i thought they were supposed to go broody often

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickenrandomness, May 6, 2011.

  1. its spring and neither my GLW or Light brahma has gone broody yet! i so wanted some chicks! they are nearing one year old and from what i've read, they're supposed to go broody a lot. whats wrong?
    Last edited: May 6, 2011

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

    lists the breeds that are the most broody. I think "often" is pushing it. Black Australorps are listed by Henderson as great brooder, or annoyingly too frequent brooder. I've had several over a few years. One of them had gone broody twice; that's it.

    I also have two EE's who are presently broody, and I think this is unusual for this breed. One has already hatched and raised a clutch. Neither went broody until they were 2 or more years old.
  3. Quote:thanks, but the link talks mostly about helping, housing, etc broodies. i did read the paragraph about how to make them broodies, but my parents won't let me get any more chickens except through incubation. i'm failing at incubating myself because of a lack of a good incubator, so thats why i want to use the best natual incubator, a broody [​IMG]
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  4. RhodeRunner

    RhodeRunner Songster

    Feb 22, 2009
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    It is early spring. Not all hens like to start at this time. My Brahmas in particular wait until mid/late summer.

    Your hens are also very young. Being able to have a baby does not make her ready to have a baby. Many hens will wait until their second year. I had one hen wait until she was eight before her first brood.

    Not all hens of a broody breed will brood. Some hens just never want to have chicks. Also, some strains are more broody then others. My hatchery light Brahmas would not brood, while my hatchery darks were great mothers.
    Last edited: May 6, 2011


    Mar 2, 2011
    GLW: Wyandotte's are considered a dual purpose chicken and should brood in their second egging year. I have one that is laying alot of tinted eggs. I took her fertile eggs (breed to a EE) and hatched them. Because this breed was created for both egg and meat production, broodiness was not a trait that was bred in. Yes, they are among the broody hens but remember egg laying stops for awhile after broodiness begins and egg layers tend to ignore the instinct to brood in order to produce eggs without interuppting the laying cycle. I am not saying she won't go broody but the first two egg years yield the highest egg count of a hens life. Since your GLW is a egg/meat chicken she is more likely to brood than many other breeds.

    Light Brahma: Todays Brahma's are also considered dual purpose breed, the orginal gentle giant of the chicken world. I would wager she will brood first because they usually go broody before any other flock member. The information above applies the her to.

    Promoting Broodiness (I would wait until next year to try but they're your chickens)

    Just ensure you leave one or two eggs in the nest or fill it with ceramic or wooden eggs. When a hen sees enough eggs for her to cover she will brood soon after. Also, encsure that they feel safe in the coop. If you notice one hen acting flighty or more aggressive then she is under stress of some type. I found that putting dark plastic around they're coop walls keeps them calmer because the can't see any potential threats. Contrary to what most chicken owners believe, chickens are more than jus egg laying machines, they are mothers. If a hen feels any kind of threat in her coop she will ignore the broody instinct and stop laying completley. A broody hen in the coop on morning means you did a great job. Also, give them as many green plants in the morning that they will have a free choice of them all day. Confiined chickens are less-likely to go broody simply because most primary feeds leave nutritional gaps. A free-range hen can get the bugs and greens that fill these gaps.

    Make sure they see you as a non-dangerous being. If they veiw you as a threat to them or there unborn chicks, they won't brood. To prevent this don't you (or allow another) chase them or pick them up unless completley nescisary. The others will hear the distress and in a week or so there will be no more eggs. Treat them with a respectful distance and always take a treat (bread or worms) along when you check for eggs. Ensure that all the nests are dry and if on a wired wall protect from draft.

    With my Black Giants last year, I found that a solitary hen is more likley to brood. You may want to pick your favorite hen and put her alone some-where and follow the adivce above and she will brood more likley than not. The reason they do better alone is because usually more than one hen uses the same nest. Then one day you'll she a hen standing on another. This can stop this process. I would choose a more assertive hen and move her soon so she can re-adjust and start laying agian.

