Broody hen affecting the rest from laying?

Chefads

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
10
0
22
I noticed that since one of my hens started brooding there has been a reduction in egg production by the rest of the flock. Is this normal?
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
50
193
S.E. AZ
Could they be laying somewhere else and you're not finding the eggs? The broody could be in the "favorite" nest and the others decided to find a "second favorite" spot.
When I've got too many broodies parked in the nests, everybody else decides to lay eggs on the coop floor.
 
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Chefads

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
10
0
22
she has definitely occupied the favorite nest and i found one on the coop floor but dont seem to find the rest yet. its not that big of a space.

Do you move your broody hens to another location or just protect them inside the coop?
 

Chefads

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
10
0
22
ok, thanks. I just read your post. For me, its only been a few days of broody behavior. This is a total first for me as its our first season with a rooster and none of our hens have ever done this before.

So,

1. take her our of nest and see what she does? Run off or squat on the floor?

2. If she squats then give her some eggs to hatch?

3. Since she is in the favorite nesting box, would you move the whole box or just the hen?

4. My hen house is not that big but i could put a dog crate in there with the nesting box and partition her off?

Thanks so much!!
 

azelgin

Songster
12 Years
Jan 18, 2008
1,277
50
193
S.E. AZ
1.) yes

2.) yes

3.) Move the whole nest, if possible. Mine are built through the coop walls, so it's not possible.

4.) Yes, you need to keep her from returning to the old nest location.

As the advertising always states, your results may vary.

It's worked so well for me this year, I keep moving broody hens. The wife says "STOP! We have enough chickens already!".
 
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SlipsWife

Songster
6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
808
92
138
Odessa, Texas
We've noticed the same thing! At first, I tried to break her broodiness...no luck. I could have tried one method a little harder. I put her in the grow out pen with the younger group. If she would have stayed broody in there, it would have been fine but she didn't. Then she was sleeping on top of their little coop, and I felt bad about it and put her back into the regular coop at night, and didn't follow through with removing her the following days.

Then, she went full broody in the main nesting area, which is one large box that 2 hens usually lay in at once. I've even seen the bantam cochin squeeze in the middle once. So we set up separate nesting boxes on top of the main one and convinced her to stay. Now she gets out and lets the other girls lay in it...
We marked the 2 eggs we're letting her sit on, with plans of finishing them off in the incubator and hopefully breaking her broodiness once the incubator opens up and I feel like putting more effort into it.

That being said, their egg production has dropped by almost 1/2. Of course the EE isn't laying anymore, since she's broody. One of our red sex links who hasn't taken a day off in months, has taken 3 days off in the last week. Our Cream Legbar that had been laying 3-4 a week gave us 1. The other sex link has taken a couple of extra days off that she normally doesn't. The turkens seem to be the only ones still laying on their normal schedule and offering to lay in her nesting box. The bantam cochin hasn't been a strong layer for us so not much change. We believe one of our other CL's started laying a week ago but other than the 1 egg, we haven't seen anything from her so its possible the EE laid 2 before she went broody, that was the last day she laid, or the CL did lay and we just need her to get into the program full swing.

If I had it to do all over again, I wouldn't have let her go full broody. We were getting almost full counts on eggs for a few weeks up until about a week ago.
 

Chefads

In the Brooder
7 Years
Dec 19, 2012
10
0
22
Yeh, I was in full production last week and now everything has dropped off. If my broody hen wants to hatch then i'm going to separate her and hope for the best that the rest return to normal laying!?!?!??!!!
 

SlipsWife

Songster
6 Years
Mar 10, 2013
808
92
138
Odessa, Texas
I'm hoping once we remove her things will get back into the swing of things. Our incubator won't be open until at least Tuesday. I've thought about going ahead and moving her but if she decides to stop being broody, I don't know what to do with the eggs. Its only 2 but I should have planned this out better...I guess if I move her and she gets off the eggs I can just add them to the incubator and try them. I've read of people doing staggered hatches but I'm not sure 1 week in and hatching are the right time frames...

Or do I leave her there and see if things pick back up?
 
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