Broody Hen?

FifasRanch

In the Brooder
Sep 21, 2017
20
4
49
Hi everyone! One of my hens that is 8 months old seems to be broody. Whenever I open the egg box she is always there sitting in an egg box and then she raises her feathers and hisses at me. The weird thing is, is that she does not peck me when I put my hand by her. She also lets me push her out of the nest and then returns back to her nest in about 5 minutes or so after she ate some food and drank some water. She has not been laying eggs and I have noticed that she has missing feathers on her butt. I am worried for her and I do not know what is wrong! Please let me know if you think she is just broody or if she has some disease. I will post a picture if that helps! Thanks :)
 

FifasRanch

In the Brooder
Sep 21, 2017
20
4
49
6FFFB8DE-089F-4609-A169-F7EC65C51197.jpeg
F1D58E68-A9BB-4B77-A129-4D9F6B2E2B0D.jpeg
 
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coach723

Free Ranging
6 Years
Feb 12, 2015
6,551
10,949
611
North Florida
She looks broody to me, classic signs. The bare spot may be where she has pulled her own feathers to get better contact with the eggs, or it could be feather picking by other birds (I can't see exactly where it is). If you don't want her to hatch eggs then it's best to break her. Otherwise she will keep doing this, won't eat or drink well, and it's hard on them. Breaking isn't as bad as it sounds. The best way I have found is a wire crate raised up on boards or bricks so that air can circulate all around. I take the tray out and turn the crate upside down (the wire is closer on the top than the bottom) or you can fit a smaller wire across the bottom of the crate to keep feet and legs from going through. If you keep it in the run with the other chickens then it's easier to integrate her back when she's broken. No bedding at all, her own food and water. She stays in there until she's no longer fluffing up and hissing at you, no longer broody. If you let her out and she's shortly back in a nest box, then back to the crate for another day or two. Some will give up in a few days, some stubborn ones may take a week to change their minds.
Broody1.jpg
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,030
27,593
1,077
St. Louis, MO
I think I am going to try to break her broodiness now that I know shes broody. Do you have any tips for me? Thank you!!
The picture @coach723 is the perfect setup. Starting early, it shouldn't take more than 2 or 3 days. Just make sure cool air can reach their underside. A little food and water in the cage and forget about them for a few days. It doesn't have to be fancy. Just a way to keep the hen from plunking her bottom onto something solid. That cool air will break the hormone cycle that causes them to want to raise a family.
 

FifasRanch

In the Brooder
Sep 21, 2017
20
4
49
She looks broody to me, classic signs. The bare spot may be where she has pulled her own feathers to get better contact with the eggs, or it could be feather picking by other birds (I can't see exactly where it is). If you don't want her to hatch eggs then it's best to break her. Otherwise she will keep doing this, won't eat or drink well, and it's hard on them. Breaking isn't as bad as it sounds. The best way I have found is a wire crate raised up on boards or bricks so that air can circulate all around. I take the tray out and turn the crate upside down (the wire is closer on the top than the bottom) or you can fit a smaller wire across the bottom of the crate to keep feet and legs from going through. If you keep it in the run with the other chickens then it's easier to integrate her back when she's broken. No bedding at all, her own food and water. She stays in there until she's no longer fluffing up and hissing at you, no longer broody. If you let her out and she's shortly back in a nest box, then back to the crate for another day or two. Some will give up in a few days, some stubborn ones may take a week to change their minds.
View attachment 2165276
Thank you so much! Do you think if I gave her fertile eggs she will become non broody faster? She has been getting picked on by the other chickens so it might be best to separate her.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
33,030
27,593
1,077
St. Louis, MO
Broody hens have been raising clutches of eggs for millions of years but they would have gone off into the brush to do it and not in the presence of the rest of the flock. Hens can be successful hatching eggs with the flock but I like to put a broody hen in her own quarters where there is nothing else going on except sitting on eggs and a daily foray for food, water, defecation and dust bathing.
Do you want to add birds to your flock? Fertile eggs will be slower. It will take 3 weeks for them to hatch once you put them in the nest and then it will be a month or two at least before she weans them. Then she will resume laying. Breaking the broodiness in a suspended cage will break the broodiness in a few days and resumption of laying will follow shortly thereafter.
 
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FifasRanch

In the Brooder
Sep 21, 2017
20
4
49
Broody hens have been raising clutches of egg for millions of years but they would have gone off into the brush to do it and not in the presence of the rest of the flock. I like to put a broody hen in her own quarters where there is nothing else going on except sitting on eggs and a daily foray for food, water, defecation and dust bathing.
Do you want to add birds to your flock? Fertile eggs will be slower. It will take 3 weeks for them to hatch once you put them in the nest and then it will be a month or two at least before she weans them. Then she will resume laying. Breaking the broodiness in a suspended cage will break the broodiness in a few days and resumption of laying will follow shortly thereafter.
Okay thank you so much! I am going to use the set up and break her broodiness.
 

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