Did I accidentally break my broody hen?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by egwood, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. egwood

    egwood New Egg

    Mar 14, 2015
    I have a buff orphington hen that has been broody for a few weeks and has been sitting on golf balls. Last night I decided to move her and her golf balls into a dog kennel away from the other hens so I could introduce her to chicks tonight. Well this morning she is not sitting and seems quite agitated, and the golf balls are scattered. Did I accidentally break her broodiness? I thought I might could introduce one chick tonight and see how it goes? Or should I just let her out to join the rest of the flock and raise the chicks myself? Now I realize I should have moved her and then gotten the chicks, not the other way around. Thanks!
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    IMO if she is showing high agitation, she is still broody, just upset that she is not in the nest she picked. Maybe she can see those are not real eggs and got really PMS. [​IMG]

    I have no experience in getting a broody to raise baby chicks, but do know hens can harm and kill them. I'm a worrier and would just raise them myself, others with experience may offer a different opine. If you do decide to see if she will accept them, stay close and watch carefully ( as I know you would).
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Maybe, maybe not. Some of my hens tolerate being moved, others not so much. I have one hen that will pitch a hissy fit for hours before she finally gives up. She'll jump at the walls, squawk her head of, pace back and forth and kick her golf balls all over the enclosure. But, eventually she gathers them up and settles down.
    I would leave yours for a while and see if she starts sitting again. If she doesn't, then you'll be brooding those chicks yourself and next time you'll know to move her sooner or not at all ;)
  4. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Put her back in with the layers, within 30 minutes I bet she is back on the nest that she likes, especially if you put the golf balls there. If so, thank the Gods, go down in the dark, let you chicks sit just a bit in cool night air, they will begin to peep like mad, she should start to come out of the trance. Cover her head with a towel, and set a chick on her back. That chick will slip away and she will begin to move a bit, and her clucking should change, to almost a constant cluck, keep adding chicks till you have them in. Now, one may pop out, and she may give it a heck of a thump, but LEAVE her alone. Go back to the house (it will be hard I know) But they, the chicks and the hen have to make a bond, and they won't if you interfere.

    Now for the hormones to work, the chicks peeping and movement under her, changes the hormone level so that now she ceases to be broody, and begins to care for the live chicks. ON the chicks part, warm is good, and they will burrow in tight, which helps the hormones even more. The thing is, if your chicks are too old, they miss this, and will just not bond with the hen, and you are stuck with all the work.

    I will be honest, I have lost a few chicks with a broody hen, until they all get it figured out, but then again, I have lost them when I had them in a brooder box too. Some chicks don't thrive.

    She will defend them from the layers, and they will grow up right in the flock, feed them all chick starter, and add shells for the layers. The only time I have heard of this not working is if you have quite a ramp to get into the coop. Some chicks don't figure the ramp out, but mine have always been climbing up and over anything in their path almost immediately.

    Mrs K

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