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Broody Behavior Question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by capebird, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. capebird

    capebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2011
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    I've got 4 Barred Rocks all the same age, about 11 months old.
    One of the hens has been lying around in the nest box for much of the
    day. When I open the nest box, her feathers go up in a way that is
    similar to what you might envision the way the needles on a porcupine
    stand up. She makes these weird noises. I've been removing her from the
    nest box and putting her on the ground where she acts quiet for a few moments
    and then just starts acting normal.... roaming around pecking at the ground like usual.
    Does this all sound like broody behavior.

    My first chickens....so i've got no experience with all this.
    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Sort of. That fluffing up sounds like it. They make a certain puck, puck puck, when they are off the nest eating and drinkiing. They can be pretty protective of their nests and may growl at you if you get close. When they are on the nests, they can kind of zone out. They quit laying eggs when they go broody.

    Her going about her business when you take her off the nest does not sound like it. What should happen is she stays fluffed up and makes that regular pucking sound. She may eat, drink, and go poo, maybe even socialize with the others for a bit, but she will remain fluffed up and making that sound. Sometimes they rush back to the nest and sometimes they can stay off for as much as an hour, but they do go back to the nest.

    I've had some that acted way but were not truly broody. My test to see if one is truly broody is that she spends two consecutive nights on the nest instead of on her normal roosting spot. I don't give them eggs to hatch until they prove they are serious. I've had some that could fool you during the day. One went for more than a week like that but never kicked over the edge to true broodiness.

    It sounds like the broody hormones are acting up and she may be broody or may be thinking about it. But check on her at night to see where she is before you trust her to really be broody.
     
  3. capebird

    capebird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2011
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    Thanks for the reply.
    I'm not looking to hatch new chicks so not looking for my hen to keep being broody.
    How long does broody behavior last?
     
  4. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2011
    Springfield, Ohio
    Sounds like my broody. One difference is that she would not leave the nest unless we moved her, and then she would take a couple of minutes to come out of her trance only to go back to the nest. I'm not sure from experience how long it can last since we gave her some chicks. But, I wouldn't be surprised if your's weren't broody for about 20 days. This is the normal incubation time.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Very few broodies will break from being broody within 3 weeks. Almost all of them will stay broody a lot longer, sometimes for several months.

    I personally think you need to break her from being broody since you don't want her to hatch chicks. A broody hen does not eat, drink, or exercise as much as hens that are not broody. Over time, they can weaken. They also don't lay eggs and they can disrupt the henhouse while broody but the health concern is my major reason for suggesting to either break one or give her eggs to hatch.

    This thread should help you. I favor the raised cage method of breaking a broody but not everyone has a place they can use.

    Good luck!!!

    Break a Broody Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2176186#p2176186
     
  6. chicken oof

    chicken oof New Egg

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    Aug 26, 2012
    my chicken seems to be being broody, but she doesn't have a nest. She sits around puck-pucking with her feathers fluffed up.
    This afternoon, she tried to incubate a stone, but gave up.
    Is she broody?
     

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