How quickly can a hen go broody again?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PatS, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    One of my year-old B.O. hens just started running with the girls again after raising a clutch of chicks. The chicks turn seven weeks old tomorrow, and Mama turned them loose a couple of days ago. She and the babies have been roosting with the other chickens for six days or so, and Mama laid her first egg yesterday.

    Tonight when I went in to count beaks, I found her in a nest box!

    Can she be thinking of going broody AGAIN? She seems perfectly healthy. While she is not as chubby as her sisters, she seems to be back to her "fightin' weight."

    We lost our rooster a couple of weeks ago, so we're not going to have fertile eggs for very many more days. Can we let Mama raise another clutch, or would that be hard on her?
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    I have a silkie that is CONSTANTLY broody! She is a year and a half old, and has only laid MAYBE 15 eggs her whole life, because she is broody so often. I also have a bantam cochin hen that went broody, hatched 2 chicks, wasn't nice to them, so I took them away right away, and she went right back to setting! grr!!
     
  3. PatS

    PatS Chillin' With My Peeps

    654
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    Mar 28, 2009
    Northern Califonia
    I'm not sure she's broody, yet. Maybe she just wants a break from the roost. Her babies like to snuggle up to her (one keeps jumping on her back, another tries to squeeze between her legs -- and yes, they are seven weeks and getting BIG). Between that and the bickering as the old gals make sure the babies know their place in the pecking order, maybe Mama just wanted a vacation from the flock.

    That being said, I just want to be sure it wouldn't jeopardize her health to let her incubate and raise another clutch so soon. (She hopped out of the box when she saw me this morning, but when I checked a few minutes ago, she was back in again.)
     
  4. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

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    Levan, UT
    Quote:Yeah, my two get pretty thin, but I make sure that I pull them off of their nests everyday to get them out on some grass, and always put food in their nest boxes with them...that seems to help. Also, make sure you are dusting her, as a setting hen is a...sitting duck, pardon the pun...for mites and lice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2010

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