Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fdh54, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. fdh54

    fdh54 New Egg

    Jan 30, 2016
    I keep hearing about putting the eggs under a hen when she goes broody. How do you tell when a hen is going broody?
  2. fdh54

    fdh54 New Egg

    Jan 30, 2016
    And what temp are you suppose to keep the eggs at until you put them under a particular hen. I know you got to rotate them but that is about it.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Once you've seen'll never miss it again.

    They sit on the nest day and night...after 72 hours of this it's pretty sure they are broody.
    They can sit on fake eggs, real eggs or no eggs...this behavior is purely hormone driven.

    They flatten their bodies way out over the nest and appear to be in a trance.......until you disturb them.
    Then they can screech, growl, bite. If you take them out of the nest they may not be able to stand, or will just flatten down on the ground then make a beeline back to a nest.

    Browse thru this thread for more insight:
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Typical signs that are hen are going broody include:
    Taking increasingly long time to lay an egg - to then just sitting and not laying at all
    Swapping nests to those that have eggs in them
    Puffing out her feathers and clucking at you if you go near her
    Returning to the nest, even if you remove her
    General bad temper [​IMG]

    Broodiness is not an off / on switch - its gradual, so once a hen sits in a nest and only gets off to eat, drink and poop - more than likely only once a day then you can be sure she is broody. You can put fake eggs / golf balls under her once you are convinced she is broody just to be sure she is committed to sitting. After a couple of days, if she has been dutifully sitting, then you can place fertile eggs under her.

    Eggs for sitting are best kept in a cool place in your house - I don't really have such a place, but the pantry is ok as it does not get any sun. Once a hen begins to take increasingly longer to lay her egg, then start collecting eggs for her to sit. Store them pointed end down in an egg carton and raise one end of the carton, then raise the opposite end - at least twice per day. Mark the eggs with the date and keep only the most recent 10 - 7 eggs to put under her.

    Aart has already given good advice as i was typing so i hope that between us you have a start.

    All the best

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