Sunday, 22 August 2010

What to do with a Broody Hen...

Normally I get quite annoyed by my hens going broody but this week I decided not to keep chucking her off the nest or put ice cubes under her. Instead I've been given 16 quite random eggs ranging in colour and size to hatch out.
The eggs were given to me from a nice couple who have a smallholding just down the road from my fathers farm, I'd never met them before but my dad sells them corn and straw for their animals. When I picked the eggs up they showed me the possible ex-owners of the eggs and the two possible cockerels who could be the fathers (one large barnavelda and a small buff arpington bantam). The hens ranged from welshsummers, light sussex, rhode island red and a large number of crosses (big and small), I'm pretty sure if this hen manages to hatch out these eggs then anything could turn up!
My worries are that I've put too many eggs under her (16 - anyone know if this is too many), the hen is very young (not even a year old - teenage pregnancy!) and she is a hybrid and although she is being a good mother now (and very vicious with it) will her broodiness last 21 days and how will she behave when they hatch?

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