Broody Hen??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by newchickenmommy, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. newchickenmommy

    newchickenmommy Chirping

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    Apr 26, 2009
    Ramsey, MN
    I have 4 hens, and no roosters. Penny is a BO pullet about 7 months old. She is the runt of our flock, she lays the smallest eggs, but we love her because she is so nice and demure. Yesterday afternoon I went to collect eggs, and there she was on the nest so I assumed she was laying, like she does almost every day. Tonight, I went to collect eggs and there she was again, on the nest. But this time she was all fluffed up and I believe I actually heard her growl at me! Or something that sounded like a growl sort of. Does this mean she is broody? And would someone please tell me what that means and how long this will last? I hate to sound so ignorant, but I am a new chicken mommy, and don't know about all these things having never experienced them.

    Is there something I should do to stop her from trying to hatch unfertilized eggs? And if I remove the eggs will she stop and go back to being a normal hen again? Not sure what she is sitting on or how many eggs are under there, but she can sit there all month and there will be no hatching. Like I said before, no rooster.

    What to do, what to do.

    Thanks for your help in advance. I love this forum, I read it a lot to learn things like this and I should be able to get the answers from the ones I have read, but everyone else seems to WANT this behavior and I do not.

    Sally
     
  2. We have a couple of hens that do that also. We just kick them out of the nest, take what eggs are under them and don't let them sit too long.
    They will fluff up and growl but if you slide your hand under them, palm side down then they don't feel quite so threatened. They may peck a bit but usually nothing to really hurt. After you pull eggs from under her, then pet her reassuringly and then slowly work her off the nest. Might take a week or so of doing this but she should go back to being a normal chicken. You can also lock her out of the henhouse for a few days. Do you know if she is actually still laying?
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Here's a thread on how to break a broody. Some people report success with other techniques but Orpingtons have a reputation of being serious broodies. Being broody is hard on a hen. Nature has equipped her to handle it for a length of time, but if she is not to hatch chicks, I think it is not right to leave a hen in that condition unnecessarily.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2176186#p2176186
     
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast

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    I'd go in at night and put her on the roost.
     
  5. newchickenmommy

    newchickenmommy Chirping

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    Apr 26, 2009
    Ramsey, MN
    Thanks for all the advise. I went out this morning and stroked her for awhile, and she let me lift her up so I could take the eggs out from under her. Only one of them were hers! Anyway, I took them and put her out in the yard. She pecked around a little, but sure enough, it was only a shorty time later and she was right back in the nest. This time there are NO eggs under her, and she is determined not to let me pick her up again. She tried to peck me when I petted her. I guess she thinks they are still there.

    I don't have another cage handy so I don't know what to do. I asked my husband to build one quickly and he just laughed. He says she will get over it eventually, and I'm sure she will but I hate to see her all fluffed with nowhere to go! (If you know what I mean) It seems like a waste of time.

    Thanks again, the thread you sent was very informative.

    Sally
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I have never tried it, but some people have reported success by putting an ice pack in the nest. Cooling her undersides off is supposed to help.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    I have never tried it, but some people have reported success by putting an ice pack in the nest. Cooling her undersides off is supposed to help.
     

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