Broody...what to do?


9 Years
Jul 28, 2010
OK....I think that from reading posts here and in books, etc., that we have a broody hen. We were out of town for a few days and forgot to ask our chicken care taker to gather the eggs while we were gone. When we got back, there were 7 eggs in the nest boxes and Pearl was sitting on them, quietly clucking, with her feathers all puffed out. That was over a week ago. (we have no roo, eggs are for eating) When I go out to feed them or give them treats, I gather whatever eggs were laid that day and remove her from the nest. It takes about 30 seconds before she comes out of her 'fog' and goes to get water and food, still all puffed up and clucking quietly. I assume that this behavior is normal, so I'm not worried (or should I be?). I'm just curious as to how long she may act like this.

Also, before this, she was "top" hen....when her broodiness passes will the pecking order be different since she has spent so much time on the nest?



Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
South Georgia
Nothing to worry about. I assume she is staying on the nest basically 24/7, other than a brief outing once or twice a day.

There is no telling how long it will last. When they have nothing to hatch they can stay for weeks. I have two now that have been there for over 2 months. I actually had one set for 6 months once -- evidently this is quite unusual, though.

Yes, the pecking order will probably change when she goes un-broody.
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9 Years
Jul 26, 2010
Central Oregon
When my hen gets broody, it lasts for 2-3 wks. She does not lose her pecking order after being broody. She's still the same little witch as before. (LOL) By the way, I have no roosters either. I kick mine off the nest 3-4 times a day.

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