Broody BR sitting in empty nest?

Mrs. Linkletter

9 Years
Jun 10, 2010
I'm still new to chickens and could use some insight from the experts! Have ten 1-year old girls, 6 barred rocks and 4 RIRs. I thought my BR Rosie was egg bound but now am pretty sure she is broody. She has spent the last two days and nights sitting in a nest box, all puffed up and, shall we say, snarky. I take her out to let her free range for an hour or so a day and she happily scratches up a storm, goes back to the coop, eats and drinks and then back to the nest. Thing is, she's sitting in an empty box - no eggs! I remove all eggs promptly, including her own. Never thought we'd have a broody chicken. What should we do to keep Rosie happy? Obtaining fertile eggs and letting her incubate them is not an option for us. Thanks for any suggestions!

Yes, some hens will go broody without any eggs to sit on. Out of nine bantams, five of ours are doing this right now. What I do is try to interrupt their routine by taking them out of their favorite nestbox or blocking their entry to it. Most of ours give up after a few days, but Billina, our head hen, is stubborn. She's on her second 21 day broody period this spring right now. I keep an eye on her weight to make sure she's not losing too much, feed her scrambled eggs to keep up her strength, and just let her do what makes her happy.
I have a banty that is doing the same thing right now. if you dont want them to be broody you need to keep taking them off their nest. If you can put her outside the coop for the day so she can't get back on her nest that would be best. If it comes down to it take her completly out of the home roost and put her in a dog crate or any other enclosure to make her surroundings unfamiliar. Usually a change in scenery for a few days will change their mind about being broody. Chances are you will have this particular hen always having a tendancy to being this way. You could always trade her to a farmer who is looking for a hen to hatch some eggs under. I know peoplewho would love to have a hen like that! The most important thing is to make sure she is eating and drinking at least once each day. they can loose weight fast!

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