Broody hen ... how long will she sit there ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RooChick, Feb 20, 2017.

  1. RooChick

    RooChick Out Of The Brooder

    66
    10
    46
    Aug 8, 2016
    Australia
    Hi everyone,

    On Sunday one of my hens decided she would turn broody and has refused to leave the nest with her 1 infertile egg + 2 dummy eggs.

    I was thinking I could buy some fertile eggs, but I won’t be able to get them until the weekend.
    This means she would have been sitting on the existing eggs for 1 week already.

    If I add fertile eggs this coming weekend, will it be too late ?
    Would she give up on them because she was expecting them to hatch a week earlier or will she know there are chicks in there ready to hatch out and keep sitting until they do ?


    Also, I’m a but suspicious of one of my hens.
    The broody hen fluffs up and makes funny noises when other hens comes close, but there is one “hen” that is allowed to be as close as "she" likes and even sits on the edge of the nest box with her.
    Could this “hen” which is allowed to be so close actually be a rooster ?
    “She” hasn’t laid eggs yet, but doesn’t have any form of comb or wattles, so seems very pullet like to me, but I was wondering why “she” is allowed near the nest.

    Thanks for your help !
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    16,528
    4,560
    481
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    A determined broody doesn't go by the calendar, she goes by results - meaning that your bird will stick tight until she gets the results she's looking for (chicks) if you get fertile eggs in the next week or so.
    As to the gender of your other bird - the behavior you are noting is not anything to hang your hat on with gender identification - it would be best if you simply take a photo of the bird in question and post it here - once we can see the bird we can answer your gender question.
     
  3. RooChick

    RooChick Out Of The Brooder

    66
    10
    46
    Aug 8, 2016
    Australia
    Thanks Ol Grey Mare.
    I'm still deciding on whether I should give her a fertile egg or not.
    So if I leave her there on the infertile eggs, she must give up on them eventually ? [​IMG]
    If so, how long would it take ? A few months ?
    I can't bear the thought of locking her up in a wire a cage to break the broodiness.
     
  4. birdmanmax

    birdmanmax Chillin' With My Peeps

    290
    46
    76
    Dec 27, 2016
    Central Michigan
    I 100% agree with Ol Grey Mare.and as for when she will stop sitting on the eggs, it really just depends on the hen and her determination. She won't sit for two months but probably will sit quite a while maybe a month or a little under. I would think if you take her out of the nest box and take the eggs out and all bedding from the box, then wire it off for good measure she may be broken but it all really depends on her determination(she might just lay an egg somewhere else and sit or steal others).

    In my opinion I would get some fertile eggs and have her hatchem out. I look at it as one batch of eggs I don't have to incubate and a bunch of fun, excited little puff balls.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    32,779
    5,537
    556
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Better to cage her for a few days then let her sit and lose condition for a few months.


    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    16,528
    4,560
    481
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    X2 on all counts!
     
  7. RooChick

    RooChick Out Of The Brooder

    66
    10
    46
    Aug 8, 2016
    Australia
    I am able to get a hold of fertile eggs and I have the capacity to house more chickens.
    I also already have a section in my chicken run which can be closed off, so keeping her and the chicks separate wouldn't be an issue.
    The males I would probably list for sale or free.

    My broody is also a Light Sussex :)
    I was wondering, do you think she could raise a Pekin bantam chick or would they be too small for her ?

    Again, thanks to everyone for your help.
     
  8. RooChick

    RooChick Out Of The Brooder

    66
    10
    46
    Aug 8, 2016
    Australia
    Okay, I bought 8 Australorp eggs and I just put them under her tonight, but they didn't seem to fit that well.

    They are under her feathers, but not all of them seem to be touching her skin.

    Hopefully she will move them under her or maybe there are too many ?
     
  9. MerleMice

    MerleMice Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    11
    88
    Jul 12, 2014
    Central Wisconsin
    Can you build the sides of her nest up some?
     
  10. RooChick

    RooChick Out Of The Brooder

    66
    10
    46
    Aug 8, 2016
    Australia
    Gloria has built her own nest with straw. The straw is cup-like in her nestbox.

    Does this help keep them warm ?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by