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I think i have a broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chicken momma, Mar 17, 2012.

  1. chicken momma

    chicken momma In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2012
    Timberlake, NC
    So went out of town for about 24 hrs. Came back late last night, so about 2 days since got to really check my birds. Went in this morning and found one in the box which looked to me like shes just laying. Well my lil girl went a bit closer to take a peek and the hen ruffled all up and to me what sounded like growled at my daughter. Shes been in the same box for an hour now that i know of. I keep cracking the door to my coop and peeking in at her. This will or might be my first broody hen...any tips?????

  2. Firefighter Chick

    Firefighter Chick Songster

    May 8, 2011
    Southeast Minnesota
    i have some pullets that do that when they're laying. They just like their privacy. I would check when the sun goes down. If she spends the night in the nest box, she's probably broody.
  3. Tips? Yeah. Mark the eggs she is on so you can collect the fresh ones each day. Don't leave the fresh eggs in the nest. If her nesting position isn't at floor level, prepare such a place, as the chicks will need access to the nest. Don't bother her. Just provide her regular food and water. She will leave the nest, usually once a day to eat, water, eliminate, and probably dust bathe. Here's a really good article on broodies. Have fun........Pop

  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I doubt she's broody. I have hens who will spend hours on the nest box, especially young girls just starting to lay. They'll also growl or peck at someone messing with them.

    If a hen is truely broody, she'll only get off the nest once daily. Sleeping on the nest is usually the most reliable indicator of broodiness.
  5. Sorin

    Sorin Songster

    Jul 15, 2010
    Glenfield, ny
    Sometimes I have had hens "feeling it out". They will sit on the box for a few hours, then get off. They may do this for a few days before they go full broody. As far as tips, do you want her broody or do you want to break the broodiness? If you don't want her broody the most common method is separating her in a wire pen off the ground with food and water for a few days. Having her off the ground in a wire cage prevents her from getting her bottom warm which can help with the hormones that are the cause of a hen going broody.
    One method I use is I lock her out of the coop and pen. They will pace frantically for a couple of hours, but generally they settle in for some nice free ranging! :) I have had usually quick success with this in a day or two, however, you have to make sure she is safe from predators. Sometimes though they can be particularly stubborn, I have a bantam cochin that refuses to give up! I eventually decided to let her hatch a few eggs but when she got up once a day to eat, she never went back to the same box :/ it didn't even matter that there were no eggs there. Sorry, I'm getting off the subject. If you want her to hatch chicks, then i think Lollipop has the right idea.

    Good Luck! :D
  6. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    There are far more symptoms to being broody than just sitting on a nest and being grumpy when disturbed.

    I've had my share of broodies so I've come to learn when a hen is "going broody."

    Five or so days before a hen begins nest sitting, she'll begin to pull feathers from her breast bone area, producing bald strips on each side of the bone. She will also develop the "broody cluck". It goes something like, "wop, wop wop", low and fretful. She will be easily annoyed by the others and will annoy them in return. She gets more irritable by the day.

    Finally, she "goes broody," hormones clicking in a single-minded compulsion to sit on the nest. If you remove her from the nest, she will make a bee-line right back to it, as if pulled back to it by a rubber band.

    However, until she lays the final egg, she won't have the compulsion to nest sit, perhaps spending long periods on and off the nest. When the final egg is laid, she will glue herself to the nest and you will only be able to discourage her by brute force. She will lay no more eggs until, either she's sat the nest for 21 days and hatched a brood, or you put her through two or three days of broody-cage treatment, then she will resume laying in a week or so.
  7. chicken momma

    chicken momma In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2012
    Timberlake, NC
    Shes been on the nest for 2the days now and ive only seen her off the nest once. I have her separated from the others with a nest on the ground. Seems to be doing well. We shall see... thanks for all the tips!!

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