest in special breeds that I am sure some opinions about how to encourage brooding are out there. All I know is what I was taught when I was a kid and it seems to work now.

    Make sure they have big enough nesting boxes. Make sure they have enough nesting boxes so that they dont have to share (some will do so anyway). Leave them alone when they first hatch out, move them and the mother hen to a small pen when the eggs under her have stopped hatching- or when the first chicks are about ten days old or so. If you have a hen hatch out from a "shared" pile of eggs its no big deal, just move her and the chicks and she will mother them all. Of course I had a couple of hens insist on "jointly" sitting in the same nest. I took a chance and moved them both with all the chicks to a small pen and everything worked out just fine, they just raised them all together.

    Im sure the breed has something to do with it, all I have ever had is Game Chickens. However those I learned from always had bigger birds, RIRs, Domineckers, etc. So it must be the same basic rules.

    By the way you can tell when a hen is sitting (as opposed to just getting ready to lay an egg) by the change in color of her comb. I never can remember if they get darker or lighter until I get one sitting, but I believe they get brighter red. You will not have any trouble knowing the difference when you see it compared to your other hens.

  4. #4
    Site Contributor Wrangler
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    This doesn't help you in the short term, but I'd recommend adding a couple of Buff Orpingtons to your flock. They're the only ones in my flock that go broody, and they get interested in setting as soon as a few eggs pile up in the nest box. I wonder if you threw a dozen wooden eggs or golf balls into a nest if that wouldn't get one thinking about setting?
    - Graham

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  5. #5
    Sidewinder
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    Thanks for the replies,I guess I'll let the eggs pile up for a few days.How long can the eggs go if their not being set on?Especially if it's around freezing every night(31 to 3.
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  6. #6
    Sidewinder
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    +1 for the bantams...they will sit one anyones eggs...mike
    Home of the original Creedmore rifle range

  7. #7
    Site Contributor Wrangler
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    I've never had the bantams. One thing I can say in favor of the Buff Orps is that when they're not broody they're laying some large brown eggs.

    I've kept eggs overnight in the temps you're talking about & all was well.

    Good luck!
    - Graham

    - "We make men without chests and expect of them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst. We castrate and then bid the geldings to be fruitful." C. S. Lewis

  8. #8
    ratrabbit
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    Quote Originally Posted by DeepSouth
    Thanks for the replies,I guess I'll let the eggs pile up for a few days.How long can the eggs go if their not being set on?Especially if it's around freezing every night(31 to 3.
    Alot of times a hen keeps laying for a few days even after she starts sitting, or other hens will lay in with her. The problem is usually too many eggs rather than not enough, so dont worry too much about how long they keep in cool weather. Some of the eggs will not hatch anyway.

  9. #9
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    Ya didn't mention, but boy, ah say boy, I assume you've got a rooster.

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    Mark.
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  10. #10
    Deadeye
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    Re: getting chickens to set?

    once you get a reasonable amount of eggs that a hen is sitting on, mark them all with a sharpie. That way if she gets up for a minute and someone else lays a "newer" egg in there you can pull it out.


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