HELP- NEED A QUICK ANSWER ABOUT BROODY HEN PLEASE

Fawn and Fam

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
268
11
106
Our hen quit laying eggs 3 days ago and I just discovered she has been sleeping in the nesting box which we don't want.
When we forced her out she fought like heck to stay in when normally they are easily shewed out so we blocked it off because in the past we have had problems w/ them preferring to sleep in them. It just hit me she may be broody (we have never had one truly go broody so I didn't realize that was the problem). When I looked it up right now online I am sure she is because she was all puffed up like I've never seen and making funny noises. Should I go out right now to her and let her back in the nesting box so she isn't all stressed out?
 

Fawn and Fam

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
268
11
106
Thank you, that will be great if we want to break her however....I"m hoping you may be able to help us know if we should or not because of our complex situation that I don't know how to handle. I'll try to make it brief as possible:

We only had two 25 month old pet EE hens raised from a few days old that were best of friends. 2 1/2 weeks ago one was stolen, there was evidence it was most likely by kids from the high school that butts up to our property, and looks like it happened in the middle if the night. We were devastated and Eva her sister was so stressed out from the incident. They locked her inside the coop and she was there for 1/2 a day before we came out and found her. We knew she wouldn't do well alone so the next day we went and bought 3 EE pullets now 3 1/2 weeks old being raised in a brooder in our home. One we have to rehome, that is a different story in itself. Since I wanted a total of 4 chickens I decided to purchase one to replace the bad one. They only had chicks that were 2 days old so I purchased one and had to go back for another one because the 1st baby would cry incessantly when the big girls would perch up on the sides. Now they are 4 days old and so far so good w/ the 3 1/2 week old girls. My plan is to in 3 1/2 weeks (so they'll be 7 & 4 weeks old) to put them out w/ Eva though being divided w/ chicken wire for 2 weeks first. Should I leave Eva broody so when I introduce them she will take to them better or will being broody make her more likely reject them or have a harder time accepting them? I would greatly appreciate any thoughts or advice on my situation!
 
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N F C

Moderator
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
7 Years
Dec 12, 2013
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If she were mine, I would go ahead and break her broodiness.

While she is sitting in the nesting box, she is taking very, very short eat/drink/poop breaks, she's not getting the exercise she needs and she's not laying eggs. You don't know that she will take to the new ones as though they are her own. By the time they are 7 and 4 weeks old, they probably won't want to be under her and will probably be a bit big for that. And if somewhere down the line you do decide you want Eva to sit on hatch some eggs, breaking this pattern now does not mean she won't ever go broody again (at least, that's what I've read).

You didn't say, but I hope you've put a strong lock on your coop in case whoever took one chicken decides to come back for another.

Good luck to you!
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
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A broody hen will be harder to integrate your chicks with than a non-broody one. Everyone involved will be best served by breaking Eva's current broodiness before you attempt to integrate the birds.
ETA - for clarity's sake - the only time a hen being broody would be advantageous in an integration is if you were hoping to have her "adopt" hatchlings. That ship has sailed for the chicks in question and they will not be seen as chicks she has hatched, but rather as interlopers and potential threats to the chicks she is in the mind to hatch if left in a broody state.
 
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Fawn and Fam

Songster
6 Years
Apr 2, 2013
268
11
106
Thank you for your wisdom. Can I just block off the nesting boxes, since she is the only chicken out there, instead of having to go through the crate hassle (btw I would have to purchase one)? Will that break her by forcing her to roost?

@NorthFLChick: thank you for the lock idea! Why did I not think of that, I just felt so hopelessly vulnerable. I will need one on the coop door and one on the run door. It will be a pain unlocking a couple times a day but well worth it!
 

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