Has my hen gone broody?

elphabafalls

Songster
Jul 27, 2020
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We have a Rhode Island Red named Rita who is about 23-24 weeks. Several of our Sex Links are very close to laying their first egg, and 2 of them have started. I honestly didn't think Rita was close, so I didn't even bother to keep an eye on her. She laid her first today, however. She didn't even try to stay on the egg after. She immediately got back up and went back to her day. When she saw me cleaning out the coop for the day - which is when I noticed the egg in the makeshift nesting box she created in the corner of the coop not 12 inches from the actual nesting box lol - she ran into the coop. She proceeded to cuss me and my husband up and down until we gave her a cricket treat. She was beyond pissed off that we moved her egg. She already honks more like a goose than clucks like a chicken, but she was just about barking like a dog at us. Is this her going broody even though she didn't try to stay on the egg? Or is this her just becoming protective of her eggs?
 

elphabafalls

Songster
Jul 27, 2020
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No she's not broody.
No she's not protective of her eggs.
She's learned that you will give her crickets:)
LOLOLOL. I'm happy to hear she's not going broody on me because we don't have a rooster - those eggs will. never. hatch. The crickets were only bought yesterday to help train the hens to lay in the boxes by rewarding them (and to up their protein in the Winter. We also grow meal worms, but our baby worms aren't big enough yet to start feeding them to the chickens). She'd not had a cricket until today. She is by far the most spoiled of the flock. She's awesome.
 

elphabafalls

Songster
Jul 27, 2020
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Better just to put a fake egg in each of the nests.
Block off any 'floor nests' with a bucket or something.
We put some decoy eggs in the boxes - we even left 2 of the 3 first ones in the boxes to show them where to lay their eggs because we discovered the eggs right before sunset on a day that got up to 70 degrees. We had no idea when the eggs were laid or how long they'd been out there. We put a big pile of hay where the makeshift nest was to discourage her, but we'll definitely be more aggressive about blocking it if she does it again. The crickets were originally bought for the extra protein in the winter. Since they started laying about the same time we got them, we've used them to treat them some. It just shocked me that Rita was even laying because I'd measured her pelvic points the day before, and they were very close together. Her comb and wattle are really small. When she saw me take those eggs out of the nest, though, she started cussing a blue streak. I've seen broody hens with the fluffed feather and the hissing, etc. She didn't do this, but she sort of barked at us and gave us the stink eye. She didn't charge us, but she followed us and paced.
 

Wyorp Rock

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LOLOLOL. I'm happy to hear she's not going broody on me because we don't have a rooster - those eggs will. never. hatch. The crickets were only bought yesterday to help train the hens to lay in the boxes by rewarding them (and to up their protein in the Winter. We also grow meal worms, but our baby worms aren't big enough yet to start feeding them to the chickens). She'd not had a cricket until today. She is by far the most spoiled of the flock. She's awesome.
LOL Well, they learn fast. You mention she's spoiled, they learn very quickly if they complain/make noises, (WHINE) that humans may give out some type of goody. It doesn't matter what, they just want something.

I give out "treats" about the same time everyday. All my birds start about 20-30 ahead of time, calling/making a racking (whining!), watching the door and if you pass a window, they get even louder LOL Any loose birds magically show up and hang close to make sure they aren't left out...
 

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