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How early can a hen go broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lswatson111304, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm wondering if my hen is broody, or if I just happen to go out and visit when she is laying...which I don't think is the case. She seems so young though, she only layed her first egg recently. Like a month or so ago. (OK, just checked past posts) She layed her first egg on November 26th. Now, she wont get out of the nest. I mean. Honestly I haven't been checking frequently, but when I take DD to school in the morning all the others were out playing. She was nowhere to be found in the run. When I left this afternoon. Same thing. Come home, same thing. She is in the nest and if you come close she puffs up and pecks at you. She and I didn't bond completely before she started laying either, so I'm scared to grab and move her. [​IMG] So lets see, its been since Sunday. DH told me saturday there was an egg, but we were headed out the door and I couldn't go grab it. Sunday she was in the nest so I let her be. Monday, same thing. Today same thing.
    I don't have a rooster that has been mating her he just started crowing a little over a month ago and I haven't seen any action, or any bulls eyes. He is young, from like the first week in October.
    So what do I do? Keep watching her. How do I tell if she is for sure broody, and how should I approach her? Or just leave her alone? I'm thinking of full body Armour to go get her eggs from under her. LOL She is my only one of laying age yet too.
    OH and her breed is a back yard mix, but she looks similar to a OEGB, or so I was told.
    Here she was a few minutes ago.

    [​IMG]

    Here she is when she was still a pullet. On the left.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  2. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if she is broody, what is the likelyhood that she will hatch me some chicks? How soon would I need to get her some fertile eggs?
     
  3. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When my chickens go broody and she is not sitting on fertile eggs, I just leave them alone.

    Sometimes the other chickens lay where she is sitting so I collect the eggs under "broody" girl.

    After a while they gets tired of sitting on nothing and gradually gets over it.

    I don't do anything drastic by locking them in a cage. Frankly I don't care if they stop laying. I have others.
     
  4. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    If she stays on the nest at night, that`s a sure sign of broodiness. You have 3 choices. You can break her, you can just let her set and she will eventually give it up, or you can get her some fertile eggs. If you do anything with her, do it in the dark, at night wearing long sleeves and gloves. If you can locate some fertile eggs in the next 2-3 days, go to her at night and remove the egg she has and put all the fertile eggs under her. Since the others aren`t laying, she will be fine. Ya just gotta be sure they aren`t adding eggs to her clutch as all the eggs should be started at the same time. Don`t get greedy. Only give her enough that she can cover easily. Here`s a great article on broodies. Good luck and Merry Christmas.......Pop

    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html
     
  5. lswatson111304

    lswatson111304 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you! We want to try to get some fertile eggs under her. I don't mind her being broody at all. But see, we stole her egg she was setting on, so now I'm concerned we will "break" her broodiness. I guess I didn't want her to start counting with a non fertile egg. Although I know nothing about this at all.

    She has been sleeping in the nest since a few days before she started to lay. After she started to lay the nest became her bed, and laying spot. But when she first started, she still left the nest to play. Now, no leaving the nest at all. Not even when I came in with treats. I even put the spinach up in the box with her and she refused it.
     
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Looks like she is going broody to me...
     
  7. mychoock

    mychoock Out Of The Brooder

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    This is all interesting to me, as I have a hen who also seems to have gone broody. For about a week now she has been staying in one nest, and I don't think she ever gets out. I have no idea how many eggs are under her. My girls have been laying for about two months but I have no idea who lays on which days, as it is hard to tell one hen from another.
    I don't want this hen to hatch out chicks because our winters are so long and cold. I would love to have chicks in the spring.
    So I guess tonight I will get my husband to help me, and we will try to take any eggs out from under her. I like the idea of letting her come out of the broody stage naturally, and not using a cage or whatever.
    Thanks
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I had a recent layer go broody maybe a month and a half after she started laying. This is a polish x SS hamburg, neither are broody breeds.. I was shocked. I thought she was egg bound for sure! I broke her out of it in a week or so. She has not laid another egg since two weeks ago this Friday. She has begun to squat again. She was really flighty for a week after I broke her.

    It is very possible she is broody. I bet you she is!

    ETA: If she does not poop in the nest, that's something I noticed with my broody. I had to take her out and make her eat. She wouldn't do it willingly. Every time she left a HUGE stinky poop. [​IMG]

    They don't poop in the nest they are setting in. What smart chickens! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  9. mychoock

    mychoock Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay, so I went out to do my chicken chores, and that hen was still on her nest. I decided to not wait until dark and went ahead and bravely put my gloved hand under the hen, feeling very mean about taking potential babies from this determined momma. I pulled five round items out, but guess what? They were all golf balls! I had been using golf balls to train my young girls to lay in the nests. My broody hen was committing herself to hatch out some golf chicks!

    I'm glad I took the golf balls out, and hopefully she will come out of her broody state soon.
     
  10. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    If she is broody now, why not let her sit? There are no guarantees you will have a broody hen in the spring when you actually want chicks. Don't worry about the winters - she will keep them warm under her. When my hen went broody with no rooster, it was summer and I didn't want to risk shipping eggs due to the extreme heat we had, so I placed an ad in Craigslist and had two people offer me eggs - at no charge!
     

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