Do I have a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by AKnewbie, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. AKnewbie

    AKnewbie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 30, 2012
    One of our hens (6month old Australorp) has been staying in a nestbox for a few hours/day. I hadn't really thought much about it until today when I absolutely needed to get under her and collect the eggs since I was leaving for the rest of the day. Today she was laying flatter than your average laying hen and as I touched her, her feathers raised. As I moved her from the nesting box to the floor, she didn't even move! I left her on the floor in the same flat laying position as she was on the nest box.

    Is this a broody hen?

    I don't really care if she stops laying for a while since we have more eggs than we can consume so do I just let her broodiness pass or do I want to break it? If so, how do I go about that?

    She shares the coop with 8 other same age Australorps.
     
  2. txmel

    txmel Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, to me it sounds like she might be trying to go broody. usually if they are broody they stay on the nest all day only getting off once or twice a day to drink and eat. I have had some broodies very ok with checking for eggs under them and others that peck (hard) at you if you even try to look under them. I also have done both letting them get over broody on their own and trying to "break" the brood.

    usually if im going to "break" the brood i place the bird in a cage with out nesting material a little bit elevated so air can pass under the hen so she cant warm up a spot and nest.(if that makes sense). I leave her there for about 3 day with food and water of course. usually by the time i let her out she doesnt want to be broody any more. If i dont try to break the brood, the hen usually decides on her own to be done brooding anywhere from 3 to 5 weeks later. I dont have any roosters so i always remove the eggs and boot the hen out of the nest whenever i go into or past the coop. hope this is of some help and good luck with whatever you decide :)
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    A bit odd for a 6 month old to go broody, but it does sound like it. You probably want to break her because hens that are broody don't take care of themselves very well--they only get up a couple of times a day for brief periods to poo, and don't eat as much as they normally would.

    You can search on BYC for how to break a broody, but I second the suggestion above--put her in a wire-bottomed cage with no bedding so she gets cool air under her bum. Usually works in a day or two.
     

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