How to tell if a hen's gone broody?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by JayBird+16, Mar 23, 2009.

  1. JayBird+16

    JayBird+16 Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Fitzwilliam, NH
    OK, so the subject says it all. How do you tell if a hens gone broody? Do they just not get up? and will they sit on somebody elses eggs or only their own. I'd like to let 1 of my girls hatch eggs, but I'd love some signs to to help me figure out if she's ready and when to stop collecting eggs. Thanks.
  2. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    A broody hen will sit on any eggs available, and when you get near her she will puff up like a feathered beach ball and scream at you.

    Here is a like to a vid of my broody.
  3. JayBird+16

    JayBird+16 Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Fitzwilliam, NH
    OK so a hen will hatch other hens eggs. Will she just sit in the box and never get out or get in and out a few times during the day? It's late March and I'm in NH - should I just let her go for it?
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    When a hen goes broody she will NOT leave the nest. If you have a hen that is sitting on a nest and is still there 24-48 hours later... you have a broody. She will only get up (hopefully) long enough to go potty, get a drink and eat and then right back to the nest. Some won't even get up to do that much and you need to provide food and water right in the nest with them.

    Like Rooster Red said - a broody will usually puff up and 'growl' at you when you get near her.

    She doesn't care who's eggs she's sitting on and often they don't even have eggs to sit on - they just sit on that nest. Once you know you have a definite broody you can put about ten eggs under her to hatch. They can be any breeds but should be put under her at the same time so they all hatch close together. I marked the eggs I put under my broody because my other hens would lay their eggs on her and I wouldn't have known which were the original eggs.

    I also learned to move my broody to a separate cage (I use a rabbit hutch) so that she doesn't leave and come back to the wrong nest box and so other hens don't mess with her eggs. It also helps keep the peeps safe when they are hatching and momma's not ready to leave the other eggs in the nest yet.
  5. JayBird+16

    JayBird+16 Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Fitzwilliam, NH
    very helpfull - thanks so much!
  6. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    I have several broodies at the moment...they are all sitting inthe same nest with stupid looks on their faces like I wish she would move...and...what do you want...can't a gal get any privacy! My rooster is totally confussed! He doesn't know what to do...he has no one to boss around and there they all sit in the same nest with the same stupid looks... [​IMG]
  7. jbowyer01

    jbowyer01 Just Me!

    Aug 29, 2008
    Hogansville, Georgia
    Quote:ROTFL I couldnt describe it any better! I already have one broody, now I have a second trying to. I swear shes cursing at me when I lift her up to snitch the eggs and place her on the roost.
  8. ScoobyRoo

    ScoobyRoo Songster

    Aug 21, 2008
    Land of OZ
    I'm glad this question has been asked but is there an age that they are most likely to go broody? I have 20 hens that will be a year old this week. Not a broody in the bunch. I read that BO's (I have 2) can go broody, not mine yet. If I continue to collect eggs several times a day, will that keep them from going broody? We have hatched some in a bator and now we want to experience it with a hen. If I let a clutch of eggs gather in a nest (they all will only lay in one of 2 nest) will one set? Sorry to hi jack your thread JayBird but I know we are wondering the same thing (almost)[​IMG]
  9. chixrus

    chixrus Songster

    Oct 24, 2008
    two of my hens puff up and screech at me when i get their eggs, but they always get off after, is that common?
  10. freddy22

    freddy22 Songster

    Mar 2, 2008
    my hen is broody and is set to hatch this weekend... WHOO!!

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