How Long can a Chicken be Broody for?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Hatching

    Jul 4, 2010
    We have one leghorn that has been broody for 32 days....She is the proud mother of 5 turkeys(yes, turkeys!).
    The two fertile chicken eggs that she was sitting on, did not hatch successfully.
    But now we put 3 more eggs under her, she has been sitting on them for about 4 days and we are wondering-how long can a chicken(especially a leghorn) be broody for?
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  2. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    I am no expert on broody hens, but I do know that while brooding, they don't eat much or drink much, and it is hard on their little bodies. I am concerned that she sat for what sounds like the entire gestation for one set of eggs, and then immediately went on to the next set. This can't be good for her, if I am understanding the situation correctly.[​IMG]
  3. Casey3043

    Casey3043 Songster

    I don't know, but I'd like to find out. I have a RIR hen (3 years old) that's been sitting in the nest box being broody for about seven or eight weeks. I take the eggs out from under her each day and she never gives up. She moves from box to box to sit on the eggs other hens have laid. I don't think she's laying herself, as her comb is quite pale and flopped over.

    I am beginning to wonder how long she can live just eating and drinking once a day. She REALLY wants to be a mom, but I have no fertile eggs and nowhere to isolate her with babies. Just can't swing it right now. My roo is still a baby, but maybe in a few months she can realize her dreams and raise a little family. She is VERY stubborn and will not give up. I know it's been at least two months, maybe more.
  4. Hatching

    Jul 4, 2010
    Yes, I agree that it must be hard on her unless chickens that are real motherly thrive on this?? Today she came out of the coop that she was in and she came out and socialized with the other chickens. Then she went right back into the pen she was in and again was sitting on the eggs. should I discourage her behavour?
  5. chicken nanny

    chicken nanny In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2009
    My hen sat for almost 3 months, i fed her in nest box , but she got skinny .... I tryed all kinds of things , so yesterday i put her in cage up on some bricks.... i let her out this late morning she went out door and has been out all day so far,,, i will watch her closely....So i went ahead and put my other one in there... THEY SURE THROW A FIT WHEN U FIRST PUT THEM IN LOL.... We have no roosters, but 28 hens RIR....hAPPY 4TH E1.....[​IMG]
  6. burquechick

    burquechick Songster

    Jun 13, 2008
    Wow that's amazing. I had two hens that went broody about a month ago. One was a standard sized BLRW and the other a mixed banty. I gave them each fertile eggs to sit on, and one chick hatched (under the BLR). This prompted a new hen (another BLR) to sit on the chick too. Being that the banty is too small, she wasn't allowed to tend to the chick by the other mothers, so she's been babysitting the chick when the other mothers aren't looking and sitting in an empty nest at night. Having another 11 eggs in an incubator due to hatch this weekend, about a week ago I took a cracked egg and gave it to the second BLR mother to act as a sort of "holding place" for when my 11 chicks hatch. It seems to be working. She's since given up on the baby that already hatched and is dedicating her time to the one lonely cracked egg. I got one baby yesterday and I'm going to try to stick it under her tonight. Pull the ole switch-aroo. I'm expecting a few more to hatch today, so Babysitter just might get a surprise of her own tonight too.
  7. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing 11 Years

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    I have had them set for months before finally breaking or hatching babies. I do keep a close watch on their weight to make sure they are coming off to eat. If one starts losing weight I will cage them off the ground with food and water, but no nest to make them break.

    If your hen has babies she needs to come off and feed them. She should NOT be given more eggs at this time since she needs to switch to mother mode and raise the ones she has.

    Last edited: Jul 4, 2010
  8. SarahIrl

    SarahIrl Songster

    May 4, 2010
    West Cork, Ireland
    My father had a broody silver star (wrir and light sussex f1 hybrid) sit for the last 9 weeks. And never dropped an once of weight or condition.

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