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First broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mom&mechicks, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. Mom&mechicks

    Mom&mechicks Hatching

    Jun 28, 2011
    Our chickens are 6 months old and have been laying eggs like the champs they are since Easter. (6-8 eggs from 8 chickens). [​IMG]
    A few days ago our big girl, Paris, started sitting on the nesting box and not getting off, ruffling and growling when we tried to gather the eggs, and generally acting strange. Also, the other girls pecked at her when she was up and about. Being chicken nubies, we had no idea what was going on. After searching this excellent website, we realized, to our relief, that she is broody. (we are all excited to use this fun word as much as possible now!).

    We do not have a rooster and therefore, the eggs are not, nor will they ever be, fertile! Is it normal for a chicken to brood on infertile eggs? How long will she stay broody? Is it ok or even recommended that we get her up to exercise a few times a day? Can we expect all the hens to go through this? How often will the broodiness happen for a given hen? How do we feed her if she won't get out of the nest?
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011

  2. jadeybaby70

    jadeybaby70 In the Brooder

    Jul 10, 2009
    When and who goes broody will depend on the individual chicken. There are some breeds that are more likely to go broody like cochins and silkies. I have a little silkie broody hen on five eggs due on Fri. [​IMG] I gave in because, after trying everything to get her to stop she continued. She even sat on ice cubes for hours!![​IMG] In her case, I had to do something because she is small and she was getting beat up whenever she came out. Because of this, she would run right back in and thus stave herself. I had to bring her food and water in the nesting box 2-3 times a day. I wasn't about to let her starve/dehydrate herself, so ....I gave in...[​IMG] I bought her some fertile eggs since we don't have a mature roo.
    Some broodies give up quick but if she sticks with it too long, you can put her in a wire cage to "break" her of it. From what I understand, a hen goes broody after she lays so many eggs. Hormones kick in and the temperature of her chest rises to incubate! By putting her in a wire cage, you allow the draft to cool her chest and cut the hormones. I have also used ice cubes in the nesting box to do the same thing but with a persistent broody, you have to keep moving the ice around. They will just move to a new spot [​IMG]
    It's a pretty cool thing to experience but some girls go a little crazy with it. Congrats on your little broody!
  3. 2overeasy000

    2overeasy000 Songster

    Dec 1, 2010
    You can also try to dunk her in cold water and hold her in there for a minute or two. I was just able to stop 2 of my hens from brooding in the nest boxes all day and night and one has now begun laying eggs again. Good luck.
  4. Mom&mechicks

    Mom&mechicks Hatching

    Jun 28, 2011
    Thanks a lot for the tips...she is still brooding-- it's been almost a week. I may get desperate enough to try the cold water dunk in another day or so. [​IMG]

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