Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lisa Haigler, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. Lisa Haigler

    Lisa Haigler Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2013
    This will be my second set of chicks this year - this last hen went broody on the 14th of this month - when will they quit wanting to go broody - meaning will they quit closer to the winter or can/will they still sit during the winter months?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    The original wild chickens would lay a clutch of eggs in the spring, hatch them and raise the chicks, then do it again a few times while the weather was good. Then when the days got shorter they would molt, quit laying eggs, and take the winter off.

    But we have domesticated them. They now lay a huge number of eggs a year compared to where they started. We provide good “forage” all year around. A lot of them get artificial light, whether from us lighting the coop or just from street lights or passing cars outside. We’ve totally messed up their natural rhythm.

    Most chickens still have enough of that natural instinct to go broody in the spring and summer and take the rest of the year off from being broody, but it is certainly possible that some will go broody year around, especially if you provide extra light. With us messing them up, how do they even know it is winter?

    I don’t know how you manage yours. If you provide light or even heat year around, they can lay year around and might go broody. If you give them the winter off to molt, they probably won’t go broody. But they are living animals. We’ve messed up their instincts by domesticating them. I can’t give you any guarantees.
     
  3. Lisa Haigler

    Lisa Haigler Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 3, 2013
    Mine do not have heater or light - coop is a raised coop - nothing fancy. This is the first year I have had full grown hens - just trying to find out what to expect.
     

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