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Possible broody hen and avoiding heat stroke

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi, I'm wondering if my production RIR hen could be going broody? If so, she seems to have chosen a bad day for it (95 degrees inside the coop by our coop thermometer). We have three chickens, I picked up one egg this morning, my dad says that he picked up a second egg, and then when I went out to check on her I picked up a third egg and shooed her out of the coop. She came back in and refused to let me kick her out. So, when I finally did, I shut the door. She refused to eat and drink and just set by the door. So, finally I let her back in. Could she be working on a second egg (assuming my Dad's memory's not bad), or could she be going broody? If the second, should I go ahead and kick her out? I'm worried she will heat stroke out if she stays in there as she is panting hard. I did put a frozen ice cooler by her in case that helps.
Also, does anyone have any advice on outside nestboxes? I would like to try that when we get one of these hot days, and block the coop off altogether.

post #2 of 4

If your hen is broody, she will insist on sitting on a nest 24/7. But as long as she's still laying eggs, she isn't fully broody.

 

I have solved both the broody problem and heat problem by frequently dunking the lower parts of the hen in cool water and blocking her access to the nest. This cools her body temp down which slows down the production of broody hormones as well as prevent heat stroke.

 

If you want her to sit on eggs to hatch them, a fan set to blow air on her while she's on the nest will help keep her cool. I also make sure the broody has access to cool fresh water at all times.

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I doubt she's a full broody, since she spent a lot of time yesterday and today running around with her friends.  I'm not sure why she would insist on going back in the coop after she had already laid though.  Maybe she was upset with me for taking the egg before she was quite done.  I will see what i can do about setting up a small fan or some easy to use outside nest boxes.

post #4 of 4

There are other reasons why a hen will want to sit on a nest besides being broody.

 

I have a hen who is picked on by a few others and she likes to hide out in a nest box to get some needed peace.

 

A couple other hens like to return to the nest or linger a long while after laying an egg just because they like the nest as a place in which to loaf without being disturbed.

 

If the nest boxes are needed for hens who haven't yet laid their eggs, I evict all of the non-productive loafers.

 

Your hen may be in this category, and you may want to observe her in the flock to see if she's being bullied.

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