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Broody for more than two months, is that OK

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Rayne17, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. Rayne17

    Rayne17 In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2010
    Moxee WA.
    I have a very sweet broody hen that has been laying on her one fake egg for more than two months. Is it ok to just leave her alone? She is eating and drinking ok. I can reach in and pet her or even pick her up and put her out with the rest of the flock. She doesn't get mad and run right back. She stays out for a few minutes. Some times when she leaves her box to eat or drink, another hen leaves an egg in her box. I have four boxes and 12 hens. She will even sit in another box until hers is free. She is very content to just stay put with a real or fake egg. I can reach under her every day to see if she is hiding a real egg, she doesn't get upset at all. I pet her and talk to her and she makes very quiet little noises. She is a 7 month old black star. I would like to just let her do what she wants in life... if you know what i mean. Just don't want her doing this if it will harm her in any way. Any suggestions?
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2010

  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    If she's still in good condition it will probably be ok. Keep a close eye on her though because they're more vulnerable to parasite overloads (lice, mites, worms) when they're broody and sometimes all those fluffed out feathers can hide some major weight loss.

    I usually break mine if I'm not going to let them sit or give them foster chicks. It's pretty easy and doesn't hurt them at all. I use a wire bottom rabbit hutch and put food/water in with the hen, but nothing that she can use for a nest. The cool air coming up thru the wire seems to help and it usually only takes a couple of days before they give up.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    She will become emaciated, weak and ill if this goes on for too much longer.

    I would give her a couple of day old chicks or break her broodiness as soon as possible.
  4. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    the way I look at it , besides what everyone else is saying is a broody hen doesn't lay eggs, if she isn't hatching anything I would try to stop her.
  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I am somewhere in the middle of all this. It is true they will lose some weight. Like so many things chicken, this will vary with the individual. I'll pick them up and feel how thin they feel, and compare it in a few days. I'll also take her out and force her to be up and about a few times a day, by shooing her outside, distracting with some treat, closing off the nest if she stays with just one, whatever. In many cases this has broken them, in itself, but it took several days. I've broken them, unintentionally, more than once by moving them and the nest and eggs -- I wanted them to be in the "broody coop" where others would not lay and where they could raise their chicks in peace. Only once did I try the wire cage thing, and in 3 days, it did nothing. The only surefire way to "break a broody," IMO, is not break her at all, to give her fertile eggs or chicks.

    Two months is a long time. Before I found BYC I actually had one stay broody for six months. She recovered, but did lose more weight than I should have allowed. So now I at least pester them, take them out, etc. if it's not a time I want chicks.
  6. Rayne17

    Rayne17 In the Brooder

    Apr 24, 2010
    Moxee WA.
    Thank you everyone for the suggestions. I think that i had better break her of this now. She is thiner than the other hens. It is to cold here where i live to let her raise chicks. I hope she will take to me changing her mind about laying on that fake egg. I will take all the fake eggs from each nest box, remove her from her nest box and put her with the rest of the flock. If i have to do it 10 times a day then i will. I don't have a place to separate her from the rest of the flock, so i will try this first.
    Thank you again

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