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broody - Please explain

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Dirtyhip, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Dirtyhip

    Dirtyhip Songster

    Mar 30, 2011
    The Cascades
    Is it a problem for a hen to go broody? Why? What harm does this cause for a layer?

    Forgive my ignorance.

  2. Impress

    Impress Songster

    Jun 4, 2011
    Gray, TN
    Once broody, a hen will not lay eggs again until she is broken of the broodiness or has hatched some chicks. While broody, they go into a hypnotic state, and barely eat or drink, some chickens have starved to death trying to hatch out imaginary eggs or unfertile eggs. So you can break her of being broody, or if you want some chicks, stick some fertile eggs under her and let her do her thing.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    It's only a problem if you don't want chicks. A hen going broody is a hormonal change. They don't lay eggs and sit on the nest, even at night to hatch some babies. It doesn't matter if you have a rooster or not, the hen can still go broody. Being broody is hard on a hen, they lose quite a bit of weight. I have not lost a hen that was brooding, but it can happen.

    I personally love hatching under a broody. Watching the babies with a mama hen is the sweetest thing ever.

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