Broody Hen questions!


12 Years
Apr 14, 2007
ok, I need lots of answers... I have a ton of questions.. I hope this is the correct place for this.. I have a hen who is broody.. I don't have a roo but I am getting some eggs tomorrow for her because I can't change her mind.. I have tried for four days.. She is on one of the nest boxes and all the hens are TRYING to squeeze in there and lay... She isn't moving and they aren't going into another nest! Today I found three on the floor in different 'nests' made into the shavings... I have four nest boxes and they only use one---The ONE she wants to be in...

Nesting area???
Well, today, I purchased a covered cat litter box (I didn't think the pans were so DEEP...) --do I fill that thing up? With shavings (that's what I use in the coop/nestbox and dropping board), straw???
IF the cat box is too deep, I have a smaller pet carrier?? Can I just place the box on the floor of the coop w/ the door open until it's close to 'due date'? OR do I need to place her in the caged section of the run??

Food and water?????
I have been taking her off the nest twice a day and MAKING her move around --watching to see if she is eating and drinking water. It takes her a few minutes but she will finally get up and eat the seeds/feed like she is starving , drink a few drinks and then she is back to the nest box.. Is this enough? DO I need to take her out and make her drink more often? HOW? What ? and how much should she be drinking.

The other hens????
the other girls will peck at her --as if to say "Come on girl--snap out of it"--when she is sitting down, puffed up, after I have removed her from the nest box, Do I need to worry about this??

I know I am just a worried Granny but this is my very first broody experience and I want to get it right...Thank you all for your suggestions, ideas, tips on getting thru the next 22 +days...


10 Years
Oct 16, 2009
I would separate her from the other hens in whatever facility you have that is hen and chick friendly. Leave her overnight with golf balls etc. to ensure that she is remaining broody before giving her fertile eggs to brood. I generally provide some good long hay on top of any bedding material.

Food and water.......The broody hen often eats and drinks very little and the brooding hen usually loses weight. Most broody hens will come out once a day to eat, drink and empty. If your hen doesn't come out I would lift her daily to take food and water or place food and water just about at beak's end. I wouldn't lift her beyond about day 19 as they often sit fast for the last 2 days or so to maintain humidity.

She will lose or pull out feathers, particularly from her chest area to form a brood patch.

By and large she will instinctively know just what to do.

Good Luck,


Free Ranging
15 Years
Feb 14, 2008
This world is not my home.
What she said!

I wouldn't take her off the nest for food and water. Generally, if you provide a quiet place, food and water, chickens do just what God designed them to do. No need to worry or fret about her starving and such...I've never heard of a chicken dying on a clutch of eggs yet.

Good luck!

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