Broody hen not taking breaks?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Scratchychiken, Oct 6, 2016.

  1. Scratchychiken

    Scratchychiken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2015
    South-West Tennessee
    Hi everybody. Man it's good to be back on this forum.

    So I have a Cochin Bantam hen hatching three eggs: one is Barred Rock/Minorca(most likely) mix, the other two are Barred Rock/unknown.

    I noticed my hen isn't taking little breaks that I have noticed. I'm probably going to set up a cam to see if she moves throughout the day.

    I'm just wondering if anyone has had to deal with this and some ways to maybe solve this dilemma.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Mine always seemed to take them early morning and I often miss it. You certainly can take her off the nest and shag her outside, she will probably go eat, drink, dust bath and poop, than run back to her eggs, and she just might run back to the eggs because she's already done it. They only get off once per day, and at the end they stay on the nest the last two days usually.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Agree with the above. Broodies are quick and stealthy about getting off the nest. It's usually not more than about 15 minutes, so most of the time the humans miss it. One easy thing to look for is their poop---broody poop is quite distinctive. It's large and smelly and takes chicken poop to a whole new level [​IMG]. But, if you're really concerned, go out and take her off the nest. You'll likely have to carry her out into the run and set her down. It will take her a few minutes to come out of her trance, but chances are she'll move around, eat, drink, dust bathe, maybe terrorize the other hens, then back she goes. If she already got off on her own, taking another break won't hurt the eggs one bit.

    That said, it's pretty rare for a hen to not get off the nest. After all, this is how they reproduce, and baby chicks are very dependent on momma. It would be kind of defeating the idea of reproduction if the momma suicided while trying to hatch babies.
  4. Shezadandy

    Shezadandy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2015
    Portland OR
    One did a 15 minute break and refused to leave the coop.
    The current one left at almost exactly 1pm each day and was off for a good 45 minutes, and made rounds in the run.

    If you're around this weekend, maybe look for a door-alarm- like the kind in smaller stores to alert the clerk that the door is open. It's just a motion sensor inside the coop at the entrance to the nest box- and it works like 500 feet away- the 2nd part of the device you keep in the house or within the 500 feet -- and it will chime she leaves and comes back.

    Usually it's about the same time every day, whatever that time ends up being.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    If using a cam where pictures taken at intervals to conserve power and memory, then do 10 minutes. Mine typically come of nest between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. If lousy then she will also spend time dust bathing.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    'Back'? New screen name?

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