Chicken has been in nesting box for 24 hrs.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cnavidi, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. Cnavidi

    Cnavidi In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2012
    My large white Americana, is sitting in her nesting box and only came out for a short time last night, I don't see that she has been eating or drinking. The other girl is out running around the yard having a great time. Which is what the white one loves to do also. Could she be egg bound? What do I do? She looks so sad.

  2. Maev

    Maev Chirping

    Jan 22, 2012
    Yakima, WA
    Could she possible be broody?
  3. Cnavidi

    Cnavidi In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2012
    What is broody?
  4. TrystInn

    TrystInn Songster

    Sep 16, 2009
    Southern Arizona
    You really need to get a copy of Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens, hon.

    Broody is when a hen is sitting on her eggs, waiting for them to hatch.
  5. mkcolls

    mkcolls Songster

    Mar 13, 2011
    A laying hen will go into the nesting box and get down to business. A layer will leave the nest soon after laying an egg.

    A broody hen will stay in the box, spread her body out, and stay for sometimes days at a time. The may leave for short potty breaks or to eat & drink. Then they go right back to the nest. They will often move eggs from other boxes if possible. They will sit on golf balls, rocks, sometimes nothing, and of course eggs. Even hens without roosters to fertilize eggs will go broody. They have an attitude. They will bawk, squawk, and bite at your hand if you come near her. If left to brood they go into what looks like a trance.

    Put "broody hen" in the search line. I recommend "Old Fashioned Broody Hen Hatch A Long" There is great information on the first page, post 2.

    Good luck to you.

  6. mkcolls

    mkcolls Songster

    Mar 13, 2011
    Here is the post that I mentioned. Hope it helps.

    Note: If you see any misinformation, things you think should be added, information needing updated or removed, or any other changes to the FAQs please PM me. I will try and keep them updated. Thanks!


    How old does a hen and rooster need to be to be able to breed?
    They need to be between 16 and 18 weeks old.

    How do I know if a hen is broody?
    They tend to stay in their nest boxes - getting up only a couple times a day - if that - to get nurishment and to relieve herself. A broody hen also might growl or bite at you if you come too close. They also tend to puff out their feathers to look larger and also to pull some feathers to keep their eggs warm.

    Purpose of a broody hen?
    A broody hen is great to have around if you want to hatch eggs the natural way. They are great on farms that want to be self sustainable or in case of a power outage when you can't use an electrical incubator. The broody hen will also protect and teach the young chicks. They do however stop laying eggs while being broody and this is a problem for some.

    Other hens laying eggs in her nest?
    If you find other hens laying eggs in the broody hens nest, it is is best to mark the broodies eggs with a washable non toxic marker. This will allow you to collect the extra eggs each day and ensure the broody continues to sit on the same eggs. Others have had success with moving the broody hen off by herself where other hens can't get to her.

    How do I make my hen go broody?
    You can't make a hen go broody, especially if it's not in her nature or if broodyness has been bred out of that breed by other breeders or hatcheries. You can however get a few golf balls and put in a nest to see if that will encourage her to go broody. If she sits on the golf balls for a few days without getting up except for a few minutes, then she is broody and you can put some fertile eggs under her.

    What are the best broody hens?
    Araucana - Frequent Brooder
    Australorp - Very Frequent Brooder
    Belgian D'Anver - Frequent Brooder
    Belgian D'Uccle - Very Frequent Brooder
    Brahma - Frequent Brooder
    Cochin - Top Notch Brooders
    Dominique - Frequent Brooder
    Dorking - Very Frequent Brooder
    Japanese - Very Frequent Brooder
    Java - Frequent Brooder
    Marans - Very Frequent Brooder
    New Hampshire - Good Brooder
    Orpington - Frequent Brooder
    Silkie - Top Notch Brooder
    Sussex - Good Brooder

    Edited by michaelinnc84 - 3/18/12 at 1:19pm
  7. Cnavidi

    Cnavidi In the Brooder

    Jan 23, 2012
    Great help, thanks so much. I was able to get her out roaming the yard with her buddy, but back to the nesting box, and there she sits. I have golf balls in the nesting boxes so I will take them out and then hopefully she will give up the brooding and go back to be the fun loving girl she was.
  8. GoChick

    GoChick Songster

    Sep 16, 2010
    Hi Cnavidi,

    If she is really broody, taking out the golf balls will not help. she will stay in the nest, for days.
    What you need to do is to get her out of the nest and put her in a place where she can't nest.

    I love broodies when I want to hatch chicks, but when I don't, then I have to "break the broodiness."

    There's a good thread on "How to break a broody" -

    In my case, what I do is to put the hen in a cage - like a rabbit cage - with water and food, and with a fan blowing towards her. The fan is to lower her body temperature. It usually takes me 2 to 5 days to stop a hen being broody.
    or, if you want more chicks, buy some fertilized eggs and put under her! Just remember you will get both males and females if you decide to hatch eggs, so have a plan for what to do with the roosters.

    You could also wait for a week or so and get some day old chicks for her - I've done that in the past very successfully.

    good luck!!
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2012

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