hen 'upset', clucks loudly when eggs removed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by DavidMed, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. DavidMed

    DavidMed Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2014
    I have four hens, two buff cochin and two silver wyandottes. They all began laying about two weeks ago. Everything seems more or less ok, except one of the cochin has some odd behavior around egg laying and removal.

    The one hen seems to be more apt to get 'upset' when disturbed from the nest box. If she has laid and egg and I open the box with her in it she starts clucking loudly. If I keep the box open or remove the egg from under her she leaves the nest box and raised coop but will roam around clucking loudly for some time. She will return to the nest periodically, get upset, go back outside, go back in... after a while she quiets back down and hangs out with the rest of the flock. It's not typical broody behavior from what I can tell, she is not sitting in the nest constantly or other dark hidden spots. She acts more or less ok except right around the moment the eggs are taken. If I'm not removing the egg too soon, she usually leaves the nest and never knows its gone.

    Any advice for how to handle her? I'm assuming she is becoming broody but hasn't fully committed yet. Is it best to remove eggs quickly from broody hens or let them leave the box first assuming they will leave?
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Sounds like pre broody behavior. It's a bit early after only two weeks of laying, but she is after all a Cochin.
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I have some like that, they make a bigger stink about their eggs, especially if they are new layers. She might be more apt to go broody or she might calm down after it becomes a regular thing.
  4. DavidMed

    DavidMed Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 27, 2014
    In general should you avoid taking the eggs from them while they are in the nest box? Seems like disruption would help prevent broody behavior. But I don't want her to start avoiding the nest box.
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    I don't. If I'm there to collect eggs and someone's in there, I dig them out from under them (usually while taking a few pecks) and go about my business. Most of my hens don't care, others take off and make a fuss, and then come back and finish up when I'm gone. They don't avoid the boxes, just me :) And it doesn't deter them from going broody, at least not mine (Silkies and Sizzles). They just growl, screech and peck at me if they're unhappy with what I'm doing.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I avoid collecting eggs when birds are on nest.....why interfere with their laying?
    Sometimes I do slowly open back access to nest bank and slowly remove eggs from other nests when it's freezing out... some tolerate that intrusion, others do not.
    But when weather is mild I don't bother hens on the nest, I collect later in day when most are done then final gathering at night time lock up.

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