I think I have my first broody hen!!!!!!!!!!!!


8 Years
Mar 20, 2011
North Central Florida
I am SO excited! One of my adorable little brown leghorns appears to be glued to one of the nests. I noticed her in the nesting box at an odd time (for her) and crossed my fingers...that was Sunday afternoon...and she's still there! That would mean a hatch date near the 7th of June. I'm going to read everything I can about this but would appreciate any advice! The one important question I have right now is, do I feed her? Or will she leave the nest to eat? I hope this is the real thing!
She will probably get off the nest to eat everyday, but some get so obsessed they do not eat/drink which is not healthy.

If possible mark the eggs she is sitting on and separate her so others cannot lay in or mess with her nest. If other birds keep laying their eggs there (and they likely will) it can turn into a big mess and you can lose the whole batch. When you first move the nest watch her, frequently if they take a break they go back to the OLD nest spot for a day or two and that can kill the eggs.

Ideally a wire dog crate or a blocked off section of the coop (with food and water) is best. When the chicks hatch you want them penned in with her at least initially, you want the babies safe and if you have an early hatching chick you don't want her to have to chase after him and leave the other eggs.

Do you think this brooder is an appropriate place to put her?
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I built a 4'x4' brooder area with a top in the coop and placed a nest box, food, and water in there with mine. I've kept it fairly dark as well. She seemed to be fine with getting moved and she does come out occasionally to eat and drink.
I think the bad part is going to be when she gets integrated back into the flock. She will probably be looked at as a "new" addition by the other chickens. If so I have my coop and run split in half so she can stay with her cheepers.
If you have a dog crate or chicken wire or whatever can you section off a small corner of the coop for her? That keeps her "in the flock" so to speak.
I could; but does she need access to the outdoors? Or just to food and water and a place to poo? I'm sure I can do that. Do you think that's better then the brooder pictured above? Is it better to keep her with her flock? I'm guessing I should wait until tonight to check the eggs and mark them?
If your coop is ventilated she does not need (nor will probably want) to go outside just put her food/water close and she will come off to eat/drink/poo and go back. Mark the eggs when you move or section off the area. Leaving them all close and visible but separate and safely near the floor is best. That way she still is part of the flock.

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