Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marie, Apr 15, 2009.

  1. marie

    marie Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    NW Oregon Coast
    I have an old booklet written by an 87 yr old woman who had chickens most of her life. In it she suggests that you can encourage a hen to be broody by not feeding her egg layer food, increasing her diet of grains, and providing her with a quiet, dark place to set up her nest. Has anyone had any luck in making a hen go broody? Marie
  2. Sallyschickens

    Sallyschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2009
    Puget Sound Baby!
    Hi Marie,

    By any chance was this booklet written by a woman who lived on Bainbridge Island, WA? If so, I think I have the same book.

    Anyway, those sound like intelligent ideas to begin with. I had a hen (frizzle) who went broody at least 4 times a year, rooster or not. Usually it was because I didn't collect her eggs in a timley manner.

    Try not collecting the eggs for a while.

    Good luck!
  3. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with Sally. It is possible to coax a hen to set by leaving eggs in her nest. I usually leave a couple in the nest until the hen is locked on for a couple days, then replace them with eggs I want her to hatch. You can take out the dummy eggs and put as many as she can comfortably cover under her. Don`t get greedy and over do it. Most full size hens can cover 12 eggs, bantams somewhat less. Change the eggs out at night so as to not stress her.....Pop
  4. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2008
    I think I may have inadvertently caused my Black Australorp to go broody by leaving several fake eggs in the nest boxes (to prevent egg-eating). After reading up on broodiness, and how to break it, I took the fake eggs out yesterday. Today she seems to be back to her normal (nonbroody) self.
  5. marie

    marie Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 9, 2008
    NW Oregon Coast
    Yes, Sally, you are right. The book was written by Minnie Rose Lovgreen and she and her husband did have a farm on Bainbridge Island. In it Minnie also suggests putting a bunch of plastic/glass eggs in the nest and saving the real eggs in a cool place. Then, when the hen is setting pretty seriously (all day except for 15 or so minutes off the nest) you can slip the real eggs under her at night when she's drowsy. That way they all hatch at around the same time, which according to Minnie is important. Taking her off egg maker and increasing the grains in her diet is supposed to raise her temperature (according to Minnie) and make her feel like setting. I had one of my hens go broody and she managed to hatch out one live chick (one wandered off and died and the others never hatched because she got off the nest to look after the one chick). So, now that I think I have a better idea of what to expect and how to set things up for hatching, I'd like to get that hen to set again. But so far no luck (even with all of Minnie's help)......Marie
  6. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I read a really neat article in the latest Backyard Poultry and he mentions the grain diet as a tool to induce broodiness. He was working with a breed already prone to broodiness and they have to be at the right point in their broody cycle but it can give them a nudge in the right direction.

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