How early can a chicken go broody? Is this broody behavior?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jeffross1968, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    I bought, about a month ago, 3 brown leghorns...all were supposed to be 8 months old. All were free ranging in a big field of comfrey, and frankly, I don't even know if they had a coop. One seemed to lay pretty soon after we got her, another has started laying, but the third hasn't. I know that they aren't machines on a schedule, so I've been watching, and found some behavior differing from the other two. Mildred (for some reason we tend to name our chickens with older traditional human names, like Gertrude, Helen, and Mildred...anyway...)....Mildred, when all the others seemed to treat our 2 younger chickens (maybe 5 months old?) like outcasts, she nearly immediately became motherly to them. She has taken to sleeping with them in a corner of the coop, not on a roost. The others all roost at night. She has even acted roosterish, in that she finds food and calls for them. While free ranging, she is always with them, never with the other 2 leghorns, or any of the other chickens. And every night, she follows them around until they are all ready to head to the coop.

    She has not laid an egg yet here. I have no idea if she was laying prior to us purchasing her, though I was told she was by the comfrey farmer. With no clutch to sit on, and if she had been taken from her clutch when we bought her, if she was broody, would she have instinctively taken to these younger chickens and continued this motherly behavior?

    It's been a month now, and the two young chickens have grown tremendously (though they still haven't revealed their gender...free loaders...). However, this behavior has not changed. Is it too early for going broody? I was under the impression that this breed is rare to go broody in the first place.
     
  2. Dutchgirl

    Dutchgirl Not Dutch!

    Apr 1, 2008
    U.S.A.
    If you don't have a rooster in the flock, it's possible she is taking on that role. [​IMG]

    As for the egglaying problem, chickens tend to have different schedules, especially when they're younger. Still, eight months? She SHOULD be laying regularly, as far as I know.

    This pretty much matches the behavior of a mother hen, but I'm not sure this is the case. Ordinarily a hen would reject chicks that weren't hers.

    Maybe you just have an extraordinary case on your hands. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

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