Broody or ill?

Syowell

Chirping
Jul 13, 2020
38
37
56
We have a 6 month old hen- part EE, who won't get out of a box in the coop. No idea if she has an egg under her- she won't let us in to see. Is this a typical behavior ypu'd see in a broody or sick hen?
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,655
282,511
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
We have a 6 month old hen- part EE, who won't get out of a box in the coop. No idea if she has an egg under her- she won't let us in to see. Is this a typical behavior ypu'd see in a broody or sick hen?
You wrote "won't let us" in to see if she's on any eggs. Describe how she won't let you.
Screech?
Peck and/or bite?
Puff up and flatten out like a pancake?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,053
22,732
907
Southeast Louisiana
Yes what does it look like? How long has she been on that nest? Has this just happened or has it been going on for a few days?

Typically when a chicken is sick they puff up their feathers and are really lethargic. If they react to you it is usually very slowly. They are hurting and just don't feel good.

There are many behaviors that indicate a hen might possibly be broody. They might be defensive of their nest. Maybe they fluff up and growl at you if you come close or put your hand in there. They might peck you. If they are off the nest they might walk around puffed up and make a constant puck, puck, puck sound. If you take her off the nest and sit her on the coop floor she might sit there all spread out for a while and then either dart off to eat, drink, and poop or go back to her nest. None of these are really conclusive that she is broody enough to deserve eggs. I've seen hens not really broody display some of these symptoms. My test if a hen is really broody is if she spends two consecutive nights on the nest instead of sleeping in her normal spot. Not one night, two consecutive nights.

A hen does not need any eggs to go broody. If she doesn't have any eggs her imagination will create some.

If she truly is broody you need to decide what you want to do. You can break her from being broody, you can give her fertile eggs, or you can maybe wait a week or two and give her some day old chicks. We can help you with that if you can tell us what you want to do.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
34,655
282,511
1,642
NY Southern Tier
My Coop
My Coop
peck at our hands, makes weird squawking noises
Take her off the nest and see what she does. If she's broody she'll likely come off the nest in a trance. When she snaps out of it she'll get some food, keep up with a cluck cluck clucking, walk around like a turkey then head back to settle on the nest.
If she does this you should break her broodiness.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,053
22,732
907
Southeast Louisiana
Where did she sleep last night? Sounds like she might be broody but I've had hens on the nest laying eggs peck at me and make threatening sounds if I stuck my hand in there.

When I was a kid on the farm one of my chores was to gather the eggs. When we had a broody hen I had to check under her daily. Most of them were not that bad but occasionally we'd have one that would peck hard. Gloves and long sleeves were not an option. I had to check under that broody hen or tell Mom and Dad I was afraid of a chicken. I checked under her and somehow lived to tell the story. I understand fear, it can hurt. But don't let fear stop you from doing what you need to do. Use that fear to get the gloves and long sleeves. You may find out it isn't as bad as you think.

Assuming she is broody, what do you want to do? Break her from being broody, give her fertile eggs to hatch, or try to give her baby chicks to raise? We can help with this if you wish.
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,567
626
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
Ditto what Ridgerunner said.

If you are in the Southern Hemisphere - likely broody. Days are longer, temperatures are warmer, time to hatch babies.

If you are in the Northern Hemisphere - likely sick. Days are short, chickens are molting, not broody time.

peck at our hands, makes weird squawking noises
Sounds like a broody.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom