Help with a Broody Chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kittyfrog, Nov 18, 2009.

  1. kittyfrog

    kittyfrog New Egg

    Nov 18, 2009
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Hi, I'm new to chickens having had our three for about 6 months now,

    I'm a little confused, one of our chickens has gone broody but we don't have a rooster and I'm not trying to hatch, (I didn't think it worked like that?)

    she seems to have all most stopped eating and drinking and so now I'm getting a little worried, she just stays in one of the egg boxes all fluffed up and hiding the other chicken's eggs.

    is this normal and can anyone suggest what I should do or is it alright to just ignore it and she'll come right?

    She's just a standard egg laying hybrid. laying daily and has been perfectly happy up until now running free range on our back yard. Could this be seasonal, the weather has just turned for the sunny part of summer?

    Thanks for you help

  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    A hen goes broody because of hormones. It does not matter whether a rooster is around or not. A broody will stay on the nest practically all day and night, leaving the nest just long enough to eat, drink, and poop. It is hard on them but most survive well.

    The eggs she is sitting on will not hatch if you don't have a rooster around. In my opinion, you have two options. One is to find fertile eggs and put them under her. You said you don't wish to do that, but if you change your mind, PM me and I'll talk to you about that. The other option is to break her from being broody, which I think is what you want. In my opinion, the best way to do that is to put her in a cage with a wire floor so her undersides will cool off. Give her food and water but nothing that can be used as a nest. After two or three days, she should no longer be broody. It seems to help also if there is plenty of light. If you don't have a raised cage, you can break her by keping her locked up with food and water but no nest but it might take an extra day or two.

    Hope this helps.
  3. bethsplace

    bethsplace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2009
    well here is my story my hen went broody back in july and my rooster was too young, i tried to break her i finally found someonewho needed help hatching some eggs so I gave her 6 and she hatched 3 out and I gave them back to the owner well that didnt do the trick so I got her some more eggs and let her keep them she hatched out 5 and she loved being a mom thats what they want to raise them not just hatch them. I gave the babie away a few weeks ago I didnt have room for them. 9 chicken poop way more then 4!!!! she got very skinny and her comb went pale from sitting so long but she has her color back and is happy. good luck with breaking her, it was such a neat experience hatching out the chicks I cant wait until next spring when she goes broody again!
  4. City Gardener

    City Gardener Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 22, 2009
    I have a broody hen now, too, and feel a little distressed about it, too. We keep taking her out of the nest box, and then she'll walk around and eat and drink for a while... ad then get back to work.

    How long does it last if you don't break them?

    I wish I could give her some fertilized eggs, but we live in the city and there aren't that many chicken people around.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I agree. I had one of mine go broody last spring. I got ferilized eggs under her, but I was advised to move her, and when I was gone to long, she went back to "her" nest in the house. so the eggs died. But she was still broody. I was given the advice to leave her until she had been broody about three weeks, then at dark, I slipped in 6 baby chicks. I just kind of placed each one on her back, behind her wing, and they just disappeared! And as they worked under her, she started clucking and I thought she would be hoarse, but she never stopped.

    It was awonderful way to raise some chicks! She took great care of them, they would go out in pretty cold weather, and peck around, and then crawl under mama and get warmed up. She was busy. If I ever have another one go broody, that is what I am going to do again. Worked a treat. mrs. k
  6. kittyfrog

    kittyfrog New Egg

    Nov 18, 2009
    Wellington, New Zealand
    Hey guys, Thanks for your comments,

    As much as I'd love to raise some chicks I don't have ready access to any fertile eggs and I wouldn't have room for more grown chickens anyway, though I guess eaters could be good in the future.

    Anyway I discovered (for now) that she seems to be very easy to distract from the egg (nest) box just by removing her and getting her out into the garden where her favorite dust bath is more attractive. Opening up the coop and egg boxes to the sunlight has also made it less inviting for her to return but it will be interesting to see if it lasts or if she gets more broody and resistant.

    Not much more I can do for now as I'm off on holiday for a week and they'll be left to their own devices while I'm away, aren't automatic feeders/waters great!

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