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Hen is perpetually broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Loon, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. Loon

    Loon In the Brooder

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    I have a silver laced Wyandotte who is approximately 7 months old. She has been broody every since the flock started laying eggs back in April. She allows the other hens to lay their eggs then she hops on and sits. I realize hens can go broody but this one seems to have been born broody and is not interested in doing anything except sit on eggs. Has anyone else ever had a hen who acted like this?
     
  2. five is my dog

    five is my dog Songster

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    yes that is what a broody is. [​IMG] they sit until they get chicks if you had fertilized eggs i would give them to her. broody hens raise chicks its what they do. [​IMG]
     
  3. buttercup95

    buttercup95 Songster

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    I wouldn't worry at all I once had a young bantam hen who would try and sit on any egg no matter what size. She hatched so many eggs for us it was a god send
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member 7 Years

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    Broody hens can become very thin and emaciated when they have been broody for a long period. Some can starve themselves, so I would put her in a cage for 3-5 days, preferably with no bedding so her bottom will be cool. Mine usually break in 3-4 days; if not they go back in.
     
  5. five is my dog

    five is my dog Songster

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    as long as you keep food and water within reach of her she shouldnt become to thin. if you dont want chicks the cage Eggcessive mentioned should work. i would soak her in cool water every day while in the cage that helps to lower body temp making her think she is too cold for brooding. raising chicks is what they do i would let nature run its course and let her raise some chicks. [​IMG]
     
  6. buttercup95

    buttercup95 Songster

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    I agree, if you do want to have your hen remain broody just make sure she has food and water within reach. I have never tried to break a hen from being broody. However, I usually have a few fertilized eggs I can slip under the hen and once they hatch it's the perfect mom.
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Quote: Yeah, a few out of hundreds. The ability to mother isn't guaranteed just because she retains enough instinct to brood. In my experience, if she's brooding to the point of harming herself through lack of feed, or beyond the normal incubation and hatching period, she hasn't got the instinct to make a good mother.

    The maternal instinct in chickens can be graded on a scale of 0 to 100 --- there's a huge amount of variety and discrepancy. Many hens who brood incessantly will merely move nest when chicks hatch under them. If they dont kill them, that is. Some are only interested in eggs, and won't do anything with chicks.

    Some will accept chicks but remain with any eggs they spot, thereby being unfit mothers. Some hens I've culled because they went permanently broody, no matter how many times I broke them off the sit, and were starving to death, dehydrating daily, weak from lack of exercise, continually agitated.

    Quote: In wild state in nature, yes. In domesticity, not always reliably. Humans have completely divested some breeds of maternal and paternal instincts. Some are confused about what mating is, even! A broody is not a guaranteed mother until she's proven herself by raising chicks, nothing is really proven by her going broody.

    Quote: This attracts vermin and other chooks to stay on the nest which brings more fecal matter and any external parasites. If she has good instincts, she will leave the nest to eat and drink, dustbathe, sun and exercise herself each day; if she lacks that instinct she lacks others necessary to being a truly great mother.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Loon

    Loon In the Brooder

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    This broody hen does get off the nest and eats and drinks and runs around a bit then gets right back on the nest. The last time I let a hen set on eggs she hatched out 9 chicks. Six of them turned out to be roosters. I suppose I could isolate her with a couple eggs and let her set on them and hatch them and hope they aren't roosters. The other broody hen I had was a fabulous mother and it was fun to watch her raise the babies. I just hate to feed and take care of a bunch of roosters that I wind up giving away anyway. I have a small coop I could put her in with the nest and eggs in it and see what happens. Thanks for the advise. If I just ignore this and keep taking the eggs will she eventually give up being broody?
     
  9. five is my dog

    five is my dog Songster

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    if she really wants chicks she will sit on an empty nest. but it might work.
     
  10. five is my dog

    five is my dog Songster

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    Quote: i have done this before and had no problems water isnt going to atract vermin maybe food would but you could atleast give her some water
     

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