Broody??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BerrytangleFarm, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. BerrytangleFarm

    BerrytangleFarm British and Scandinavian Poultry

    I have a nearly 8-month-old black Australorp hen. There are two of them in the pen, so I think it's just her who's taken to sitting on the eggs/golf balls. At first I figured she was just laying late in the day since she was in the box in the evening, but today she was sitting almost all day. When I open the egg door she raises her feathers and gives me an evil eye. Today I maneuvered her out so I could get the egg I knew was there (it's the favorite box for all four of them) and she raised her feathers and went outside into the run to wallow in a hole they've dug out and eventually went back in the box.

    Is she broody? I can't tell if she's stopped laying or not since there's four of them and they don't really lay every day. If she IS broody, I have 4 1-week-old and 2 2-week-old chicks I can give her (save me keeping them in the brooder!). Would she take them?? And would she take them all??
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Each hen seems to have her own component of broody instincts. Some are really dedicated and once started will be relentless about staying on the nest and tending to her chicks. Others are more easily discouraged and if disturbed or moved will give up the idea. In the same way some hens are more accepting of chicks they have not hatched themselves, others will reject any outsiders.

    I would say it might be possible to have your hen take over the care of your chicks, but probably very unlikely. She has only just begun her set, so it might be too early for her to be accepting of chicks. Also, these chicks are not new hatchlings but have been on their own for 1 & 2 weeks. They will probably be too old to begin listening obediently to a Mama hen, so they wouldn't respond to her orders.

    You could *try* putting some under her after dark, and be sure to check on them before sunrise, to watch when they awake and see how they act. You'll have to be ready to take the chicks away immediately if she starts to peck at them. It would be a risky venture, and up to you if you want to take that chance.
     
  3. BerrytangleFarm

    BerrytangleFarm British and Scandinavian Poultry

    Quote:In that case, is it easier to give her some fertile eggs (no roosters here)? I can find some mutts nearby, I think. Easier than breaking her??
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    139
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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    It depends on what you want too. If you really don't want more chicks right now then see if you can break her broody spell. This post https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=181289 has some good suggestions for how to do it.

    But if you want more chickens (roosters too) then get her some fertile eggs and let her have a go.
     
  5. Jferlisi

    Jferlisi i dont eat chicken!!!!

    Nov 2, 2010
    Menifee CA
    Yep she is broody and i agree with everything sunny side has said.
     

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