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Is there a trick to Encourage a Hen to go Broody?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm wondering if there is a way to get a hen to go broody? I have a 3 year old BO that was broody last summer and raised a batch of chicks. I'd really like her to go broody again this spring. I've tried setting up a nest of golf balls, and I've tried isolating her in a private coop with a nest of golf balls for a few days. I've had a number of hens go broody for a few hours or a day and then, seem to just go back to normal. Thoughts? Thanks! :-]

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoiseChik View Post
 

Hello, I'm wondering if there is a way to get a hen to go broody? I have a 3 year old BO that was broody last summer and raised a batch of chicks. I'd really like her to go broody again this spring. I've tried setting up a nest of golf balls, and I've tried isolating her in a private coop with a nest of golf balls for a few days. I've had a number of hens go broody for a few hours or a day and then, seem to just go back to normal. Thoughts? Thanks! :-]


Giving a hen a bunch of eggs all at once will not cause broodiness.  When I want a hen to go broody I try to make sure she has a nest box to herself. If the hen consistently lays eggs in one nest she is more likely to go broody as long as she isn't an egg production chicken. I leave the eggs where they are laid if the weather is not hot; if hot I collect the egg each day and replace it with a dummy egg. With my hens, they go broody when there's 8-12 eggs in the nest. It is the gradual build up of a clutch that causes the hormonal change that leads to broodiness. Since your hen hes brooded before this should work. I have used this method many time with many hens in the last year. 100% have gone broody. Good luck.

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by nchls school View Post
 


Giving a hen a bunch of eggs all at once will not cause broodiness.  When I want a hen to go broody I try to make sure she has a nest box to herself. If the hen consistently lays eggs in one nest she is more likely to go broody as long as she isn't an egg production chicken. I leave the eggs where they are laid if the weather is not hot; if hot I collect the egg each day and replace it with a dummy egg. With my hens, they go broody when there's 8-12 eggs in the nest. It is the gradual build up of a clutch that causes the hormonal change that leads to broodiness. Since your hen has brooded before this should work. I have used this method many times with many hens in the last year. 100% have gone broody. Good luck.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Ok, great advice thanks! Should I confine her in the private coop with the eggs, as they gradually increase to 8-12? Otherwise, the whole flock free ranges during the day and goes to the coop at night.

post #5 of 8
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by BoiseChik View Post

Ok, great advice thanks! Should I confine her in the private coop with the eggs, as they gradually increase to 8-12? Otherwise, the whole flock free ranges during the day and goes to the coop at night.

Confining her to a coop would be best and then let her lay a clutch of eggs to brood. The problem with that is that quite often a hen will stop laying when moved to a new environment. In your situation, locate the nest the hen is laying in. Each day the hen is laying put a dummy egg in the nest to replace the egg that has been collected. When the hen goes broody you can either leave her there with fertile eggs to brood and remove any fresh eggs that are laid or attempt to move the hen to a more private nest. Mark the eggs being brooded so you can tell which are fresh eggs. It is not a good idea to leave eggs in a nest that many hens are using. Broken eggs through accident can lead to egg eating.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Well, I'm not having the best luck with broodiness... I had a leghorn/farm cross hen sitting on a nest of 7 eggs. She was acting very broody, so I moved her to a private coop with 7 fake eggs and she stayed very broody for about 24 hours. Then after about a day she stopped all broodiness and abandoned her nest. I've had a number of hens go broody for a short time and then stop. It's very strange.

post #8 of 8
Leghorn hens do not make good broody hens. Crossed with what? Numerous breeds have been bred for egg production to the point that most broody instincts are gone. If you'd like a good broody hen, I recommend silkies.
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