Has anyone had a broody die because she wouldn't leave the nest?

Broody hen knows best or we need to assist?

  • Mom always knows best.

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • We should provide limited assistance and direction.

    Votes: 1 14.3%
  • Humans should always take charge of the broody hen.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Actions vary per hen and situation.

    Votes: 5 71.4%

  • Total voters
    7

Stephanie739

Songster
8 Years
Oct 7, 2011
1,483
19
143
Has anyone had a broody die because she wouldn't leave the nest? Just curious...I made my hen get out of the nest for a few minutes this morning. I'm not sure if she had left in several days. I couldn't even hardly see her breathing, so I was worried. I had decided yesterday, mom knows best, but moved her anyway. She was only out for about 10 minutes. She didn't drink any water either, not that I saw. I wonder if their bodies go on some sort of shut down, like the way bears hibernate.
 

EweSheep

Flock Mistress
13 Years
Jan 12, 2007
21,908
132
418
Land of Lincoln
There has been cases broodies die. They are so stubborn. Sometimes there may be an underlying case of death that may have mimic broody or became ill at the time of her broodiness.

Sometimes we have to intervene when they get past that criticial stage when a month goes by, you will have to determine whether or not the hen is taking care of herself.

A few times I would get the hen to get out of the nest to give her a break to poop, drink and eat and then gets right back in that mode as soon as she can. I've got a hen right now that is broody for over 50 days and she is starting to come out of it. I have one Welsummer bantam that is broody but a poor mother. I will give her another chance at it and if she kills a chick again, then she will never ever raise any chicks but can broody the eggs.

It is mostly case to case. Too much intervention if you want her to brood, she may not incline to brood very well. If you need a broody hen, let her do her job but monitor her wellbeing by feeling her breast bone, weight wise so she does not get too skinny. If she got to that point, get her off the nest once or twice a day and get her to eat and drink and poop. Look out, her poops are very very foul!
 

JimnTer

In the Brooder
7 Years
Feb 16, 2012
84
1
29
I've never had one die and I've never had to make one get off the nest ot eat, drink or poop, but maybe I'm just lucky. I have one old production red setting on eggs right now. She gets off the nest for a few minutes every morning when I feed and water. I had A bantam Rhode Island Red sitting back in late January, on into February, that I never saw leave the nest at all. I did lift her periodically though and inspect the nest for poop and there was none. To me, that demonstrates that she was leaving the nest every once in a while, just not while I was there. She hatched all 6 of the eggs she was sitting on.

I think that for the most part they know what they are doing and I try not to interfere. I have my coop set up so that if they want to brood, I don't need to move them. I don't candle the eggs and I don't isolate them from the rest of the flock (I have a juvenile mixed breed banty pullet that sleeps with my current broody hen at night). The only thing I have done is remove their clutch of eggs and give them ones I specifically want hatched and I don't always do that.
 
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sjmjrgkmg

Songster
11 Years
May 10, 2009
40
10
104
This is my current worry, too. It has only been five days, but I have not seen her leave the nest at all, even in some really hot weather we've had this week, to eat or drink. No droppings in the litter I put down. I found myself wanting to lift her off the nest and set her out of it, but worried that either I or she will damage the eggs going in and out. I have her in a (clean) covered litter box - maybe she just doesn't feel she has enough room to maneuver. I haven't seen her turning the eggs, either.
 

stone_family3

Songster
8 Years
Apr 11, 2011
1,925
33
163
Ohio
I brought water to my girls and used milk crates to prop up a "shelf" set the food and water right in front of them, they ate and drank.
 

Stephanie739

Songster
8 Years
Oct 7, 2011
1,483
19
143
My broody australorp willingly left the nest for a little while today (about an hour) She seemed to really enjoy the dust bathing and just standing in the shade with the flock. When I had to leave and attend other things, I placed her near the box hoping she would return on her own, which she did, and hasn't moved since. I'm thinking she knows what to do and I will just mostly observe. Thanks for the replies and votes!
 

Stephanie739

Songster
8 Years
Oct 7, 2011
1,483
19
143
This is my current worry, too. It has only been five days, but I have not seen her leave the nest at all, even in some really hot weather we've had this week, to eat or drink. No droppings in the litter I put down. I found myself wanting to lift her off the nest and set her out of it, but worried that either I or she will damage the eggs going in and out. I have her in a (clean) covered litter box - maybe she just doesn't feel she has enough room to maneuver. I haven't seen her turning the eggs, either.
Yes I was mostly worried because of the heat. Mine is nesting in a metal shed, and oh it is hot in there sometimes. She chose the spot, so I left her there. I have placed a water bowl in the crate with her.
 

CarolJ

Dogwood Trace Farm
8 Years
Jun 3, 2011
2,003
127
173
Middle Tennessee
My broody is finishing up her 9th day sitting on 11 eggs. She's my first broody - so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the next two weeks go well. I put her in a separate broody pen. So far, she's gone outside once for about 15 minutes - and two other times she has pooped in the shavings in her pen. So that's 3 poops in 9 days.
 

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