Hen not leaving nest box

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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Not to hijack the thread here, but what would happen if you didn't "break" the broody and OP left her alone? Would she really stay on that nest long enough to decline? I'm curious and trying to learn.
She might....not worth the risk, IMO.
 
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Cryss

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Nov 12, 2017
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Not to hijack the thread here, but what would happen if you didn't "break" the broody and OP left her alone? Would she really stay on that nest long enough to decline? I'm curious and trying to learn.
It’s a very good possibility. She’ll stay being the good mama till something hatches but nothing does. She could stay till she starves herself to death. Yeah, it’s not worth it.
 

rosemarythyme

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Jul 3, 2016
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what would happen if you didn't "break" the broody and OP left her alone? Would she really stay on that nest long enough to decline?
Most would give up after a certain amount of time, but yes there's been cases on here of broodies that literally brood themselves to death by weakening themselves so much that they never recover.

In a less extreme scenario they're still likely to lose some weight, lose feather condition, and be more prone to picking up mites/lice etc.
 

Agent99

Chirping
Dec 19, 2018
14
58
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Dunedin, New Zealand
Not to hijack the thread here, but what would happen if you didn't "break" the broody and OP left her alone? Would she really stay on that nest long enough to decline? I'm curious and trying to learn.
That’s what I just did with a broody hen. She stayed there just over 3 weeks, hopping off every now and then for some food and water and a stretch. When I first spotted her off the the nest I zoomed out took away the eggs she was sitting on, and replaced them with two plastic ones. She never noticed. After about three weeks I noticed she was hopping off for longer periods, so I took away the plastic eggs, and she decided she was done. She started laying again within a week, no harm done.
 

Carolei

Songster
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
196
68
151
Seattle, WA
It sure sounds like she's broody. You can give her fertile eggs and let her raise some baby chicks for you, or if you don't want chicks you can follow any of the advice about how to break a broody. If you don't give her eggs and you don't break her she will sit for 3 weeks or more and not lay eggs. It's really fun to let a broody hatch eggs and raise chicks! If you don't have a rooster you can get some fertile eggs and slip them under her. I've done that and it's great fun! There are lots of posts about broody hens and giving them eggs. Although, depending on where you are, it might not be the best time of year for that.
 

LeonaGD

Chirping
8 Years
Jan 20, 2012
5
6
61
Northern California
I have been a chicken momma for nine years. Currently, I have one nine-year-old, two three-year-olds, and four two-year-olds. They are all Black Australorps.

There are several reasons that my chickens have stayed in the nest over the years: #1 Broody, #2 Getting bullied by the other hens, #3 Toenails were too long and were creating discomfort on the roost bar.

#1) Broody: For broody hens, I could usually break the cycle by moving the hen out of the nest every day (this has always been the successful tactic and the longest it ever took was about 7 days). One year I gave up and just bought the broody hen some chicks and put them under her in the nest box over night and she became a momma (I was only successful at that technique once so far though).

#2) At one point I had eleven chickens and that was too many for my coop size so they were competing for space. Several of the more dominant hens were bullying others and so the ones being bullied would spend the night and sometimes the days in the nests to protect themselves and get rest. I ended up culling the flock down to eight hens. As soon as the bullies were gone and there were less hens to compete with in general, the nest sitters were out of the nest and back in action. Six to eight hens in our coop seem to be a good number.

#3) There was a time recently when I noticed one hen staying in the nest every night and sometimes all day, but mostly at night. It was several weeks and I was trying to pay close attention to all the factors. One night when I took her out of the nest and put her up on the roost bar I noticed that her nails were long and she couldn't rest her feet well on the roost bar (I use a 2x4 on its side). Boom, I went and got the nail trimmers right then and gave her (and everyone else) a nail trim and she didn't go back in the nest.

Those are a few experiences I have had with nest sitters.

I LOVE being a chicken momma.
 

JoCoKS

Chirping
May 13, 2019
50
109
68
I have been a chicken momma for nine years. Currently, I have one nine-year-old, two three-year-olds, and four two-year-olds. They are all Black Australorps.

