Hens go broody over own eggs or others'?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by xtremevermonter, May 6, 2009.

  1. xtremevermonter

    xtremevermonter Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2009
    Bradford, VT
    When a hen decides to go broody, is the behavior precipitated by her laying her own egg? Is there a high probability that she is sitting on top of one of hers, or could she have found other eggs and decided that she needed to become their mother?
  2. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    My duck tried to go broody over her eggs and my runner eggs. They lay in the same place.

    Other people have reported ducks and chickens (and geese) not just setting their own eggs, but stealing any other eggs in the area and setting on those too.

    I think a pile of eggs kicks the instinct in to high gear. It doesn't seem to matter who made the eggs in the first place.
  3. TheDuckCrew

    TheDuckCrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2009
    i agree. if they are broody, they will sit on anything. some people have even had their hens try to incubate rocks....so if the eggs are theirs or someone else's, i don't think they really care. to them, eggs are eggs. and they must sit on eggs.
  4. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    If you gather daily, or more often the chance that a hen is sitting on any of her own eggs is slim, unless you are letting them try to sit everytime you see one sitting on a nest. I always gather and if the same hen is getting nasty about trying to take her eggs then I will give her eggs, but by that point she has stopped laying.
  5. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 22, 2009
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    I’m not exactly sure. I have heard that there is a hormonal imbalance that occurs when the hen goes broody, which I can believe seeing the trance that my hens get in. I have though had hens brood on nothing, golf balls, eggs they stole from other hens, and their own. I think that once she decides to be a mom it really doesn't matter what she is sitting on.
  6. ChicoChickens

    ChicoChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 27, 2008
    Chico, CA
    I've got two broody hens at the moment and they are laying on a hodge-podge of all the other hens' eggs. One of the broody hens is smaller than the other so some chickens will actually lay in the nesting box with her and lay more eggs for her to sit on! I've been removing them daily because, seriously, she can only sit on so many LOL. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. xtremevermonter

    xtremevermonter Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2009
    Bradford, VT

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