Broody or what?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TNDOC, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. TNDOC

    TNDOC New Egg

    Apr 28, 2013
    We have four hens, all have been laying good, almost daily till two weeks ago. Our white leghorn I think has gone broody. She will NOT get out of the nest box, I have tried getting her out, but she just eats a little scratch and some water and she is right back up stairs in the box. Our other girls seem to be picking on her a bit too, when I get her out they will run up and peck at her.

    Additionally the egg laying has slowed way down! We have the WL, a RIR, and 2 barred rocks, and the only ones laying now are the barred rocks inconsistently. I have been constantly checking the boxes and having to move the WL but there are usauly no eggs.

    Is something wrong or is the WL just broody and the other girls not laying because of this? When do the days get short enough to affect egg laying?

  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    The days are getting shorter so egg production naturally starts to decline this time of year. Some people use artificial lighting to keep birds laying more through the winter. Other people believe it's better for the hens to take a natural break from all the egg laying.

    It does sound like your leghorn is broody. If so she is probably cranky and behaves differently then she normally does when she does come off the nest and that's why the others don't like her. I have a Welsummer bantam who goes broody regularly and when she does she is such a cranky pants when she get off the nest to eat. The others just can't stand to be around her!
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Yes, I'd say your leghorn is broody--rather unusual, as Leghorns are one of the breeds that go broody the least often. If you really want to break her of it, I would isolate her in a cage with no nest box/secluded area for several days. Then, she can go back out with the others. If she is really serious about being broody, though, she may still go back to brooding.

    How old are your hens? It is at this time of year that most chickens close to or over a year of age begin molting. During molting, they stop laying, lose lots of feathers, and then grow in new, beautiful feathers. I've found that my chickens stop laying several weeks before molting, so if your hens' egg production has slowed down, molting might not be far away.

    As for the daylight hours, what part of the world do you live? Here in the northern United States, daylight hours are down to 11-12 hours, and egg production has slowed down a lot. Peak egg production occurs at 14-16 hours of daylight.
  4. mrchicks

    mrchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2013
    We have a Marans that goes broody quite often. When she is broody she is pure evil to any other hen that even walks in the coop, let alone try to get in a nest box. So your broody might be intimidating your other hens.
    To stop her broodiness, we have a wire pen (think rabbit cage) that we put her in. She gets food and water, but no bedding. After three days we release her back into the coop and she's fine for a few more months.

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