Is my hen broody?

Peggysaurus

Songster
Sep 24, 2019
115
222
127
Spotsylvania, Virginia
Hey, BYC! I have one hen that has become a little to overprotective of her eggs and I'm not sure if she's broody or not. Whenever I try to grab the eggs from her, she grabs the eggs with her foot and pulls them under her. She also does this long clucking noise when I try to get near her. We have no roosters, so I'm a little confused about if she's broody or not. Any ideas?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Doesn't need to be a cock/erel around for a pullet/hen to go broody.

These are my go to signs:
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.

You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
Do you have the space needed? Both for more chickens and she may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
It's a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random. https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/broody-hen-thread.496101/


If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, 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.
Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
upload_2019-10-2_6-41-43.png
 

Peggysaurus

Songster
Sep 24, 2019
115
222
127
Spotsylvania, Virginia
Doesn't need to be a cock/erel around for a pullet/hen to go broody.

These are my go to signs:
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.

You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
Do you have the space needed? Both for more chickens and she may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
It's a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random. https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/broody-hen-thread.496101/


If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, 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.
Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
View attachment 1923275
Thanks for the great info! :D
 

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