Hen gone broody!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cheeky chicky, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. cheeky chicky

    cheeky chicky New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 22, 2012
    southeast Iowa
    Hi everyone, I have been the proud mama of my chickens since last March and I love them! Minus the spat with the Rooster, but anyways :p
    My question is that I now have a hen whose been broody for a couple weeks now, at first I thought oh no but now I think oh neat she's trying to give us more chickens! The thing is that it is obviously winter here in Iowa, with the high today of 18! Is this a real good time for her to try to have chicks? Also she lays on everyones eggs! I have 4 other hens. I was wondering too if I let her be will she stay on these eggs or move to the others that my other hens lay? It seems she is always in the same roost box. Also the box she has picked is upper left box,I'll try to attach a picture, let's say chicks hatch, will they fall out and be cold on the floor. I should add the ceiling is insulated and there is now a rubber mat on the floor and 2 heat lamps which keep their space around 40. Thanks for any help and input!!!
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,297
    8,143
    666
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    [​IMG]

    Broody hens can hatch eggs and raise chicks in winter, no problem. As long as they have a warmish, dry place to raise their chicks. You can hang a heat lamp for them as well. It'll keep the chicks warm when they start running around more.

    But if your hen's been broody for weeks I think it would be better to "break" her and give her a rest. (Unless she is busy with a clutch of eggs already. In which case boost her with some high protein snacks.) Broodiness is hard on a hen's body as she's relatively inactive and eats so little. You can break her by placing her in a wire cage with only food and water for a few days. A broody's body temperature goes up, so when she's in the cage it's hard for her to maintain that and after average 3 days she'll give up.
     
  3. cheeky chicky

    cheeky chicky New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 22, 2012
    southeast Iowa
    Thanks. Well after I fight her for eggs she lays there for awhile then at night ia roosting with the others. I'll just try to break her and see what spring brings :)
    Thanks again for the advice.
     
  4. erlibrd

    erlibrd Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    2,458
    648
    296
    Oct 8, 2010
    mn
    If she is roosting with the others at night she's not really broody, leave her be just take the eggs out from under her every day maybe leave a couple fake ones. She will be fine I had one broody for two months and she broke herself last week. I'd bring her treats now and then not even every day. Sometimes I'd put her out in the run with the others and after 5/10 minutes she'd be back on her nest.
     
  5. cheeky chicky

    cheeky chicky New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Apr 22, 2012
    southeast Iowa
    Thanks. She used to lay in box at night but like I said she isn't now. So she must be breaking herself. My hubby took her out yesterday to forage with the others in the grass and she didn't seem to concerned about getting back in the coop after she saw the others :) go figure by the time I care to ask she is taking care of herself, haha.
    Thanks again for all the advice.
     
  6. Bogtown Chick

    Bogtown Chick Overrun With Chickens

    5,819
    1,878
    361
    Mar 31, 2012
    Northern Minnesota
    My Coop
    I had a broody Black Australorp in November in Northern MN. IDK...I just don't think winter is a good time for chicks or broody hens for everyone involved-- hen and me, in my opinion. She had all her chest feathers about gone in less than a week keeping eggs, when removed then a golf ball....then nothing. I finally broke her with a dog kennel in the garage with the light on all night long and no bedding materials to "cool" her chest down. It took two days after her 6 day stint in a nesting box and then she was up on the roost with everybody else. After, she went from my best layer to nada for eggs since--maybe just the winter light hours too--but I know the broody shut her down. Next time I won't wait so long to put them in the broody jail if the timing isn't right for all of us.

    Another thing to be watchful for is that broody-ness can be "catchy" you might find if you have some layers still laying through the winter...they could follow suit. I'm not for opening that can of worms. [​IMG] Unless you want this sort of detailed project to help you get throught he long/coldest part of the winter. [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by