There are several reasons that my chickens have stayed in the nest over the years: #1 Broody, #2 Getting bullied by the other hens, #3 Toenails were too long and were creating discomfort on the roost bar.

#1) Broody: For broody hens, I could usually break the cycle by moving the hen out of the nest every day (this has always been the successful tactic and the longest it ever took was about 7 days). One year I gave up and just bought the broody hen some chicks and put them under her in the nest box over night and she became a momma (I was only successful at that technique once so far though).

#2) At one point I had eleven chickens and that was too many for my coop size so they were competing for space. Several of the more dominant hens were bullying others and so the ones being bullied would spend the night and sometimes the days in the nests to protect themselves and get rest. I ended up culling the flock down to eight hens. As soon as the bullies were gone and there were less hens to compete with in general, the nest sitters were out of the nest and back in action. Six to eight hens in our coop seem to be a good number.

#3) There was a time recently when I noticed one hen staying in the nest every night and sometimes all day, but mostly at night. It was several weeks and I was trying to pay close attention to all the factors. One night when I took her out of the nest and put her up on the roost bar I noticed that her nails were long and she couldn't rest her feet well on the roost bar (I use a 2x4 on its side). Boom, I went and got the nail trimmers right then and gave her (and everyone else) a nail trim and she didn't go back in the nest.

Those are a few experiences I have had with nest sitters.

I LOVE being a chicken momma.
Dear Chicken Mamma,
I have two very nice nesting boxes in the coop for three Salmon Faverolles (I had five but a hawk turned two into a meal, now I have a scare crow I can rotate to keep him away. I have had chickens as pets for almost 70 years and I never lost one to a predator before). I always find one egg on the floor and one or two in one nesting box. They only use one, but when they use the other box the egg(s) come flying out breaking on the floor of the coop. I do have ceramic eggs in the nesting boxes so why am I having these problems with my pet chickens and nesting boxes? I am thinking about raising the edge so they sit farther down in the box. I never had nesting boxes before and with the problems I am having I am thinking of taking them out. I designed them to lift out for easy cleaning so it would not be a problem to remove them and leave them out.
 

elmo

Crowing
10 Years
May 23, 2009
4,895
205
306
DFW
One of our hens did get egg bound once. The way she was sitting in the nest was noticeably different from a broody hen. The broody hens we've had sit flatter in the nest, almost like a pancake.

Hermione, the hen who was egg bound, also had a history of laying really large eggs. We took her to the vet who confirmed she was egg bound. He gave her a shot of pitocin and we watched her carefully for the next few hours. Sure enough, she managed to lay that egg. If she hadn't, he would have had to break and extract it, a risky procedure.

I gave her some eggs to sit on so she would go broody and get a break from egg laying for a while. That did the trick. It's been almost ten years since and she's hasn't been egg bound again.

Last summer, she did have a couple of prolapses, though, and needed sutures twice.
 

Cryss

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2017
3,929
9,550
707
Northwest New Jersey
Dear Chicken Mamma,
I have two very nice nesting boxes in the coop for three Salmon Faverolles (I had five but a hawk turned two into a meal, now I have a scare crow I can rotate to keep him away. I have had chickens as pets for almost 70 years and I never lost one to a predator before). I always find one egg on the floor and one or two in one nesting box. They only use one, but when they use the other box the egg(s) come flying out breaking on the floor of the coop. I do have ceramic eggs in the nesting boxes so why am I having these problems with my pet chickens and nesting boxes? I am thinking about raising the edge so they sit farther down in the box. I never had nesting boxes before and with the problems I am having I am thinking of taking them out. I designed them to lift out for easy cleaning so it would not be a problem to remove them and leave them out.
Can you post pictures of your nest set up? A few different shots from different angles and distances would help us see if there is a solution. Removing them forces the chickens to lay eggs on the floor where they also poop. They prefer a clean nest to lay clean eggs and I’d bet so do you.
 
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