Help with broody behavior and effect on flock.

SoManyHats

Songster
6 Years
May 9, 2013
772
58
138
Winchester, VA
Hey all! I have my first broody girl, and currently she's sitting on two eggs due to hatch in a few days. She has only been sitting on them for a week or so, but here's the situation. When she first went broody, I tried to move her, but she refused to sit on eggs in the new pen and went back to the space she was using in the community nest box. Since then, any eggs the other chickens lay, she steals. Every morning, I remove those other eggs when she gets off the nest to eat. What's happened though is that I've gone from getting 4-6 eggs a day to just 1 or 2.

Question: Could my broody be responsible for my other girls not laying? If so, what can I do?

Next question: She has gotten increasingly mean and vocal over the last few days. Is that normal- does she know the eggs should hatch soon?

Thanks!
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
315
221
Kansas
I have heard of broody hens triggering broodiness in other hens in the flock, but if your other hens aren't acting broody, I suspect it is some other cause. Most likely they just took their break on the same days, making the absence of eggs more apparent.

It's normal for broodies to be snippy, cranky, and loud, especially when they get off the nest to do their thing. When our bantam cochins are broody, they charge around the coop and run like tiny, yellow fireballs, and woe be to any chicken who gets in their way. When they're not broody, they're calm, docile hens who settle at the bottom of the pecking order, so the difference is quite extraordinary.

I'm trying to figure out how your hen has been sitting on eggs for a week but they're due in a few days? Perhaps you could clarify?
 

SoManyHats

Songster
6 Years
May 9, 2013
772
58
138
Winchester, VA
Thanks. None of the others seem broody, so I will look for a different cause. :)

I had eggs going in my incubator, and was down to 2 from 30, partly because of temp problems. So after I assured myself this hen was serious about sitting, I gave the 2 viable eggs to her. I'm sure she can do a better job!
 

PrairieChickens

Songster
7 Years
Jun 29, 2012
1,682
315
221
Kansas
Ah, yes, that makes sense. :) You might also tuck a couple of store-bought chicks under her when her two eggs hatch if you find a variety you like. Broody mamas are the best when you want to integrate new chicks.
 

SoManyHats

Songster
6 Years
May 9, 2013
772
58
138
Winchester, VA
I actually have some chicks coming this week also. How many should I give her? And I give them to her at night, right?
 

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