Broody again!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Kneedles, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. Kneedles

    Kneedles Chirping

    Jul 22, 2014
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Because my hen has not left her nesting spot since yesterday and "growled" at me when I checked on her, I suspect that she has gone broody again. This is only the second time, so I would like to know the answers to the following questions:

    1. How will she eat and drink? The first time she went broody, I never saw her eating, and I gave her water by forcing an eye-dropper into her beak. I put some food next to her today, but she has not shown any interest in it. Will she eventually go out to eat and drink when I am not looking? Should I be worried?

    2. Because she has gone broody, does this mean that she will definitely take care of a chick or fertile egg that I present to her?

    Thanks in advance for any help.
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    1- you do need to monitor and make sure she does eat/drink. They usually will leave the nest 1-2 x a day for nourishment, if not, then they need to be fed/watered. To know if this is happening you have to monitor closely, they go right back to the nest, staying out only a short time. If she is not coming out, continue water. Mine did that only her first broody spell, she voluntarily drank when I just dribbled the water over her beak. Offer her lettuce - also a source of water and whatever is her favorite treat, like mealy worms hand held. If doesn't eat those, then I would worry.

    2-Likely she will try to hatch an egg, but I would not trust a new chick to her, I think she will know it's not hers and could injure or kill the chick?
    1 person likes this.
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Usually, a broody gets off the nest once a day to eat, drink, poop, and hopefully get a little exercise or maybe even a dust bath -- usually on the order of 10 to 20 minutes. They definitely tend to do this when no one is looking. Rarely, one never leaves the nest, so of course is in danger of dying -- but this is quite rare. I always keep the food and water some distance from the nest so that she will get a little exercise when she gets off the nest, to keep her joints moving. They tend to lose both weight and muscle mass when broody, even if they get up every day, faithfilly.

    I don't think there is ever a "definitely" with chickens, lol. But she should. The hormones that make her broody will also cause her to mother the chicks for a few weeks, teaching them to eat and drink, watching over them, covering them for warmth and to sleep, and protecting them from any aggressive flock mates.

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