Hen will not get off the nest - no Roosters

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SBENJA, Dec 17, 2013.

  1. SBENJA

    SBENJA New Egg

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    May 8, 2013
    Aurora, Mo
    I was in ND for 2 weeks for work. When I came home on Sunday I noticed one of my hens was in the nest; didn't think anything of it. The next day I saw her in the nest again thinking it was just that time again; coincidence. I just went out there again, still there same nest. I reached under her and there were about a dozen of eggs under her. Guess my family didn't think to look under there while I was gone. I have no roosters so I know they won't hatch. Is this normal behavior? Is she trying to hatch them, or is she not feeling well? Thank you
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    She's broody, which means she wants to hatch chicks. It's a hormonal change and not having a rooster will not keep her from going broody. You can either get her some fertile eggs to hatch, wait a week or so and find some day old chicks to slip under her (which doesn't always work), or break her broodiness. This involves a putting her in a wire cage with food and water, but NO nesting material until she no longer goes back to the nest.
     
  3. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

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    She is broody.
    She wants to hatch a clutch. She does not know what is going on. She is driven by nature. She will get over it in time.

    She may have so many eggs under her because a seriously broody hen will steal eggs from another nest box. It is difficult to break a hen from being broody. I have tried relentlessly, and only time seems to do the trick.

    Make sure you pick her up and take her outside for food and water... or bring it to her. Mine will drop weight and muscle mass waiting on those invisible eggs to hatch. Some go broody every so often, and some will turn right around and do it again. Those are the ones that you want to keep an eye out for weight loss.
     
  4. SBENJA

    SBENJA New Egg

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    May 8, 2013
    Aurora, Mo
    Thank you! This is all new to me. Will fake plastic eggs help her?
     
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    That will just encourage her to keep sitting. If you don't want chicks, then take all eggs away from her every day. Broody hens lose a lot of weight while sitting.

    I've only broken one hen that crushed her chicks. She continued to sit after crushing them, but I wouldn't give her any more eggs. She sat most of the summer, but she is a very large hen. All of my other broodies get eggs to hatch.
     
  6. SBENJA

    SBENJA New Egg

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    May 8, 2013
    Aurora, Mo
    Thank you for the replies
     
  7. ayrescoop

    ayrescoop New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2013
    So this is not just a summer thing?

    I was also wondering about typical broody hens, as first one of my girls was acting funny and puffing up a lot - thought she was constipated or egg bound as her vent was expanding and contracting. We gave her olive oil, and probiotic liquid, warm bath and kept her in overnight. She laid her egg in the a.m. but remained recluse after rejoining the flock - but not in nesting box. She is a nervous type - and low on the pecking order.

    Then that same day my lead girl took to the nesting box all day and made an alien-like sound and puffed up REAL big when touching her. I brought her in for olive oil / probiotic and petting treatment - she seemed much better so we put her back out only to discover in the box again by morning and all day now.

    My girls (5 Bantam Easter Eggers) were born May 15th - and have 2 laying regular for past month, and other 2 sporadic w/5th not yet (uptight I'm thinking - most aggressive). We are in CA so not sure if warmer weather would throw typical behaviors off from norm.

    Thanks for any advice you may have.
     
  8. SilkiesForEver

    SilkiesForEver Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds like she's broody, or wants go broody. I have a hen who just loves acting broody, but never sits on the nest. She just walks around attacking my leg if I get in her space (good thing she's a bantam!).
     
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  9. flybyedandy

    flybyedandy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you have a Momma wanabe. She wants to hatch those babies but she can't since they're not fertilized.

    Just natural instinct and a shame you don't have a rooster because that's kinda cool to raise them from the egg. We had a number who were Moms but were eventually killed by dogs in our area. We have a couple chicks from those broods still in our flock and they are top dogs in the pecking order. kinda interesting really how they grey and developed.
     

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