broody hen

nhorrin

Chirping
Mar 12, 2011
76
4
94
How can you tell for sure that a hen is broody? Are there particular signs, etc.? I have a hen that is fluffed out on the nest and does not want to move when I collect the eggs. She seems real protective of the egg or eggs, but does not return quickly if removed from them.
 

Keggen

Songster
7 Years
May 24, 2012
264
1
108
Minnesota
Does she stay on the nest at night or go up to the roost? I have 2 broody hens right now, my first. The first one is very dedicated and is on the nest almost all the time like a good mama. She fluffs up her feathers and makes mad noises if anyone, chicken or person, gets too close to her. I've only seen her leave the nest once for about 5 minutes to get out of the coop and do some pruning and clean up. It was so funny to watch because she was clearly in a hurry and then ran back to her nest as fast as she could!

The other hen is less dedicated. She tried to steal the other hens nest in the first few days but them I gave her another nest with a fake egg. It worked at first but I can't tell if she isn't brooding very well because she knows it's a bad egg or she just isn't dedicated because she does get up easily and leaves often. Some nights I've seen her on the nest, others on the roost. I was debating whether to give her some of my incubator babies but because she hadn't shown to be very good at this I decided not to. But she doesn't fluff up much or get crabby like my other broody so I think she's just confused and jealous. LOL
 

Keggen

Songster
7 Years
May 24, 2012
264
1
108
Minnesota
If you want her to brood you could try leaving her the eggs and see how it goes. Be ready to incubate them though if she gives up. How long does she leave the eggs for when she gets up?
 

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