How long does broodiness last

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by eggsgalore, Jul 28, 2008.

  1. eggsgalore

    eggsgalore In the Brooder

    May 4, 2008
    How long does broodiness last when the hen is sitting on no eggs and left alone? I make her get up every day and snatch the eggs from under her that she confiscated from her sisters. She will eat then and drink but quickly goes back to the empty nest.
    I have a hard time implementing the ideas I got on the forum to force her off.
  2. pattypenny

    pattypenny Songster

    Sep 27, 2007
    Lasts for ever if you have bantams. My bantams starting setting in april and are still setting. I have 9 that I let hatch and hopefully that will stop them setting but I have 4 more setting in the hen house.
    My bantams hatched out 92 chicks this year. I lost some to rain and what ever but have 32 under mother hens now.
    I had one hen hatch in December last winter. Oh yeah I sold 30 as day old chicks in may.
  3. ginasmarans

    ginasmarans Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    West Tn
    Depends on the hen. I had a white leghorn hen that finally gave up after setting twice and hatching no eggs. i don't know why she didn't hatch any,but all of my hens have been having lousy hatches. She was probably broody for over 2 months total. Have you tried dunking her in a bucket of cold water? Sometimes they need to be dunked twice and I had a bantam hen I had to dunk 3 times and all she got was mad and more determined,so I gave up.
  4. kellim

    kellim Songster

    Jun 19, 2008
    SC, GA Border
    I had a hen that went broody in April. She sat and sat, even with no eggs. Finally she started setting on Guinea eggs that she stole from our guineas and she just hatched out two of those eggs last week. Finally she got up and is raising those babies, though this morning she found another guinea egg and was trying to set on it. Go figure......I get weird animals!
  5. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I have a hard time implementing the ideas I got on the forum to force her off.

    We had to physically remove our broody from the hen house to break her. Just removing her from the nest boxes did not work. We set her up in our laundry/mud room with a bench to sit on, a roost, food and water. But no nesting material.

    Being broody is a hormonal change the hen goes through. It will happen even if there are no eggs to sit on; she will continue to sit in an empty nest. And if she has already laid the eggs for her clutch, and you gathered them, she won't lay anymore eggs until she is done being broody. If you have her in general population, she may be getting picked on by the rest of the flock. Some hens will just jump to another nest with eggs, but some stay in a particular nest. A broody will typically only get off the nest once or twice a day to grab a quick meal, a drink and let go with her broody poo.

    The longer they are broody, the longer it will take them to get back to laying eggs and living a normal chicken life of eating, scratching and dust batheing. Being broody can be stressful on a hen, because they are not eating or drinking as they would when they aren't broody.

    If she is broody a week, it will take about a week to break the broodiness. If you let her be broody for a month, it could take more than a month to get her back to "normal".

    If you want her to hatch eggs, get eggs under her as quickly as possible, so she can get on with her life.​
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  6. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Our Delaware went broody in February it lasted around 2 weeks. We put her in a small chicken wire pen that sits off the ground, maybe 18"x15"x12" we fed her some food and water she didn't have much of an appetite, after 4 days we released her with the rest of the flock, her bloodiness was gone around 10 days later she was laying eggs and was back to her normal self. I also heard that when they go to sit on a nest of eggs take them and dip their behind or tail in some water.
  7. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I have 4 setting on air right at this moment...they will not budge, nothing helps......This year alone I have had 10 go Broody...last year one set for over 21 days finally gave her a clutch of eggs she set another 21 days...when the chicks hatched she was fine.....Then it can take another 2 months sometimes before they will lay again....something is in the air this year for broodiness...

    NYREDS Crowing

    Jan 14, 2008
    I'm not sure what ideas you're talking about but if you put her in a wire floored cage in a well lighted location she will probably cease to be broody in a few [3-5] days. No roost, no nest, just food & water.
  9. Barnyard Dawg

    Barnyard Dawg Songster

    Feb 7, 2007
    Northern California
    Quote:As I mentioned in my post if it is mine your refering to? after 4 days she wasn't broody any longer and after a period of 10 days she was laying eggs again. We kept the pen in a shaded area, gave her food and water, so the 4 days is within your (3-5 days)?
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2008
  10. I have a mottled bantam cochin hen that went broody sitting on only one of her non-fertile eggs. I had a shipment of bantam cochin eggs come in, so I got them up to day 5 in the incubator, made sure they were good and then put 3 of them under her.

    She is such a tiny little hen and will absolutely not get up unless we get her up, take her out into her courtyard and close the coop door for a few minutes. Then she'll poop, drink some water and eat a little something....we open the door and back she goes to the eggs. They are due to hatch next week!!

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