How Do I Know If a Chicken is Broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SkyWarrior, Dec 26, 2010.

  1. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Dumb question, I know. I've got a really grumpy chicken who will try to bite if I check underneath her for eggs. She has ripped out her chest feathers. BUT she won't stay put in the nest, which to me says she isn't broody, just bad tempered. [​IMG]

  2. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    Often the feather pulling is a good sign.

    Does she sleep in the nesting boxes? Does she ever get up, I mean, to run around and eat and all, or is it restricted to only a quick drink/bite to eat once a day?

    These are some signs of broodiness:

    Feather pulling

    Sleeping on nest/eggs

    No activity for more than 12 hours

    When bothered, will readjust herself, shoving her wings back under as if trying to scoot the eggs closer into the center

    Often a broody will indeed move from nest to nest. . . It does not mean she isn't broody, but either trying to steal eggs or find a more ideal place.
  3. SkyWarrior

    SkyWarrior Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Wilds of Montana
    Quote:Nope. She's active and snarky. She's also a barred rock. I do, however, have another bird who sleeps in the nest in another pen and she seems to spend a lot of time in it. She isn't snarky or mean, but seems to like to keep everyone's eggs warm. [​IMG]

    I'm not sure if either would sit for 21 days on eggs.
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Sleeping on the nest is the biggest one for me. I have a couple of girls that will chitter and puff up at me, but they are not broody, they just don't like being bothered while they are laying.

    Pulling chest feathers is a good indication too though. Maybe she's thinking about it, but not all the way yet.
  5. chicks4kids

    chicks4kids Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2009
    Northern Indiana
    Sounds like she's in the process of becoming broody...just not happy with the situation yet. Just because she's a BR doesn't mean she won't go broody. I had a BR hatch out twice last spring and summer. Just be sure to pull those eggs daily until you know for a fact that she'll can always put eggs under her after that.

    Good luck!
  6. BigIslandChicks

    BigIslandChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 10, 2010
    i am having the same questions today!! my game hen did not go in last night then today i went out and she was in the nest!! i have an idea of where she got in - the net was loose - so i fixed that up already.
    so i went in and went to pull out the box and she scared me bc i thought she was still out and there she was about to lay an egg... so i left the coop and went back out a few min. ago and when she saw me she jumped up to the nest and kicked the EE out and jumped on the eggs, and used her wings to put the eggs under her. is she going broody??
    i hope so i want chicks and dont have an incubator and just started to gather materials to build one, but i would rather have my hens hatch eggs if can. i have 2 BR roos so my eggs are fertilized (i have been checking the ones we eat) but i dont want her to hatch hers - will they be a mutant mix -game hen X BR roo - or the EE's. i took her egg and the one green one - i think there were 3 brown ones in there from the BR so i gave her the BR egg i already got this morning. i think maybe if she stays on the nest i will give her a few more of the barred rocks eggs from the last few days and next few?? i only want to hatch out pure bred chicks (even if they are only hatchery stock) i think they will be easier to sell if they are the barred rocks and not mutt chicks.
    what do i do now??
    just watch her i guess and hope she stays on that nest...figures its everyones favorite nest...good thing they just started using the other one here and least they will have another spot if she does decide to sit. then if she is broody should i give her a few more of the barred rock eggs??? i think she has 4 right now - she did let me take the 2 eggs out from under her, but she was not to happy about it - so thats why i left the brown eggs to see if she will stay on them... im about to let everyone out to freerange so i will see if she wants to go out? if she stay on the nest should i assume she is broody and give her more eggs? she has hatched out chicks before i got her - she was wild and moved in our coop with her chicks a few months ago.
    i hope she is going broody [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Quote:You should probably start your own thread for that, considering here we're trying to help SkyWarrior.

    Sky, mine is doing this today but will not sleep in the nest. I'm confused too, but seems to me that she probably won't last long, considering all she's doing is the typical growl, puff up and peck then stay on the nest for a couple of hours on and off. Illia said it great, as usual, and so did HC.
  8. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Pepsnick, lighten up.[​IMG]
  9. PepsNick

    PepsNick Back to Business

    May 9, 2010
    Egglanta, GA
    Quote:Just sayin! She could get more responses there and it could be confusing on this thread.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010
  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    The topic is "How do I know if a hen is broody." How would the answers differ from one to another?

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