broody hen....more questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dar, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    5,930
    10
    251
    Jul 31, 2008
    I have a hen that is 6 months old.
    she sits on the nest and does nothing..except squeek and squock at you as you walk by or collect the eggs.

    I cant tell if she has stopped laying but i am guessing so cause there was no egg in that nest today but i cant see if she has moved to another during the day.

    1) Is this what you would call a broody hen?
    2) should I break her of her broodyness?
    3) would it cause any long term affects if i allow her to go through the broody cycle
    4) should I put a wooden egg under her?

    I dont care if she has stopped laying for a while for her broody period. She has given me a lot of eggs and I think she deserves a break
     
  2. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    5,930
    10
    251
    Jul 31, 2008
    I am so lonely i need to bump my own post... [​IMG]
     
  3. Adri

    Adri Out Of The Brooder

    91
    0
    39
    Apr 29, 2008
    (bump)

    I'm going through something similar and curious about what answers your questions get!
     
  4. Michigan Chickman

    Michigan Chickman Chillin' With My Peeps

    183
    1
    121
    Jul 11, 2008
    SW Michigan
    I need help with this as well! When I went out to collect eggs this afternoon, I had a hen (6/mo old RIR) still in the nest box. This was unusual because normaly the girls are well done by 5p at the latest. So, tonight when I went out to close the coop at 8p she was still sitting in the nest box. Much to her dismay, I reached in and took her egg. Is this what a broody hen looks like? As mjsdhs asked, what should I do now?

    Thanks for your help [​IMG]
     
  5. Vikkisrooster

    Vikkisrooster Out Of The Brooder

    39
    0
    22
    Jul 17, 2007
    Not sure if I have your answers or not,but I'll respond! I had one hen who went broody on us. I decided if she was gonna sit on her eggs that it was fine with me! So I jumped on byc to find all the info I could so I could prepare for the arrival of her babies.Then I started counting the days! In the meantime I didn't seem to be getting as many eggs from the other hens.Well one day around day 15 or so I heard all this noise coming from the hen house.....there was 2 hens in with her.Here to find out they were laying all their eggs in with her!!I thought at the time that it would be a good idea to seperate her from the others and let her sit on those eggs...and I started counting..26 eggs under her!![​IMG] But when I moved her she flipped and busted most of them.[​IMG] So that ended the baby thing for her and I. We would just make her get back out of the nest and in a couple of days she got over it! So maybe you could give yours a spot to herself and see what happens!
    ~~Vikki~~[​IMG]
     
  6. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    mjsdhs asked:
    1) Is this what you would call a broody hen?
    2) should I break her of her broodyness?
    3) would it cause any long term affects if i allow her to go through the broody cycle
    4) should I put a wooden egg under her?

    First, 6 months old is really young for a pullet/hen to go broody but I've heard others say that theirs did that young, so it is possible.

    1) A broody hen sits on her eggs non stop except to very occasionally get up to eat, drink and poo. (Maybe only for a 1/2 hour each day.) She will usually 'growl' and puff up when someone comes near her. If she stays put for several days without leaving the nest and growls and puffs up - she's broody. Sometimes a hen will appear to be broody because we see her on the nest a couple times a day but in reality she's off the nest when we aren't there. How often are you checking on her?

    2) If she's 6 months old you're really lucky to have already gotten a lot of eggs from her. Some hens don't even start laying until they are around 6 months old. Is she sitting on fertile eggs? It sounds like she may just be sitting on nothing... that can be be normal for a broody. To be fertile you have to have a Rooster who is mature.

    3) Some broodys have been known to literally die sitting on their nest because they never hatched any chicks to raise. That doesn't happen very often so it's not likely, just wanted you to know the unlikely possibility. So, in my opinion, it's best to either give her fertile eggs to hatch or stop her broodiness. Thus, I wouldn't give her a wooden egg.​
     
  7. Adri

    Adri Out Of The Brooder

    91
    0
    39
    Apr 29, 2008
    Thanks for the info Chirpy. My Buff Catalana hen was hatched April 29th, so she is quite young, but definitely broody by every description. When I was doing my homework, they didn't appear to be a broody breed. Most of our eggs are fertile, so I'm trying to make up my mind what I want to do with her. In the back of my mind, I worry that if I don't take her up on her offer, I'll never have another hen willing to brood for me again. [​IMG]
     
  8. ruth

    ruth Life is a Journey

    4,273
    80
    271
    Jul 8, 2007
    Woodville, MS
    I currently have two broody hens (5 & 6 months old) and two broody ducks (4 months old) but mine are all free range I've read that free range chickens lay earlier, which is true, all breeds of mine started laying at 4 months, and go broody more, which also seems to be true.

