Hen is acting strange

chickentender8

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 19, 2012
49
0
32
I have a 10 month old amerucana, she is a great egg layer. Yesterday she stayed in the nesting box all day. I got a little worried about her, so I went and checked to see if she had laid an egg. I reached under her and there was an egg, I took it and got her out of the nest box, I wanted her to go eat and drink some water, she stayed out the rest of the evening, and went in the coop when the rest of the hens went in. This morning she was back in the nest box, I checked, there was no egg. An hour later I went and checked on her again, still in the nest box, and still no egg. I got her out of the nest box so she would go eat and drink. She kept puffing up her feathers, making strange noises, and the other hens would not leave her alone. Is she broody? I don't know. Is she hiding because the other hens are picking on her? They usually all get along. My flock is small, only 8 hens, no rooster. I have 2 Rhode Island Reds, 3 black austrolorps, 1 California white and 2 Amerucanas. Anyone have any suggestions?
 

ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
240
208
Los Angeles
No. It is an individual behavior. Some breed are more prone to broodiness than others. Search breaking on broody on the threads. If you really want her to stop you may need to keep her in a wire bottom cage so she can not nest. If you just shut her out she may just make her own nest. It is a strong instinctual behavior.
 

JackE

Crowing
11 Years
Apr 26, 2010
2,327
760
301
North Eastern Md.
I have a couple of hens (BOs) that go broody from time to time. They will sit on the nest for days unless I do something about it. I've heard some will sit for WEEKS. So I put them in the broody buster. The broody buster is an old wire cage, I put them in there, and put the cage up on the roost bars. I have a little food dish and small waterer in there for them also. The idea is to get air circulation around them. After 3 days in the cage, I'll let them out, and they are good to go. As far as the other birds bothering them. they usually don't with mine, because they can get pretty defensive/crabby when they're broody on the nest. One of them opened up the back of my hand one time when I went in after eggs.
Jack
 

ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
240
208
Los Angeles
I have a frizzled cochin who is broody often. I don't care about her missing eggs and she always looks so sad when I try to make her stop so I just leave her be and let her do her chicken thing. When left alone she is usually broody about 3-4 weeks (which makes sense as this is about the time it takes to hatch eggs). It then takes her an additional week or so to lay eggs again.
 

chickentender8

In the Brooder
7 Years
Sep 19, 2012
49
0
32
I thought that if I took some of her favorite treats out she would be more inclined to stay out, i picked them some grass, she would not eat it, i took some bread out, which she loves, she ate a little piece, but all she wanted to do was go back to the nest box. The other chickens are picking on her so badly, she does not fight back she just runs away. I did not see her eat any feed or drink any water though. If I leave her alone and let her do her chicken thing, will she eat and drink? I am worried about that. I can't block off the nest boxes because the other hens have to go lay their eggs.If I keep taking the eggs she is laying will she continue to stay in the nest box? I have only had chickens since April so this is all new to me!!
 

ChickensRDinos

Songster
7 Years
Aug 19, 2012
2,242
240
208
Los Angeles
Broody hens will only get down to eat and drink and poo once a day, sometimes less. This is normal. The other hens pecking at her is not. If you see blood you should separate her out.

Broody hens stop laying and will stay in the nest all day and all day. You can give her fertile eggs and she will hatch them. She will loose weight and will pull out the feathers on her belly. If where you live is extremely cool right now you might want to try to break her if weight loss could be a health issue. Otherwise it is normal and fine.
 

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