How long will a broody hen sit?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RedheadErin, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. RedheadErin

    RedheadErin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 30, 2011
    This is the first time i've had a hen go truely broody. Usually they set for a couple of days, then get bored and wander off. But now my goofy Frenchie has decided to go broody in the dead of winter. I didn't think much of it at first, And so I never thought to mark the calender as to when she started. But I think it has been more than 3 weeks now, and notihing has happened. Although, she did drop most of the early ones down a crack before I gave her a better box to sit in.

    So how long will she sit there hoping for a result? And, once the chickies hatch (if they do hatch) what will I do with them? I considered putting them all in a quarentine pen in my basement until nicer weather.
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    She'll sit until either chicks hatch or she gives up. Nobody can guess how long it will be if she's sitting on nothing or dummy eggs but it sounds like you gave her eggs to hatch and don't remember when? The incubation period for chickens is 21 days with very little variance. If she does hatch them, you don't need to do anything but watch to be sure the other hens aren't harming the chicks. She'll keep them warm. BTW, it's possible that only some eggs will hatch since the other hens may have added eggs to the nest days or weeks after the date she began sitting on the oldest eggs. She won't stay on those eggs for more than a couple of days after the first chick hatches.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2013
  3. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 5, 2011
    One of my broodys sat for 8 weeks, the rest usually sat for 6-7 weeks :)

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