can a hen go broody without a rooster?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by the3ofus+oursixchicks, Oct 11, 2011.

  1. the3ofus+oursixchicks

    the3ofus+oursixchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    can a hen go broody without a roosetr? also can someone explain what going broody means? i think it means want to sit on eggs. am i right?
  2. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2009
    Yes, they definitely can. A broody is a hen that wants to sit on eggs and hatch chicks. It is a hormonal thing, and can be difficult to break if you do not intend to give her eggs to sit on. If they have eggs to sit on, they sit, then mother the chicks until their bodies tell them it's time to go lay eggs again. That length of times varies, dependent on the bird (broody), and I would guess the time of year that they are brooding. This seems to be the case with our own broody. The length of time that she has brooded after hatch varies from about 8 weeks, to 14 weeks, seemingly factoring in the time of year she is brooding in---perhaps the amount of daylight hours. I have read posts here where there are pictures of a broody sitting on chicks that are older than 14 weeks, though.
    And to answer the first question more clearly----yes, they certainly can be broody without a rooster. We haven't had a rooster for most of the time we have had chickens, yet our Cuckoo Marans hen, Tuney goes broody quite often. The urge to brood is so strong that they may sit on infertile eggs, golf balls, rocks or nothing at all.
  3. TigerLilly

    TigerLilly I failed Chicken Math

    Jul 18, 2010
    Central Florida
    x2 I just havent experienced it lately...
  4. b.hromada

    b.hromada Flock Mistress

    x3, some of mine to, all the time!! [​IMG]
  5. laseterlass

    laseterlass Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2011
    Anchorage Alaska
    I live in town and could not keep our BO Roo. I was lucky enough to find someone who needed one for her flock of BO hens and we traded him for a future clutch of fertile eggs. I am sure I will broody hen and cannot wait till next summer to have a Momma and babies!
  6. babyrnlc

    babyrnlc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2011
    Tulsa, Ok
    We had one that did it and we don't have a rooster. We took her eggs and she just sat on imaginary eggs. I borrowed a rooster to get some fertile eggs and poor thing was not liked by my girls. He just sat on top of the water bucket. Scared. So we got some fertile eggs. They were brown. She did not like them. She pushes them out and stole the other ee green eggs. So we tried day old chicks. Did not like them we had to take them out. Then she just stopped about a day after lol.
  7. the3ofus+oursixchicks

    the3ofus+oursixchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2011
    how can you tell if they are wanting to be broody?
  8. lisa12661

    lisa12661 New Egg

    Mar 6, 2013
    Lancaster ohio
    How do you stop a broody hen. i have 4 that are sitting all the time so how can i break this habit?
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Broody hens are pretty easy to pick out. They'll fluff themselves up and walk around all clucky, stay on the nest most of the day, secretly (or not so secretly, one of my hens makes a whole lot of noise when she comes off for her daily break) get off to eat, drink and go to the bathroom, bite and growl, and speaking of going to the bathroom, their daily poop will be huge and stink to high heaven. We call them the dreaded broody bomb here, they're pretty horrible.

    As for stopping them, you really can't keep them from starting, but some of them can be broken. The best way seems to be to remove them away to a wire bottomed cage (with food and water, of course) in a place where they get plenty of light (but not in direct sunlight where they'll get hot). Some folks report success from dunking them in a bucket of cold water. Some hens just refuse to be broken no matter what you try and will only stop being broody once they've hatched chicks.
    If chick hatching isn't your thing, you might want to think about selling them, or trading them to get some hens of breeds that aren't known for brooding. Once they've shown an inclination for hatching, they'll usually repeat this behavior at least once a year. Some hens, like a few of mine, spend their entire spring and summer sitting and hatching.

    Good luck :)

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