I think I have a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by csummer8882, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. csummer8882

    csummer8882 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Went down yesterday to collect eggs and a hen was in a nest box. I left her be and did what I needed to and moved on. Went down 6 hours later, it was dark, to shut the girls in the coop for the night and I see the chicken still in there. I prodded her with a stick and she didn't move or make a sound. I called hubby to take care of it when he got home cause I didn't want the kids (ages 5 & 6) to see her if she was dead. (I really thought she was!) Long story short, hubby got home and checked and sure enough, she was still in the nest box. At least this time, she made noises for him and talked back to him. He got her out of the nest box and sure enough, there was an egg under her. Now what? I have no roosters and have no inclination for babies. Is this gonna happen all day every day? Will my 5 other girls start doing this? These chickens are almost 6 months old. Thank you!
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    With the weather getting colder she won't stay broody for long. You could try to break her using the wire bottomed cage method, but I think nature may break her easier than anything you can do. In the meantime, collect eggs as often as possible and shoo her out of the house whenever you get a chance.

    I currently have a broody, but I am not bothering to do anything about it. Experience has taught me that breaking is hard on everyone involved and often the breaks are only transient. If a bird is truly broody then the only way to break them is to let them hatch some eggs. I have been blessed with 2 chronic broodies (ironic considering I don't have any roos), and they are annoying, but neither one seems particularly affected by their near permanent broody states. I used to worry about my older one because she would get thin, looked terribly unkempt, molted much more often than her sisters, and basically spent large portions of her life either in a broody buster cage or parked on an empty nest. She is my oldest bird at nearly 5 years old, so her chronic brooding (as annoying as it is) hasn't affected her longevity as near as I can tell. The only downside is that they won't lay regularly in this state.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do about your wanna-be mom.
     
  3. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Young ones sometimes play at being broody....then they just go for it!
    If she seems rooted in, flattened out like a pancake, spaced out but fluffs up n growls if disturbed then you got a broody.

    It is easier just to let em run the course. Just make sure she is getting her daily break (sign is huge egg sized poop that out smells all other bird poop).
     
  4. csummer8882

    csummer8882 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rockingham County, NH
    There have been large poops in there now that you mention that. I saw them start the other day and was like hhmmmm....wonder where these came from? LOL Now I know! So....I should just let her be then? Keep shooing her out and hope that all don't decide to be broody? They won't lay when they are broody correct? Thanks again! [​IMG]
     
  5. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One of mine started this. I was ready to do the broody cage thing. Instead, I blocked off the nest box at night. Closed the coop during the day after the others had laid. Collected the eggs right away. Kept moving her. She gave up after a couple of days.
     
  6. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    I gave up fighting mine. I think I got some of the broodiest girls.
    Yes, you can break them and it varies on how long it takes to break them.
    They may lay a few days into the broody spell; but will then stop laying once they feel like they have a good clutch. This is natural instinctive behavior that is why it can be hard to break em. They won't start up again until they have raised the chicks to at least around 4 weeks old. Then it can take a week or 2 depending on the hen.
     
  7. csummer8882

    csummer8882 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rockingham County, NH
    Yeah, she is not getting any babies. LOL I am good with what I have here. So if I dont give her babies, she wont stop doing this? Is that correct?
     
  8. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Eventually, she will be done with sitting...it just takes along time. If you let her sit just keep an eye on her health.
    If you don't want chicks then try to break her.
    I usually put the broody in a wire bottom cage so the cool air snaps em out of it. It helps to dip them in cold water too. You want the blood vessels on her breast/tummy area to contract which stops her body from being warm and releasing the broody signals.
     

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