    I learned from past broodies, who didn't make it, to isolate them with their nest. I lost my first two broodies this spring. One laid in an old abandoned barn practically in the woods and even though I moved her nest and eggs to the coop she kept running back to the barn and finally got killed by a predator. The second broody was broody at the same time but laid her nest in the coop in one of the favorite nest boxes. As everyone came and went from the coop she would really freak out and puff up and squawk and wouldn't leave the nest. This went on for over a month. Toward the end she wasn't looking too good so I started watching her carefully to see if she was leaving the nest to eat and drink. She was leaving the nest briefly but wobbling to a place to sit and would not eat or drink no matter what I tried. She eventually left the nest, went to top roost to sleep and fell over dead.

    Better experiences this time around. One broody has her nest in my laundry room in outside building. She has been setting for close to 21 days and seems to be giving up on her nest. She has broken and eaten all but 4 of the 10 eggs in her nest. She originally had 3 or 4 eggs when I found her but I slipped more under her. Lately I've been finding broken rotten eggs in her nest and having to clean them all up. I finally candled her eggs last night and the remaining 4 look dead so I had an egg pipping in my bator and put that under her last night even though she had not sat on her nest all day yesterday that I could tell. I waited to see what she would do. I was hoping she would set it and at least end up with one little baby after all that time. She did get back on nest. I just checked on her and the eggs are cold and she is not on nest. I checked the pipping egg and it is still alive, thank goodness, but when it peeped she went over to it and started pecking really hard at it and had it bleeding so I've just put it back in bator. I'm guessing her broodiness is over so I'm going to put her back with flock and finally clean up my poopy laundry room.

    The other little broody went broody in coop, in same favorite nest box and the other bigger and older hens would come and hen peck her to make her move. So I put her and some of the eggs, plus a couple more, in a cage on floor of coop. She will NOT get off the nest to eat or drink that I can tell so I'm having to put the food on the ground right in front of her face and she will eat without getting up - same with the water but I've yet to see her drink but it's right there where she won't have to move. I haven't candled her eggs so I don't know how they are doing.

    The duck seems to be doing great however and her eggs should start hatching today or tomorrow however she keeps getting more and more eggs in her nest and keeps burying part of the nest and setting on a new part - keeps digging, burying. Last time I checked when she briefly got off nest there were over 40 eggs. I only have 2 Rouens and 2 Mallards and one of the mallards has her own nest in another place and it has over 10 eggs in it. They lay different color eggs, Mallard's are green and Rouen's are white so I'm guessing that though the Rouen is setting she must still be laying and she is stealing eggs that the other two are laying in duck house because I see eggs on floor and suddenly they are in her nest. Not sure if any are going to hatch since there are so many and she can't cover them all and some are way at bottom of hole.

    Well....this gives you all more than you ever wanted to know about broodies but thought others might could learn from my experiences. So far, no broody has hatched anything and all eggs are fertile.
     
  9. Dar

    Dar Overrun With Chickens

    5,930
    10
    251
    Jul 31, 2008
    I dont have a roo so I know for a fact that none of the eggs are fertile...

    she started laying at about 4 months old and yes they are free range sort of...they are in the coop/enclosed run for the day when no one is home then at 3pm i let them run free till they decide to come in at about 7-8pm
     
  10. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    3,788
    12
    221
    May 24, 2007
    Colorado
    mjsdhs - you have a couple of options since you don't have a Roo. You can either find someone with fertile eggs (they can be mailed to you) and get them as quickly as possible and put them under her to hatch OR, you can try to stop her broodiness by putting her in an all wire dog crate with no bedding (just food and water) for a few days or a week. That will usually stop their broodiness. OR, you can let it run it's course and hope she stops herself before getting to weak/sick.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by