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Broody hen..help!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Gdove419, Aug 19, 2018.

  1. Gdove419

    Gdove419 Chirping

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    Last night one of my hens was sleeping in a nesting box. I didn't think much of it, since they all prefer the same box and often line up to use it during the day. I have seen other hens do this as well. This morning she came out when I opened the coop and she had already laid an egg, so I brought it in. Later today, she was back in the box and has since not budged, and is squawking at us if we go near. If she is sitting on any eggs right now, I know they are not hers and I'm not even sure they are fertile. My other problem is we are leaving on vacation for the next 10 days on Tuesday and a friend will be taking care of my chickens. I've told her about the situation but should I be very concerned about her? Thanks for any advice! This is my first year with chickens! :th
     
  2. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Feather & Fur Whisperer Premium Member

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    If you want chicks, then leave her be....if not, you need to try to break her broodiness.
     
  3. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    If you try to break her now you may be lucky to have her done before you leave, but it can take 3 or more days. I would not leave her for your friend to deal with broody breaking, she would be safer broody on the nest with no eggs then depending on a different person trying to make sure breaking goes right. Worst case fine some good leather gloves so your friend can collect the eggs from her. Or if you do have a rooster ants possibly fertile eggs mark then clearly for your friend to identify and let her hatch a few, but your friend still still possibly need the gloves to collect extra eggs.
     
  4. I ignore it when a hen goes broody. I just keep on collecting the eggs, take them out from under her. Of course she doesn't like it, but she eventually gets over her broodiness on her own.
     
    woodenfarm and Chick-N-Fun like this.
  5. sawilliams

    sawilliams Songster

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    How long does that take? I had a broody for over a month before I was able to get her fertile eggs. Only reason I didn't break her was we where in the middle of trying to sell our house and move. Even the move didn't break her like I thought it would.
     
  6. The first time, she was broody for nearly 2 months. This time it was only a week and a half.
     
  7. Gdove419

    Gdove419 Chirping

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    Thanks for all the advice! My husband saw her out of the nest yesterday so he did take the eggs, but she then went right back to sitting. I had to tell my friend not to worry about her and to just let her be since we are going to be away. Some of the eggs may be fertile so we will just have to wait and see what happens!
     
  8. Shadrach

    Shadrach Songster

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    Hello Gdove419.
    If your husband has already taken the eggs away then your hen may just decide that sitting without eggs is pointless. Not all hens see it this way.
    The normal temperature of a chicken is around 42 degrees C. When a hen has been sitting the temperature around her middle stomach and breast increases (about 2 degrees C) and this is what needs addressing if your hen insists on sitting without any eggs under her.
    Some people advocate wire cages with no bedding, others dunking the hen in cold water to bring the hens temperature down; there are lots of methods.
    However, all the methods are trying to discourage the hen from sitting down so that air passes underneath her and cools her underside.
    One of the friendliest methods I've found is to bring the hen into the house and find a spot with a concrete, or bare tile floor. I have used a baby cage/enclosure before to keep the hen contained; I don't bother any more and just work around her.
    I wet the floor occasionally as the day goes by with cold water; it helps to discourage the hen from sitting down.
    I return the hen to her coop at night and place her on the perch with the others. In the morning I get her out and he goes back on the floor in the house.
    It takes about three days of this routine on average to 'switch off' the desire to sit.
     

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