Broody hen not appearing for food and water anymore

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Muffinburgler, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. Muffinburgler

    Muffinburgler Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 8, 2012
    Watsonville, CA
    (I hope I'm posting this is in the right place! Long time stalker but first time poster)

    I have a broody hen who has made her nest somewhere in the forest that lines our property. We can't find the nest, otherwise we'd have moved her somewhere less dangerous. For the last week she seemed fine on her own, coming back every day around noon to eat and drink and get chased by our dominant hen. But the last two days I haven't seen her.
    I'm trying not to panic and think something ate her, and I have my fingers crossed she just hasn't been feeling like getting off the nest yet.

    My question is, how long can a hen sit on a nest before she starts to suffer from dehydration and hunger? It did sprinkle Monday night (it's Wednesday now), so I'm assuming she got a bit wet. Would that keep her determined to stay on her nest and keep her babies warm?

    (as a side question, she's just turning six months old. Is that an unusual age to be broody? Her mother didn't go broody until she was two years old).
  2. Spangled

    Spangled Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 12, 2012
    Serenity Valley
    I have had broodies that I didn't see at all the whole time they were broody and then they came home with little 3 day old chicks. But I also have lost one that decided to brood in the wild. I searched for her, but never found her or her nest. So. That was sad.

    I had one hatch a couple of chicks in between hay bales. I covered the bales with a tarp, but after she had the chicks, she would sleep elsewhere and I would see her wet as could be, but still managing to keep her belly and breast dry so that she could keep her little brood warm as needed. I wanted to bring her in and put her and her brood in a small tractor, but I could never figure out where they were sleeping. Never.

    Sure, six months is a little young, but as soon as they start laying eggs they are liable to go broody. I've got an eight month old that is currently broody.
  3. Niss

    Niss Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2011
    I would start thinking of her as eaten, that way if she comes back you will have a very happy reunion. That said, my duck pulled that one on me and about three days in to her disappearance my dog found the nest for me. Good luck!!!

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