Is broodiness contagious?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by timetoroost, Jun 12, 2017.

  1. timetoroost

    timetoroost In the Brooder

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    Mar 27, 2017
    Sagle, Idaho
    Good morning!
    I have a flock of 12 Australorp Hens that are 15 months old. They did so well over the winter, but we are struggling a bit this Spring with production. Finally I figured out one had gone broody. Given that I had just bought 18 new chicks, I didn't want to complicate the groups by giving her some eggs to hatch. I finally ended up using the cage method, as she was extremely determined to return to her nest (and appeared to be stopping others from using the favorite spot...which is why i thought egg productions was down). That worked! But within a couple of days, I notice another hen starting the process. I spent a day trying to relocate her since she had just started the broodiness (thinking she wouldn't be so determined and I wouldn't need to cage her...... wrong....) and over the course of the day, 2 more are doing the same thing! Sheesh! Is it because they are all the same age? Or just hens living together? They have a big beautiful fenced in area to free range. Will I be going throught this with all of them over the next few weeks?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The elevated wire bottom cage is tried and true. It is also most effective the first few days of broodiness.
    If you have breeds that have a tendency to go broody, I believe it can be contagious, per se.
    They see one hen hanging out in the nest day and night. They may think, "hey, I would like to raise a family too."
    I have had multiple hens broody at the same time on more than half of the occasions. I once had 9 pullets in the same building that had just started laying. 7 of the 9 went broody all at once and one of the remaining two joined them part time.
     

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