Broody hen

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Terri9630

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The hen that went broody and raised store bought chicks for us is at it again. We just had 25 Blue Jersey Giants delivered and since she was trying to set eggs we put her in with the chicks to see if she would adopt a few. WELL..... She took ALL of them. We have a brooder in the pen to keep the ones that don't fit under her warm but she tries to cover them all. She gets upset because they don't all fit. She keeps charging the fence/rooster.

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Peanut

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If I ever have a hen go broody at the same time I get chicks I'll try it. My hens always seem to go broody when I don't want baby chips. The only cure I've found to stop them is to dump a bucket of cool water on them, their eggs and nest. It seems to take "broody" right out of their minds.
 
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joel

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Peanut, I hear that works on fighting dogs also.
 

joel

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I heard of one lady who just put the brooder in another pen for a few weeks.
 

Terri9630

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Aww. Good mama. I love Jersey Giant blues. Gave away a number of Jersey roosters here, and no one has seemed to have seen them before. They are amazed at how big they are. And we ate alot of extra ones.
That's what we want them for. Broilers don't do well here, they can't take the elevation. If this hen wants to raise chicks every year then she can raise our dinners for us.

Do the Jerseys go broody often?
 

Amish Heart

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I have 30 something Jersey hens in one run with two roosters, and 3 of them are broody. Another run are mixed hens..buff orp, americauna, easter eggers, russian orloffs...and only one of them are broody, so I guess the Jerseys do better. I did pick up 11 meats at Tractor only because they were 50 cents each and got what they had, but wouldn't order a meat on purpose anymore. The Jersey roosters we butchered and the other large breeds were 7-9 mo old...the leg meat was kinda stringy, used it for dog food. The breast meat was excellent, and have a freezer full.
 

Peanut

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I heard of one lady who just put the brooder in another pen for a few weeks.
Then I might as well raise chicks... Early spring it the only time of the year I have extra time to feed and water a chicken(s) separately. Other seasons have other priorities so I have no time for boody hens then.

That's what we want them for. Broilers don't do well here, they can't take the elevation. If this hen wants to raise chicks every year then she can raise our dinners for us.

Do the Jerseys go broody often?
What's the "trick" to it? I've never had luck raising meat chickens. I tried for a couple years when I first started keeping chickens. They always have mobility issues, legs aren't strong enough to carry their extra weight then the other chicks kill them. Maybe it was my fault for raising RR chicks with them. To the RR chicks the meat chicks were nothing more than a slow moving targets. I've never gotten one to live past 3 months.
 

joel

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It is my understanding that you butcher the bigger broilers at seven weeks, the next group at eight weeks, all by ninth week.
There are persons who do 2500 broilers every eight weeks, twice a year.
 

Amish Heart

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I did 18 a little while ago. Have 11 week old chicks right now. These are cornish. That are fatsos. Red Rangers can go a little longer
 

Peanut

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It's been 10-12 years since I had meat birds. I just pulled of photos of various stages of growth vs age. I was mistaken. I've never had one live past 4 weeks. Most died within 2-3 weeks, killed by RR's. They were so slow they couldn't defend themselves like regular chicks. Every time I'd check on them... another one would have a bloody spot which all the chicks continued to peck until they killed that one.
 

Amish Heart

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OK. That sounds more realistic. I keep the meats separate from the main birds. They are basically eating and pooping machines for 6 to 8 weeks, so they are usually caged.
 

Peanut

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OK. That sounds more realistic. I keep the meats separate from the main birds. They are basically eating and pooping machines for 6 to 8 weeks, so they are usually caged.
At least now I know it was my fault. At the time I thought I was being sold crappy birds. It'd been 40 years since I raised a chick and I didn't do social media. When I first got chickens it was 3 from a friend. My only pen was a 10ftx10ft chicken tractor built on pressure treated skids. I’d pull it around a 2-acre cattle holding pen. In the spring I bought 4 RR chicks and 4 meat chicks. You know what happened to the meat chicks. The next spring I did the same, with the same result. I never bothered with them again.

With the big pens I have now I could easily raise a dozen meat birds and keep them separate. I even use the old chicken tractor as a side pen and sometimes keep birds in it for various reasons.

I might try meat birds again in the spring! Thanks for taking the time to help me sort this out. :)

tractor  (2).jpg
 
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Terri9630

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As Amish said, broilers just don't live long. To help with the leg issues we give them a 32x32 pen and put the food and water on opposite corners. Forces them to move around before the leg issues develop. You'll still have some that have issues but we butcher those first. If they are to small for us we will use them for the dogs.

The kids raised the or 4-H and we fed a high protein turkey and game bird feed. Our roosters averaged 10lbs, hens were 7lbs at 8weeks old. You can feed layer crumbles to slow down the growth. That will help with the leg issues too.
 

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