Is my hen brooding?

Momtofive86

Chirping
Jul 2, 2019
49
86
79
I have two laying hens. Both are Easter Eggers. Rosa lays consistently. Nearly everyday of the week. Martha on the other hand lays 4-6 times a week. Martha has quit laying completely but sits on the nest all day. Once Rosa has laid Martha sits on her egg and pecks at our hands if we try to remove it. Even when there is no egg she sits. All. Day. Long. I need some suggestions please. I hope she is not ill?
 

Lmfletcher

In the Brooder
Apr 19, 2020
32
17
34
North Yorkshire
It does sound like she’s broody. If you pick her up and put her out with the others does she return to the nest. Also another sign is they pluck feathers and put them in the straw or bedding. Not laying and sitting is a sign of broodyness but also could be a sign of illness, is there any other noticeable differences to her?
 

Momtofive86

Chirping
Jul 2, 2019
49
86
79
It does sound like she’s broody. If you pick her up and put her out with the others does she return to the nest. Also another sign is they pluck feathers and put them in the straw or bedding. Not laying and sitting is a sign of broodyness but also could be a sign of illness, is there any other noticeable differences to her?
[/QUOTEI have not removed her from the nest she just stays there. She puffs out her feathers and wings and is plain nasty about us trying to get the other hens egg out. Otherwise she seems healthy.
 

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
May 25, 2020
3,504
39,400
866
Western Washington
Okay, some ways to break a broody hen is too 1: Take her as often as you can out of the nesting box and keep her out of it. 2: Put an ice pack underneath her in the nesting box. 3: Block her chosen nesting spot. 4: Make sure to not let any eggs sit in the nesting box. 5: In extreme cases, dip her lower half into cold water. 6: You can also put her in a broody coop, where she has food and water in a wire cage and a roost but does not have bedding on the ground to nest on. There are other options, of course, but these are the most common methods.
 

Momtofive86

Chirping
Jul 2, 2019
49
86
79
Okay, some ways to break a broody hen is too 1: Take her as often as you can out of the nesting box and keep her out of it. 2: Put an ice pack underneath her in the nesting box. 3: Block her chosen nesting spot. 4: Make sure to not let any eggs sit in the nesting box. 5: In extreme cases, dip her lower half into cold water. 6: You can also put her in a broody coop, where she has food and water in a wire cage and a roost but does not have bedding on the ground to nest on. There are other options, of course, but these are the most common methods.
I will start by blocking her chosen nesting spot and if that doesn't work I will put her in a coop without nesting material. Bless her heart. She is normally the sweetest little hen. Thank you!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
94,864
125,241
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
Here are my go-to signs of a broody:
Is she on nest most the day and all night?
When you pull her out of nest and put her on the ground, does she flatten right back out into a fluffy screeching pancake?
Does she walk around making a low cluckcluckcluckcluckcluck(ticking bomb) sound on her way back to the nest?
If so, then she is probably broody and you'll have to decide how to manage it.

Fastest way to break a broody hen is a wire bottomed crate.
If it's hot where you live keep her in the shade,
and maybe dunk her belly in cool(not cold) water before crating.

If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, IMO it's best to break her broodiness promptly.

My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.

Tho not necessary a chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
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MANNA-PRO

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