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I may have a broody hen...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jolyn, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. Jolyn

    Jolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    I have a couple questions. One of my girls hasn't left her nest box for the entire day and was in there yesterday too. She looks fine but her feathers seem to be all fluffed up. I did pick her up and check her all out and she looks good.

    So my question is....if she is broody will this turn my other hens off laying? I was reading about it and someone said that if one goes broody all may follow??

    How long does this usually last? Does it happen only during certain times of the year or is it at a specific age?

    Thanks for any info....I really appreciate it.

    Take care,
    Jodie
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  2. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    My experience is that yes... when one goes broody, the others may follow. Silkies, Millies, and several other breeds are notorious broodies. If you don't want her to hatch eggs, I would try to break her of it. Separate her into a pen where she can't get comfortable. I have separate kennels set up just for breaking broodies. Newspaper, no shavings, and isolation. It only takes a couple of days for them to snap out of it. If you're not careful, a broody will literally waste away on the nest. Sometimes, even when they ARE on eggs, you have to forceably remove them several times a day to eat, drink, and poop. (Nasty poops, too... [​IMG]) How long she'll remain broody just depends on how stubborn she is. But they're wired to stay broody for 3 weeks. And when they start is a mystery, too... I've had some hens never go broody, and then had a 6 month old silkie lay for a week then try to set them. [​IMG]
    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  3. Jolyn

    Jolyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 5, 2008
    Northern California
    Oh wow...thanks for that info!!!! I will check her tomorrow and see if she has moved. I might have to get something to put her in. I have a dog crate....but she can lay in that too.....

    Thanks for your help.
     
  4. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    You're welcome! [​IMG] is she on eggs?
     
  5. SussexInSeattle

    SussexInSeattle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 6, 2008
    Washington
    I don't think AK meant that she shouldn't be able to lay down, just that she shouldn't be able to make a nest. Is that correct AK? And then they have to sit in there 3 days, day and night? No perch in the dog kennel? I have a wire dog crate in my barn, on the floor, just sitting there stored to keep it out of my house but next time I get a broody, I want to be all set up. I am over my limit on birds as it is so there is no sense raising any more for now.
     
  6. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Quote:You're right... yes. Mine just lay there on the newspaper for a couple of days before she figured it out. No perch, nothing. If they're comfortable, they will nest wherever they are. But, if they're using a perch, then they're probably not really broody. A broody is giving in to her nesting instincts, and will nest on the floor of the coop if she has nesting materials. You want to take that all away from her to break her of the mood. The kennel really does work. She has her own water and food, and of course we interact with her, but she can't make a nest and she gets pretty sore laying on the hard floor of the kennel. My silkies have been SO broody this year... not even funny. [​IMG]
     
  7. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Mrs. AK-Bird-Brain :

    My experience is that yes... when one goes broody, the others may follow. Silkies, Millies, and several other breeds are notorious broodies. If you don't want her to hatch eggs, I would try to break her of it. Separate her into a pen where she can't get comfortable. I have separate kennels set up just for breaking broodies. Newspaper, no shavings, and isolation. It only takes a couple of days for them to snap out of it. If you're not careful, a broody will literally waste away on the nest. Sometimes, even when they ARE on eggs, you have to forceably remove them several times a day to eat, drink, and poop. (Nasty poops, too... [​IMG]) How long she'll remain broody just depends on how stubborn she is. But they're wired to stay broody for 3 weeks. And when they start is a mystery, too... I've had some hens never go broody, and then had a 6 month old silkie lay for a week then try to set them. [​IMG]
    Hope that helps.

    WELL MY EXPERIENCE , I have over 100 in the flock and ONLY 2 of my hens have went broody, and NOT at the same time This is hormones and has nothing to do with " FOLLOW THE LEADER ". [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I do agree they learn from each other , BUT not broodiness .

    One of the hens , I tried EVERYTHING for like 2 weeks to break her from it , DID NOT WORK . FINALLT she snapped out of it after another 3 weeks , but a month later she was at it again , so that time , I put 6 fertile eggs and 21 days later , BINGO ....

    BUT , its all their hormones and not something they learn or copy from each other .​
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  8. Chickenaddict

    Chickenaddict Chillin' With My Peeps

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    East Bethel MN
    I have had several hens go broody one right after the other several times before. I end up giving in and letting them hatch some chicks. I have 1 broody now who keeps trying to steal cochin eggs to sit on but i keep taking the egg, she gets mad and gets off the nest on her own, now her little buddy a japanese hen is trying to do exactly what the other is doing. I have never tried to break one but i may just try the kennel option this time around because im wayyy over my limit now too lol.
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    thats why I always separate my broody . I take her and her nest with eggs and put in a 6 ft. cage not to be disturbed by others .... NOT in coop with the rest
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2008
  10. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    Liz, do you have silkies? [​IMG] I SWEAR, they get in a huddle and plan their broodiness, to the hour. [​IMG] One will go, then the next day there will be two of them that won't budge. I had all 5 in one pen go broody within days of each other this summer. I was about to take out all their nest boxes! [​IMG] I've heard that Dorkings do the same thing. I don't get it.
     

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