Broody or pecking order issues?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rak5085, May 11, 2016.

  1. rak5085

    rak5085 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 14, 2015
    Atlanta, GA
    Hey y'all I have a Partridge Rock that is exhibiting behavior that could either be broody or pecking order issues. She has been staying in the nesting box at night for the past two nights and during the day. When I came to open the coop this morning she got out with all the other girls and ate and drank. When I came back this afternoon she was in the nesting boxes again. When I pushed her out she puffed up but no growling or trying to peck me. I was able to entice her out of the box with some dried mealworms. However, when she got down out of the coop, the other hens were very aggressive towards her, chasing and pecking whenever she got close. She eventually went back to the nesting boxes but it seemed like it was more to hide. I thought maybe the hens were getting bored since they haven't free ranged in awhile so I let them out of the pen and this enticed her out of the coop but she stayed puffed up and was really skittish, darting around. Eventually one of the hens attacked her again and she ran back in the coop.

    I'm confused about if she's using the nesting box to hide or is trying to brood and getting picked on for being isolated from the other hens and potentially blocking their favorite nesting box (although I haven't seen her block anything). Any suggestions? I would hate to assume it's brooding and separate her in a broody cage if it's really just pecking order issues that will work themselves out. I've already removed all the eggs from the boxes and plan to keep on top of it.
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    She's broody, I've had those that remain silent and don't make all the regular noises.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    My test to whether or not she is broody enough to give eggs is that she has to spend two consecutive nights on the nest instead of roosting in her normal spot. I’ve had hens that walk around fluffed up making the broody sounds, hens that spend all day on the nest, even some that spend one night on the nest and never fully kick over to full broody mode. I’ve had hens that sort of act broody for a week before they actually spend the nights on the nest. So far the two consecutive nights test has worked for me.

    Broodiness hits a lot of hens like a ton of bricks, when they go they go. But some seem to have to ease into it. For the ones that ease into it, I think whether they kick over to full broody mode is kind of delicate, if you disturb them you might break them. I suggest before you try to move her you let her spend a couple of nights in her regular nest. An extra day or two won’t really matter as far as her hatching the eggs if she accepts the move.

    Good luck with it. I’ll be giving a hen some eggs today. She’s been broody about a week but I’m going on a trip to see my grandkids. I delayed setting the eggs so I’ll be here when they hatch. You can spare a day or two to start her.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Hmmm...could be either...or both.
    More info on both your flock(numbers, ages, etc)...and your coop(size in feet, number of nests, roosts, etc) might help find a answer.
    Are you available to observe frequently or gone to work all day?
    Do you want her to brood and hatch some chicks or not?

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