chicks making hens broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Railz, Nov 26, 2015.

  1. Railz

    Railz New Egg

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    i know they say that you cant 'make' a hen broody but ive recently hatched some eggs in my incubator, they are now just about a week old and i have moved them to a nice brooder in my shed, and its right next door to my coop and run so they can probably all hear one another.... but suddenly ive had 3 hens go broody! one of which has never been broody before, i just wondered if the sounds of peeping chicks could have done this or if its just a weird coincidence? has anyone had this happen? im excited either way as i have more eggs that need hatching a adoptive hen would make it so much easier! :D
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I believe it to be a weird coincidence. Have you been diligent in collecting eggs ? Many people disagree with me as I think broodiness is brought on by the presence of eggs. I have found that if I am slow in collecting eggs each day my hens eventually go broody (as there's always eggs in the nest box). For the last two months I have collected eggs morning and evening-no broodiness. If I let the eggs build up over time as the hen lays, that hen goes broody every time.
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I have seen other hen get excited about new chicks and it does seem to trigger a response in some hens especially ones that are already susceptible. I have found that broodiness is contagious, it's best to quickly break hens of it or it will spread through the flock sometimes, I had this problem this last season where all my year old ones were wanting to be broody, I had multiple hens in the breaking box. I also had a d'uccle hen shadow a Cochin hen who was raising a single chick, the d'uccle was not broody before, but she quickly became a second mommy, and help raised the chick who sometimes didn't know who to listen to.
     
  4. Railz

    Railz New Egg

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    Nov 22, 2015
    yes you might be right, i have left a couple of eggs sitting there longer than usual unintentionally so this may have done it! thanks! ive got 16 eggs in my incubator and its only meant to hold ten so a couple of broody hens are welcome here! but 3! maybe not :p
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Absolutely. It's possible the proximity of chicks can make a hen go broody, because I saw it happen recently in my own flock.

    I raised two batches of mail order chicks this summer, and when the second batch of three chicks was six weeks old, my five-year old GLW Su-su went broody and adopted them. She always goes broody a couple times every spring, so this was way past her normal broody period. She had all the mannerisms of a broody except for nest sitting, although she did climb into a nest box one time with a couple of the chicks and I booted them out, told them to go roost like they were supposed to. We're talking about half grown chicks, not week-old fluff-butts.[​IMG]

    Here's Mama Su-su and her three chicks. She watched over them until just recently and even taught them stuff and fed them.

    Su-su retained the broody cluck and temper until just recently. The chicks are now four months old, and she still hangs out with them and they roost together.

    Su-su has always been a very intense and predictable broody, and she'll be my first choice next time I have fertile eggs that have promise.
     
  6. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Unless you have the set up and space, it can be a real pain to have 2 hens sitting at the same time cos when they hatch, each respective mother sees the others' chicks as competition for food. I've read here on BYC instances where one hen has killed the other hen's chicks. Maybe you may wish to consider using just one of your broodies and breaking the others?

    Good luck

    CT
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Just curious @azygous , is Su-su laying whilst she 'mothers' the chicks?
     
  8. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What you write is true in some cases. I've been trying to get my hens to go broody at the same time or close. By doing this I have had hens team up to raise their chicks together this season
    (3 times); each hen accepting the other's as her own. It has worked well, but as you write, I've also had hens fight viciously. I have been lucky-none of my hens has hurt another's chicks. At worst they have pecked at chicks to drive them away.
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If you'll notice, Su-su is in molt while she was broody. So, no, she wasn't and isn't laying.

    We all recognize the broody mannerisms. Su-su had them all, bad temper, fluff up posture, the persistent popping noise I refer to as the broody cluck. Every now and then she would fluff up, shake herself violently and let out with a screeching crow. So there was no doubt she was broody, and she has taken her role as adoptive mom very seriously.
     
  10. sweetbeak

    sweetbeak Chillin' With My Peeps

    I recently hatched 3 chicks under a broody hen and over the last 7 weeks, 8 of my hens have gone broody. So I believe it may be able to happen, or it could be that it's spring in my part of the world.
     

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