Help! Why does my one hen keep chasing my broody off her nest??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dianneS, Aug 8, 2009.

  1. dianneS

    dianneS Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    I just discovered today that my big lead hen, a huge light Brahma has been tormenting my broody hens when they are sitting on their nests! This big Brahma will peck at the broody until she finally gets up and leaves the nest. Big Brahma then usually sits on the nest and lays an egg of her own, or will eat one of the broodies eggs!

    Its really messing things up! And my poor broody gets really upset and sometimes kicks eggs out of the nest. All the eggs end up being layed at different times. Even marking the original eggs doesn't really help because they will sometimes all just disappear.

    Today I hid and watched this behavior first hand. The Brahma chased the broody off her nest. The broody switched nest boxes. I went in and moved her eggs to her new nest. Then the Brahma comes over and chases her off of that nest and eats one of the eggs! I have plenty of nesting boxes for all of my laying hens, so I don't understand why she is doing this. I'm really shocked because I never would have suspected behavior like this.

    Why is she doing this?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2009
  2. AK_Button_Mama

    AK_Button_Mama Songster

    Dec 30, 2008
    Wasilla, Alaska
    broody needs her own space! put her in the garage or in the house in a dog kenel!
  3. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I don't know why your Big Brahma is being a bully, but I do agree that it would be wise to section off your broodies.

    If you can build a pen in the coop for the broody, that would be great. I have two brooder pens and put my broodies in there. If I get another broody while the two pens are filled, I block off the nest the 3rd broody is setting in with chicken wire and open it once or twice a day to let her out for food and water.

    You may be able to see what I'm trying to describe about blocking off the nest here scroll down to the pictures close to the bottom.

    Hope that helps. Best of luck!
  4. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    It's an instinctive thing, tends to ensure that the Brahma's offspring survive rather than others'. I agree, you will have to cage the broody til the chicks hatch, and perhaps longer, because the same Brahma may kill new chicks as well.

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