Help with a broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lknmomma, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. lknmomma

    lknmomma In the Brooder

    36
    0
    34
    May 15, 2013
    Cruella, my white crested black polish has gone broody and she is mean! The other hens are pecking at her pretty badly and I am worried about her. They all like to lay in one nest, but there are other to choose from. We understand that it is within their nature, but not so much with polish, but she bites and fights when we try to move her to get the eggs. We went away for the weekend and my friend who was caring for the chickens couldn't collect the eggs, there were 12 eggs under her! Help!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,906
    157
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Polish are not known as a broody breed, but stranger things have happened.
    If you don't want chicks or don't have a rooster (meaning the eggs aren't fertile), then you need to remove her. Worst you are going to get is some hard pecks. If you are worried about it, put on long sleeves and gloves, remove her at night and discard the eggs.
    If you do want chicks and the eggs are fertile, it's probably best you move her (again at night) to a safe location where she is not fighting with the other hens for nest space. I currently have three broodies sitting on fertile eggs...
    One is in a coop with only one other bird (a young cockerel, her son) so she is fine staying put. Her son will be confined to the run as hatching time nears.
    One is a high ranking hen in a coop with all the other birds, but because of her rank she is not being disturbed.
    One is isolated in a large dog crate on our screened porch. She is the lowest ranking hen in her flock and removing her to a separate space was the only way to keep her eggs safe. The other hens were forcing her off her nest at least once a day.

    If you do remove the hen and discard the eggs she may continue to be broody on nothing (hatching air) or you may lose countless eggs to her continuing to try to sit. If that turns out to be the case, you will need to break her broody. Do a search here on BYC for the various methods used to break a broody hen when no chicks are wanted.

    Good luck.

    P.S. If you decide to let her hatch - as a polish she may have trouble keeping an eye on her chicks due to her crest. You can trim the crest to allow her better vision or you will need for her and the chicks to be moved to a safe location without the other birds around to harass her.
     
  3. lknmomma

    lknmomma In the Brooder

    36
    0
    34
    May 15, 2013
    Thank you for your feedback.. Not afraid of being pecked, that has already happened. She is super super nasty and fast. It is like wwf trying to get her off the eggs! Need to move her to her own nest I guess.
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    28,906
    157
    408
    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Want real fun? Let a call duck hen go broody. My (original) mama hen wasn't too bad, but her daughter? OMGosling! I walked around bruised from the hand to the elbow from the time she started sitting until her ducklings were about a month old, simply for trying to change out her water dish each day. The ducklings are now as big as she is and she will still attack if they squeal enough. My DH thought it was funny until he had to do her water one day and she flew up and tried to bite his face. Half duck, half snake that one is. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: