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Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shannonjo, May 5, 2016.
How do I know if my hen is broody?
Some of the first signs are they lay completely flat,with their tail facing down,covering her body clear across the eggs.
Some hens are poofy and will squawk at you and will peck at you,flog you,scratch you.
Usually broodies will walk around puffed up making peeping sounds,flapping their wings,starting fights,They will also attack things that they get to close to their nest.They will attack things that usually would run from or just wouldn't usually. (dogs,your legs,hens who are higher in the pecking order,other livestock).
Not all hens are like this,Some broodies are calmer and keep a secret,some are not afraid to show any symptoms at all.
If they stay on a nest all day and all night for 3 consecutive days, except for short forays to eatdrinkpoop, along with the behaviors posted above.....they are more than likely broody.
You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her promptly.
My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.
I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.