Is Broody "Contagious"?


9 Years
Aug 10, 2010
Northern Wisconsin
My BO is broody and I let her have an egg which I'm sure she will be a fantastic defender of since she squawks and pecks at any other hen that gets too close. My question is, can this be "contagious" because of the nine girls, I have 3 who are acting this way. Oprah is the only one who is super serious but I have an EE that has been sitting on an empty nest for 3 days now. I'd like to give her an egg too but I can't seem to get to them when they are still warm, it's unusually cold here in WI right now!
Any suggestions?
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It's a hormonal thing - and it's spring time. They all might or might not go broody - depends on the chicken and what her hormones are doing. If you want to let her sit on an egg - it doesn't need to be warm - she won't care - it'll warm up under her - at least my never do/did. but, the egg will go rotten and if it breaks in the nest box it'll be stinky, and messy - unless you have a roo - then you may end up with chicks.

They will probably all but stop laying if they go broody and are allowed to sit on eggs- so if you don't mind about a temp. decrease in eggs, you can just wait them out. I have let mine just figure out on their own that they aren't hatching any babies and they eventually give up. I don't generally leave eggs under them though - I don't mind the decrease if they do slow down since we never eat them all anyway and we don't sell them. (though that was the original intent - darn farmers market is midweek during the day - when us working folk can't attend
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It's not contagious like a disease, but I have heard MANY stories on here of "Oh, it just started with one broody and now they are ALL sitting on something!"
Okay, so what I did was wait til one of the other girls laid an egg, then I stuck it under the belly of the broodies. We do have a lovely roo who seems to enjoy his ladies so I'm hoping the eggs I stuck under Oprah and Goldie are fertilized. Now, how long after being laid can I take it and stick it under a broody hen? Are they still "good" if they are sitting in the nesting box for a couple hours or so? It's pretty cold her so they cool off quick.

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