Broody hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by chicklets81, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When a hen goes broody, does she start sitting after egg #1 is laid, or does she start sitting when her last egg of her nest is laid?

    meaning, if you are gathering eggs and you take the egg while she is off, you may not know shes sitting.

    And if she lays 1 egg, and wants a whole bunch, does she continue to sit while she lays a whole bunch more?

    I guess I'm a little confused. I've never experienced this before, so that's why I don't know how it works.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    You will know when a hen is ready to incubate eggs when she remains on the nest throughout both day and night, only leaving the nest to relieve herself, eat and have a quick dust bath. She will also be aggressive towards you. Personally, I do not set eggs under a broody hen until I see this behaviour for at least 48 hours.

    A broody hen will begin incubating eggs once she stops laying (almost, at least). The idea being that she lays a clutch of eggs, then begins incubating them all at the same time (so they hatch at roughly the same time).

    What most people do is collect eggs and then return them (or any other fertile eggs) to the broody hen, once she is broody (see top paragraph).

    I hope that helps
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    If left to their own devices, they will lay a bunch of eggs then go broody. I can't tell you how many eggs she'll lay first - some will lay more or less than others. If there is one egg in the nest and she's off it, it just means she's laid her egg for the day and is now out doing her chickeny things. If I'm planning to hatch with a broody, I'll keep a dozen eggs on the counter at all times so if I have a broody, I can set them under her.

    Sometimes it seems like a broody will become so overnight. One day all the hens will be out scratching and pecking and eating bugs, and the next day you'll go out to pick eggs and there will be a fluffy, flattened out hen in that nest giving you the stink eye and trying to remove your arm if you dare to try to reach under her.

    [​IMG]

    This is one of my broodies from some time ago. See how she's spread out kind of flat yet has her feathers fluffed up? You will also know if a hen is broody when she spends several days and nights in a row on the nest. A hen doesn't need a nest full of eggs to go broody, though. When those hormones hit, she'll sit on rocks, a doorknob, air... it doesn't matter. She'll just look like that cranky girl in the picture and do what she can to protect her nest.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  4. King CreekRanch

    King CreekRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Also they will peck their feathers out from underneath them when they get ready to go broody.
     
  5. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Overrun With Chickens

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    They also growl when you approach and puff up. Some don't bite the hand that feeds them.
    My uber broody has never tried to bite. Others I have had would draw blood.
    [​IMG]
    This is the uber broody. Also shows that flattened out position. She growls and puffs but does not bite.

    [​IMG]

    This is the biter. Stink eye and all.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  6. Minnowey

    Minnowey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The hen will lay a number of eggs, go broody ,and then she stops laying. She will puff herself up and scold anything that approaches her. The hen will only get up a few times a day, and will spend all night on the nest. She will pluck all of her feathers out from her chest.
     
  7. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    How it works around here..;).....My Broody Hens love to steal a nest box of eggs....People do not really know this, but Hens can steal eggs and carry them under their wings to another nest that they have chosen...;).....It happens here...lol......anyways...:)

    Each Hen is different ...I leave mine a few days to really become broody and collect the eggs as usual...Then I will collect eggs she is to set and remove her from the flock into a new nest I made inside a Brooder with feed and water.....I leave her alone to settle back on the nest and wait for the Chicks to hatch...I have a Hen right now setting and was due yesterday and today .....;)......



    Cheers!
     
  8. Minnowey

    Minnowey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck with your new chicks!
     
  9. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens



    Thanks so much...I went to feed my Ducklings and Roxy got off the nest....She was thirsty..:)...Anyways the eggs were all peeping...I think I will have a great hatch again?......:)



    Cheers!
     
  10. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Turns out, my hen wasn't broody. This is the 2nd time a hen has "fooled" me. A couple of months ago, one of the Buff Orpingtons was just sitting in the nesting box at night for a few hours. But when I went to check on her in the morning, she was out of it, and never got back in.

    Looks like my cochin bantam did the same thing. She slept in it for a few hours, so I got excited, than she got out. Oh well, hopefully maybe someday i'll be able to witness a hen go broody.
     

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