Chicken won't leave laying box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Gabrielle1313, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. Gabrielle1313

    Gabrielle1313 In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2017
    I have four hens currently which I got from a neighbor so I don't know their exact age, but one of the hens hasn't left the laying box for a couple of days straight now. She is usually one of the first out the door in the morning and has a lot of energy but I am not sure what is going on right now, whether she is sick, or old, or dying, or something else. I have no roosters so it is pretty impossible that she could be sitting on an egg. Does anyone know what could be going on, and if so, any tips on how to proceed, to just leave her there or try to mover her?
  2. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki TwatterSpotter

    Jul 31, 2015
    Houston, TX
    My Coop
    A rooster hAs nothing to do with a hen going broody.
    That would be my first guess.

    Can you pick her up and remove her?
    What happens if you do this?
  3. Gabrielle1313

    Gabrielle1313 In the Brooder

    Aug 2, 2017
    I haven't tried to move her yet, but when I open the door to the laying boxes she fluffs up her feathers and seems agitated.
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  4. jaxonann

    jaxonann Chirping

    Jul 7, 2019
    Dallas, TX
    She sounds broody to me. I have one who sits on a clutch of wooden eggs. (I'm keeping her engaged until her hatch eggs arrive later this week).
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    BirdsBeesTrees and Fluffnut like this.
  5. DobieLover

    DobieLover Easily distracted by chickens

    Jul 23, 2018
    Apalachin, NY
    My Coop
    She's broody. You need to break her or give her fertile eggs to hatch.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I'm going to assume you don't want her to hatch out chicks.
    If you do, that's a whole other story.....

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

    I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) 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. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.
    Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  7. noregerts

    noregerts Songster

    Feb 24, 2019
    Seymour TN
    She's broody.
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  8. BigBlueHen53

    BigBlueHen53 Crowing

    Mar 5, 2019
    SE Missouri, USA
    The hen does not know whether the eggs are fertile or not. She's just programmed to set on eggs at a certain time, based on her hormonal cycle, in order to try and hatch them. You're getting good advice here. Either obtain some fertile eggs for her to hatch or follow @aart's advice to break her out of her broodiness. Good luck!
  9. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

    May 20, 2015
    An alternative to using a cage to break a broody hen is to close off the nests at night, forcing her to roost. It has worked for me every single time, and takes about a week or less.
    BigBlueHen53 likes this.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    What do you do with her all day tho?

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