    Avoid allowing family pets like the dog or cat around the hens and keep them stress free! This will help promote broodiness.

    Now for my story.....

    My first year I tried this with some sucsess but the following year I sat back and let mother nature do her job. The number of chicks hatched from broody hens was within five of eachother.

    After all that typing for me and reading for you ..... This will work but so will doing nothing. If a hen is going to brood she will do it, no matter what. It is that simple....the choice is yours! Or you could get an American Gamefowl hen and let her brood just in case your hens don't, just add your own eggs to her nest. They are very broody and almost always brood their first egg year. I have one brooding right now that was born last april. Sometimes the breeds we want don't always do what we wan.

    Best of Luck!

    Good Luck

  6. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    Are these from a hatchery? If so, many hatcheries have bred the broodiness OUT of their lines on purpose...
  7. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I have a BA that in April hatched her first clutch of eggs. She is not a year old yet. She will be the end of June. She has been a great broody and great momma. I wasnt expecting this since I had read most dont til that are at least a year old. I am just hoping no one else goes broody. I am maxed out on chicks as I have bought some breeds that I didnt have. So now I have BR,BA,NN.BO mixes,EE's,WR,Silkies,Golden Sebrights,Bantam Cochins,Polish,Austra whites, Brown leghorns,Indian Rivers,1RIR and little Princess that is a white mix that we are not sure what she is.
  8. punky rooster

    punky rooster Awesome

    Jul 21, 2010
    Quote:There you go.
  9. GemmaPemma

    GemmaPemma In the Brooder

    May 7, 2011
    aww hun - Ive been trying to stop my seabright and my barnevelder go broody little minx's just love sitting :)



    Mar 2, 2011
    Quote:I have given this same advice to serveral other to stop un-wanted brooding. This a technique designed for even the most stubborn hen. This is not my idea but a technique given to me by mt close friend the local vet. It works , and I speak from experiance:

    Try rubbing her under-belly with a few ice cubes. I know how strange this sounds but let me explain why this works:

    The vert explained :
    When a hens body gives the signal that enough eggs have been layed to brood over, a hormone is released that raises her skin tempature on her belly so she can properly incubate the eggs. Until the chicks hatch she will remain there (with the exception of once daily) and her underside will stay warm. After the chicks hatch, a mother leaves the nest and her body cools, this triggers the "broody" hormone to stop. This is why people suggest a wire-floored cage. This air-flow from beneath cools her belly. But some hens are more determined. Until you trigger the stopping of the hormone production, she will brood over anything and fight for that right!

    When I was told this I thought this was the oddest thing I had ever heard but when my RIR hen made a several poor attempts at brooding this year and destoryed my incubation eggs. I tried everything, even the wire floor but no luck as soon as I thought it had passed I would let her out and the next morning she would be brooding over one egg! Then tried the ice. After three ice-baths she quit completley and hasn't tried agian. If you can't hold her to rub the ice on her stomach then replace the eggs your removing with ice cubes each day. She will become uncomfortable and eventually quit. I would never make such an outrageous suggestion unless I knew from experiance it works.....or you could let her brood on two or three fertile eggs and avoid the whole headache.....

    This is my advice given to all the chicken-lovers like myself who would rather have too few that are happy , than too many that are miserable or would end up in bad conditions due to forced population control because of the state of our economy is so bad feeding a small flock is only enough to break even on eggs and meat. It is our resposiblity to humanley and effectivlly control the popultion of our flocks so that no chicken need suffer on yet another humans irresposiblity. I have more respect for those chicken-lovers who would rather loose a few chicks each year than to loose their entire flock due to overcrowding and (if your like me) a blue-collar income not sufficent enough to provide a happy home for an overcrowed flock of chickens. To all those who agree with me and know the number if flock members is a humans resposiblity, you have my companionship and most of all my respect.

    LOVE from KY

    Timothy [​IMG]

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