How do I know if I have a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by clovergreen, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. clovergreen

    clovergreen New Egg

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Wartrace/Beechgrove, TN
    I have three Rhode Island Red hens. They normally lay in their boxes, but the day before yesterday they all decided to lay under their boxes on the floor of the coop. All of the eggs are together, as well (they often lay in separate boxes). Does this mean one of them wants to sit?--eventually? How long do I let them collect before I can give up and gather eggs? I tried to let them gather a clutch in the late spring and ended up wasting a couple dozen eggs in the process.
    Also, if I do have a broody hen, is it too late to let her sit and hatch them herself? or will it get cold too soon? Our first frost last year was October 7.
    Any suggestions/advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    All of the eggs are together, as well (they often lay in separate boxes). Does this mean one of them wants to sit?--eventually?

    Dunno, good question.

    How long do I let them collect before I can give up and gather eggs?

    Do you want to eat them or incubate them?
    If it's eating collect them now. If incubation, then no more than week at cool temps: 40-60 degrees.

    Also, if I do have a broody hen, is it too late to let her sit and hatch them herself? or will it get cold too soon?

    Id say yes, unless you intend to heat the coop.

    But all this broody stuff is new territory for me. I incubate. Im watching this one for answers.​
     
  3. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    Try to take the eggs and if your arm is beaked off, you have a broody hen. (just kidding)

    A broody with sit on the eggs continuously, be puffed up and may growl at you and beak you if you try to take the eggs.
    If you want them for eating, take them daily (or when your arm stops bleeding). If you are not sure she is broody, just take them. I wouldn't hatch eggs now unless you live in a warm climate.
    They might be laying where they are because of many things. It might be warmer and darker there, there might be poo in the nest box or mites or something irritating them in the nest box whole they are in there. Or the bedding in the boxes might not be to their standards.
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Try to take the eggs and if your arm is beaked off, you have a broody hen. (just kidding)

    More true than kidding, terrie! Don't forget the beady-eyed, puffing up and hissing, which is the prelude to pecking your hand and arm to shreds.​
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 23, 2007

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