Distressed or Broody

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12 Years
Nov 30, 2007
San Martin, Ca
I have a hen that last night when I put everyone in for the night she was missing. So, I assumed that she was sitting on a clutch of eggs somewhere. Well, this morning when I let the others out she miraculously appeared out of nowhere. Now, the whole time I was outside watching everyone she was acting really weird. She was going around clucking like a broody would do. It's almost like when she appeared she had been distrubed by something. I managed to get her in the coop and have her cooped up. There is a nest in their w/ 2 fake eggs and a golf ball. However she is not sitting on it. When I went into the area she's in she flew up and attacked me. So, not sure if she is distressed about something or if this is broody behavior. She has gone broody in the past, but she did not act like this. In the past when she went broody it was only for 3 days (because I broke her of the behavior). However, previously she puffed up and growled at me. Not attacking me like she is. If she is broody I have one chick right now out of all the chicks I have that I am planning on keeping (have sold all the others). If she is broody can I slip this chick under her tonight?

All my other chickens are acting kind of weird this morning too. They usually hang out together but they are scattered all over the place. I am wondering if there is going to be an earthquake today here in Ca. where I live.

Below is a video. Sorry it's not the greatest. But you'll get the idea. Just click on the picture and it should take you right to the video.


She looks broody and very angry that she can't get back to her nest. I say let her out and follow her to her nest and take her and her eggs back in. If she's only been broody for a day, her mental clock might not quite be ready for chicks yet.
You are keeping her from a clutch of eggs she has hidden somewhere. She will not be happy till she gets her eggs. If fact she is fighting mad.

My suggestion:

Get a open sided box or pet carrier ready with a nest. Let her out and watch. Most likely she will make a straight line to her nest. Once you find her nest and eggs, move her and the eggs into the box/carrier. Leave her there an hour or 2 to settle down. Then move the setter and eggs all together.

Morganton, NC
Well, I took the suggestion of the 2nd poster. And she lead me to a clutch of 19 eggs w/in about 5 minutes. Where they all were was about 10ft. off a busy road in tall grass. So, I put her and most of her eggs back in the coop.


My question is this now. I have about 15 eggs in my incubator. They have been in the incubator since last Friday (about 7 days). Can I tonight go and sneak the incubator eggs under her? If so, should I do it in the dark. How should this be done? I'd really like for her to incubate the eggs, that is if she will sit on them.

I have given eggs to setting hens that were partially incubated. They take to them just fine. I even had a hen that only set for 8 days before her chicks hatched. She didn't mind and was a great momma.

The easiest way I found was to take half the eggs she already has. Then set the new eggs in front of her and let her tuck them under. As she gets them under her I remove the remaining of the original eggs. Takes a few minutes, but works nicely.

Morganton, NC
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