First Broody Hen and New Chicks

Ponypoor

Songster
May 23, 2021
405
737
148
Central Ontario, Canada
Do any of yall know if broodiness is contagious? If one goes, does it entice others to be broody as well? We had one chicken go missing right around the time the other one went broody. I havent tromped through the woods looking, and it could very well be predator related. I have seen hawks flying over, raccoon tracks, etc. Just wondering if the odds are likely that one is just broody off in the woods right now
Well I would say it's contagious! I recently received 3 hens here and my young Silkie cross pullet decided she was going to go all broody, then the other Silkie is now deciding to go broody, and one of the new hens is looking on thinking 'hey this looks like fun - I am going to go broody too'.... and I just caught my 13 week old pullet hiding out in the crate all on her lonesome.... hmmmm - read to lay eggs?

I shoved eggs under the Silkie X, told the other two so sad too bad NO MORE broodie hens this year... I have enough chickens now haha! and the 13 week old pullet - I told her she better learn to lay eggs in a nest box!
 

Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
1,013
1,790
251
New Zealand
I've heard it's contagious, and I've had hen or two that seem to 'try it on' for an hour or two, happily clucking like 'look at me! I'm doing the thing!', but they get bored pretty quick. My Silkie, on the other hand.... Has a brooding cycle. She'll come into lay and go 2 weeks laying daily, then she's on the brood for at least a month.
 

lv9777

Chirping
Aug 29, 2021
46
72
59
I am fairly new to chickens, so I add my two cents with caution. I hand raised my first few hens and they are very friendly (perhaps too). I currently have 4, 4 weeks old chicks being raised by a broody. I go out daily with treats and spend time handling them. They take their cue from Mom. Since she is not skittish with me, neither are they.
 

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Lizzy733

Crowing
Nov 13, 2018
1,013
1,790
251
New Zealand
I am fairly new to chickens, so I add my two cents with caution. I hand raised my first few hens and they are very friendly (perhaps too). I currently have 4, 4 weeks old chicks being raised by a broody. I go out daily with treats and spend time handling them. They take their cue from Mom. Since she is not skittish with me, neither are they.
That's a good indicator of who are boys. The boys are always all over me, but the girls always kept their distance.
 

lv9777

Chirping
Aug 29, 2021
46
72
59
I hope that these girls are the exception, since I am no good at culling my flock and 4 roosters are going to be hard to re-home.
 

lv9777

Chirping
Aug 29, 2021
46
72
59
That's a good indicator of who are boys. The boys are always all over me, but the girls always kept their distance.
I also thought my current Barred Rock, top hen, was a rooster by her demeanor, but it turned out that she was just a fearless, friendly, bossy, hen. :). She is also the boss over my two outdoor cats who are proficient hunters. They allow her to push them away so she can eat the cat food and I have to feed them when she is not free ranging.
 

Ponypoor

Songster
May 23, 2021
405
737
148
Central Ontario, Canada
Update on my Silkie X: She has been sitting on her 4 eggs since Friday (24th), I have had some issue with her sisters laying eggs in the nest box, only the 2 of them so easy to catch them. Also I wrote names on the eggs the hen is sitting on so when I find one without a name I remove it.

This morning though the little sneaky sister laid her egg on the other side of the nest box, Henny then went and sat on that egg and rolled all the other eggs over under her! I had to move her and the eggs back to her nest, find the un-marked egg and remove it. I have to watch these gals like a hawk!

It's going to be a long 3 weeks...
 

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