any reasons to *not* break up a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by shaggy, May 15, 2009.

  1. shaggy

    shaggy Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Orange, Texas
    from what I understand the main reason to break up a broody hen is so that she can continue her egg laying endeavors.

    if egg production is not really an issue --- would it be ok to just let the hen be broody?

  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    If you don't break the behavior and you're not going to have her incubate eggs, a broody hen could set much longer than the typical 21 day period and it could have detrimental affects on her overall health. They don't eat or drink much while they're incubating, but they don't need as much because they're not expending as much energy. But if they weren't setting on eggs that would hatch they might stay there indefinitely.

    Although I did once have a hen whose first clutch of eggs didn't hatch, so I gave her a new batch of eggs to incubate. She was setting for 6 weeks straight, and is none the worse for wear today. Has anyone else had a hen set for longer than that?

    I guess you could allow your hen to continue to set on whatever she's got there, fake eggs, golf balls, dust specks, and see if she eventually gets discouraged on her own. But if she seems to be growing weak or ill you should take her off immediately. You also need to keep checking under her for new eggs the other hens might be laying there. And I wouldn't leave sterile eggs under her, they'll go bad & pop.
  3. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    Quote:My broody silkie was broody for about 2 months before I finally gave in to her stubbornness and gave her a clutch of eggs. I think she would have sat in there till winter time. Her eggs just hatched Monday. She is none the worse for wear but I brought her in the house in a dog kennel (travel kennel) for her duration and fed and watered her. she had quite a hearty appetite.

    Here she is with her brood and also while in confinement!!
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. DDRanch

    DDRanch Songster

    Feb 15, 2008
    I would agree with what SunnySide has said. I would add that it is a good idea to move her off the nest once a day so you can physically check her for parasites and monitor her weight if you decide to let her sit.
  5. hippie

    hippie In the Brooder

    Mar 31, 2009
    N.E. missouri
    i know that my hens that incubate eggs look pretty bad at the end of three weeks. they're combs turn really pale and they get the runs. i wouldn't let one set unless i wanted her to hatch eggs.

  6. shaggy

    shaggy Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Orange, Texas
    i don't have a broody hen (yet)

    i was just curious --- i'm addicted to these forums
  7. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    I have to say, my broody had pretty hard HUGE goose poo....It was as big as goose poo! But it was very healthy looking and feeding and watering her I think really helped her overall health. She can now keep up with those little darlings! [​IMG]

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