hen stopped brooding!! help!!


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jan 6, 2011
OK, so 2nd time trying to hatch a few eggs. Had no idea what this one particular hen was doing but she wouldn't leave the garage----I'd put her outside on the ground and she would crumble to the ground and just sit there. Then she'd try to get back into the garage to sit on the eggs. Then I read some handy tips here and figured out that I had a broody hen!! So, I collected about 5 eggs and stuck them under her to see what would happen. Low and behold we had 3 live chicks hatch. Cute as a button!! So, gave those chicks away after a couple of weeks to someone whose flock (of 10) was wiped out by a neighbors dog. OK, cut to the chase---she was looking for something to do as soon as I took those chicks away so I put 8 more eggs down for her. All was well till about day 8 or 10 when she stopped wanting to sit on those eggs. I found she was staying off of the eggs longer and longer periods during the day and I was keeping a heating pad on low over them when she was gone. She then progressed to only wanting to set on them during the night. Now she doesn't want to be on them at night either. So, I put the heat lamp over them and trying to keep them warm to hatch. Is this possible? I looked at day 11 and could see something growing in all but 1 egg.

Has anyone had luck hatching eggs with just a heat lamp or is this just humoring myself???

I am not sure, but I don't think it's a good idea to give her more to hatch right away. They not only want to hatch the eggs but also raise the chicks too. I think if you had kept one chick for her then she would have raised the baby and then some time in the future she would have gone "broody" again. Often when they are broody they will stop being broody after a month or two. And that is with non fertile eggs. Its a lot of work and strain on the hens when they are broody. They are not eating or drinking or getting exercise as they normally would. So in nature they would be broody, hatch the chicks, raise the chicks, start to lay again, and then maybe be ready to hatch more chicks.

My silkie is broody a lot and I try to make sure to help her become "un-broody" unless I am going to let her sit on some fertile eggs. I get 3 0r 4 eggs from a friend, as I have no rooster, then put a mark on the fertile ones. Once she is sitting good I will put the fertile ones under her. The Hen has by now stopped laying but the other hens might lay an egg or two in her nest so I remove those unfertile eggs. I don't remove her to a separate area, though this time I might do that. It's so cold and there is so much snow here that I feel its a better choice to leave her in the main coop. The hens have access to a small broody coop. But I try to leave her where she thinks she wants to be. After the chicks hatch, the friend I got the eggs from takes the extra chicks and I leave one baby for my silkie to raise. We keep the baby unless it turns out that I kept a rooster, then my friend will take him back too.

I don't live where I can have lots and lots of chickens, and no roosters, so if I can't keep at least one of the chicks for the Mom Hen, I would try to break her of being broody. As it is, I was worried about her health being broody. My little silkie, (Blanche) seems to go broody in the winter months a lot. I need her to wait til spring. She is broody right now, I am going to get 3 eggs from my friend and put them under her in about a week and hope for the best weather wise.

Again I am no expert, this is just what I do, but I don't think being broody, hatching out chicks, then right away being given more eggs to hatch, is something that my hens would be able to do. Hope this helps.
I agree, not that I'm an expert.

I think she needs to be broody in order to sit on the eggs for any length of time.

My silkie cross is a bit of a lost cause as a layer: She lays 9 or 10 eggs and then goes broody for 3 weeks or so. So I give her eggs to hatch and babies to rear and she is fine about it all. Until she goes broody again. At the minute she is sitting on 3 plastic eggs while I am waiting for some Buff Sussex eggs.

Hope this helps
I would just toss the eggs if I were in your situation. She's undoubtedly going to go back to her normal routine after 2 months of brooding. Her broody hormones wore off.

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