Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jpeg1979, Apr 30, 2017.

  1. jpeg1979

    jpeg1979 Hatching

    Apr 29, 2017
    We have a super broody hen. We are worried that she is not coming down for food and water. She's brooding eggs that are not even hers. She has quit laying for 4 days now. What can we do!!??
  2. Broody hens stop laying eggs. If you've found a huge (and I mean huge) poop near her, then she is eating. They don't care if they eggs they are brooding on are theirs or not
  3. TheTwoRoos

    TheTwoRoos Crowing

    Sep 25, 2015
    Some hens are so determined to hatch,they neevr come out which leaves you to bring her out once or twice today for 15 or 20 mins amd and allow her to dustbath,eat,and drink.

    She won't lay until her brooding cycle is up,unless you let her hatch,then she wont start laying till she abandons them.

    Broodies have what we call Broody Poop which is a huge,gross pile poop that they usually give off due to the fcat its been hekd in for forever. She will not eat as much and may come out on her own.Broodies lose weight,and will gain once done brooding.
  4. billygoat162

    billygoat162 Chirping

    Apr 19, 2016
    American Southwest
    Broody hens will sit on any and all eggs they can find. I have a hen that is so determined that she will go days without food or water it seems. Both of my really broody hens lose what seems like 1/3 their body weight when they go broody.

    I would either break her (put her in a wire cage off the ground for several days so she has nowhere to brood), or give her eggs to hatch. Some broodies don't give up, even after several months of sitting on unfertilized eggs, which is really unhealthy for the hen and also means no eggs for several months.
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2017
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC!
    So has she been sitting on the eggs for 4 days and nights?
    Good point made above to look for a huge 'broody poop'.
    I like to separate a broody I want to let hatch with wire from the the main coop,
    so I can monitor her intake and output..and to avoid the problems of brooding within the flock.

    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.

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