Do I have a broody hen?


7 Years
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.


10 Years
Jan 8, 2010
boerne, tx
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 :)


11 Years
Apr 8, 2008
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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