How do you know that a hen is setting?

austrolover1

Songster
Dec 14, 2015
675
117
118
In the summer I'm hoping to have some setting hens. If the eggs are warm does it mean that the egg is being sat on or does it mean that it was just laid? Or will the hen be in the nesting box all the time?
 
Last edited:

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,557
626
Northern CA
My Coop
My Coop
Look for them on the nest at night. Sometimes, hens will stay in the nest box after laying to rest, but only broodies stay on the nest at night. Other symptoms of a broody hen:

Quit laying eggs
Plucking belly feathers
Puffing up and screaming at you when you go to check for eggs. (though some birds that are not broody can do this too, but it's more pronounced with broodies)
Looking flat, like a pancake
Making soft, clucking sounds (often called the broody cluck)
 
Last edited:

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,523
20,816
907
Southeast Louisiana
My test for if a hen is broody or not is that she has to spend two consecutive nights on the nest instead of in her normal roosting spot. I’ve had some hens show a lot of signs of being broody but they don’t always kick over into full broody mode, even the ones that spend most of the time during the day on the nest or walk around fluffed up and clucking. I’ve even had hens that spend one night on the nest but then don’t go back.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,070
581
Southern Oregon
I agree with the above. I've wanted a broody so much I've put eggs under a hen that wasn't fully committed, and that doesn't end well. Some hens, it's from one day to the next, one day she's normal and not interested, the next BOOM you can't get her off that nest. Other hens take a while to be fully in broody mode, they practice and flirt with it and generally drive you insane
he.gif
. But the best way to tell is to check the box at night. If she's roosting in the normal spot, she's not ready for eggs yet. If she's in the box, looking like a pancake, for at least two nights in a row, you should be good to give her eggs to set on.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,744
130,769
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Look for them on the nest at night. Sometimes, hens will stay in the nest box after laying to rest, but only broodies stay on the nest at night. Other symptoms of a broody hen:

Quit laying eggs
Plucking belly feathers
Puffing up and screaming at you when you go to check for eggs. (though some birds that are not broody can do this too, but it's more pronounced with broodies)
Looking flat, like a pancake
Making soft, clucking sounds (often called the broody cluck)


My test for if a hen is broody or not is that she has to spend two consecutive nights on the nest instead of in her normal roosting spot. I’ve had some hens show a lot of signs of being broody but they don’t always kick over into full broody mode, even the ones that spend most of the time during the day on the nest or walk around fluffed up and clucking. I’ve even had hens that spend one night on the nest but then don’t go back.
Both these^^^
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom