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How Do I Get Broody Hens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Lady Watcher, Mar 4, 2017.

  1. Lady Watcher

    Lady Watcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey, so my rooster is around 4 months now and is starting to hang out with my 11 month old hens. Does anyone know what I can do to encourage the hens to go broody? I have 2 white leghorns, and they started laying in some pots I left in my coop. They were hiding them so does that mean they want babies? I also have 1 australorp, 1 Maran, 1 dominique, and 2 RIR.
     
  2. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Certain breeds go broody while others never go broody. Leghorns and RIR are among the never to seldom broody breeds. Don't know about dominiques but you might get a broody marans. If you really want a broody hen you might have to get one of a breed that is known to go broody. Your better egg producers seldom go broody. You may want to try a heritage breed. Favarolles ted to go broody and bantams are known for going broody.
    If I want to hatch any chicks this year I may give eggs to my bantam but as she is small I don't think she can cover move than four eggs tops.
    I also have several mixes that have gone the distance and hatched eggs. Unfortunately they all seem to go broody in the fall while I prefer spring chicks,
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Broody is determined by hormones, and some breeds tend to go broody more than others. Your leghorns and RIRs are likely not to go broody - they are bred strictly for egg laying. I have read that Australorps may go broody, but can't say for sure. My Australorp is just coming a year now so haven't had a chance to see if she will or not. I have never had Marans or Dominiques, so can't speak to them. If your birds are all hatchery birds, their chances of going broody are even less. Hatchery birds are bred more toward laying. That doesn't mean they WON'T, just that they are more likely not to. If you want to hatch eggs on your own schedule, you'd be better off getting an incubator.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nope.
    It means they found a place to lay they like better than whatever nests you have provided.

    Free range birds sometimes need to be 'trained'(or re-trained) to lay in the coop nests, especially new layers. Leaving them locked in the coop for 3-4 days (or longer) can help 'home' them to lay in the coop nests. Fake eggs/golf balls in the nests can help 'show' them were to lay. They can be confined to coop 24/7 for a few days to a week, or confine them at least until mid to late afternoon. You help them create a new habit and they will usually stick with it. ..at least for a good while, then repeat as necessary.
     

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