Is my hen broody?

tarnte

In the Brooder
May 10, 2019
23
34
44
San Jose, CA
I have a 9-month old BO that has stopped laying for almost 4 weeks. She started laying when she was 6-month old and had been laying every other day. Now she would go into the nesting box, not laying but sit on others eggs for about 1-1.5 hours everyday. She would come out and sing her egg song (without laying). She laid flat and when I went to check her in the nesting box but she doesn’t make noise. Other than that, she’s eating and playing with the other chickens normally.

Is she broody or it’s just winter? We live in northern CA and the winter is not so bad and my other 2 pullets (SLW and RIR are laying almost everyday). I checked and she doesn’t have any egg bound.

I’m kinda worried about her. If she’s broody and since it’s winter, I don’t want to use the cold water method, is there any other suggestion? Thanks everyone!
 

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floppysquirrel04

Songster
Jul 24, 2019
263
471
122
Northern Ca
I think it’s just the season.
She would be protective of her nest box and “hiss” at you if you came near her. He feathers would fluff up and she may even try to bite you. Is she acting healthy? What are you feeding? She probably wouldn’t leave her nest.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
Nov 27, 2012
71,117
72,073
1,557
SW Michigan
My Coop
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Other than that, she’s eating and playing with the other chickens normally.
Doesn't sound broody then.
These are my go-to signs of a broody hen:
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.

Alternative to cold water dunk for breaking broodies:
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.
1579018154855.png
 

DdachickenBoy

In the Brooder
Oct 24, 2019
29
29
37
She could be broody before my hens go broody they collect eggs and lay on them for a little while everyday until they have enough. If she only has the two hens she doesn’t feel she would have enough eggs a day to lay on. My silkie stops laying and collects others eggs when she goes broody and doesn’t fluff up or growl until she has all her eggs in her nest.
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
12,104
15,038
762
California's Redwood Coast
I have a 9-month old BO that has stopped laying for almost 4 weeks. She started laying when she was 6-month old and had been laying every other day. Now she would go into the nesting box, not laying but sit on others eggs for about 1-1.5 hours everyday. She would come out and sing her egg song (without laying). She laid flat and when I went to check her in the nesting box but she doesn’t make noise. Other than that, she’s eating and playing with the other chickens normally.

Is she broody or it’s just winter? We live in northern CA and the winter is not so bad and my other 2 pullets (SLW and RIR are laying almost everyday). I checked and she doesn’t have any egg bound.

I’m kinda worried about her. If she’s broody and since it’s winter, I don’t want to use the cold water method, is there any other suggestion? Thanks everyone!
Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

I also think she does NOT sound broody. Not all hens will growl or over react when you approach the box. She does sound a bit confused though. A chicken does NOT need to collect a certain # of eggs before going broody. I collect eggs EVERY day and STILL had to sell off my EXCESSIVELY broody Silkies.

I never EVER recommend the cold water thing and think it's just cruel. The set up Aart describes is absolutely adequate for breaking ALL broody hens. Sooner is better than later. It usually takes 3+ days to see results. After having one lady go 10+ days I added an open bottom daytime pen that keeps them away from their nest. Returned to wire kennel for night time... has been just as effective for me.
She could be broody before my hens go broody they collect eggs and lay on them for a little while everyday until they have enough. If she only has the two hens she doesn’t feel she would have enough eggs a day to lay on. My silkie stops laying and collects others eggs when she goes broody and doesn’t fluff up or growl until she has all her eggs in her nest.
I bred Silkies for a few years and I'd be willing to bet that if you took away her eggs EVERY DAY and left her NOTHING... she would STILL brood air! ;)
 

kiwi-chick

Chirping
I went to check her in the nesting box but she doesn’t make noise.
This means nothing - my two broody hens don't screech or growl at all (they do do the cluck,cluck,cluck thing though) when they are broody.

Other than that, she’s eating and playing with the other chickens normally
Because of this I don't think that your hen is broody. On the other hand... my two always do this for about a week before they went broody...


My advise would be to keep an eye on her as she may be heading to the broody stage.
 

tarnte

In the Brooder
May 10, 2019
23
34
44
San Jose, CA
This means nothing - my two broody hens don't screech or growl at all (they do do the cluck,cluck,cluck thing though) when they are broody.
She does make that cluck cluck sound a lot. Like as of now she’s been in the nesting box for 2 hours already. However, she will eventually come down and she does sleep on the roost at night.
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.

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.
Yes she made the low cluck cluck noise but she goes to roost normally at night. I just feel she is going to be broody ‘soon’. May be I should try the dog crate method. Thanks!


Hi there, hope you are enjoying BYC! :frow

I also think she does NOT sound broody. Not all hens will growl or over react when you approach the box. She does sound a bit confused though. A chicken does NOT need to collect a certain # of eggs before going broody. I collect eggs EVERY day and STILL had to sell off my EXCESSIVELY broody Silkies.
Yeah I do take the eggs everyday. Sometimes she just sits in the empty nest box. Brood air like you said! If I removed her, she would make a cluck cluck sound like she’s complaining. She will try to go back in the nest box after a bit of eating and drinking.
 
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EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
12,104
15,038
762
California's Redwood Coast
Yes she made the low cluck cluck noise but she goes to roost normally at night. I just feel she is going to be broody ‘soon’.
Sometimes it can take an hour or two to lay an egg, so that part is not unusual.

Ticking time bomb.. sounds about right! :lol:

Many, if not most of my gals do show symptoms like the clucking before going full blown broody. Orpington are known setters. So it's true you might be seeing the onset. Until she stays in the box at night... her hormones are just building and she is not broody.

If she doesn't have eggs coming and is still going in the box.. it might be something to look out for. Internal laying and egg yolk peritonitis and egg binding are far to common. :hmm None of my ladies have quit laying before going broody. They usually just stay in the box after they lay their egg. Some have even laid an egg or two after starting to sit before completely stopping.

Though I think you are probably correct about it being beginning broody... I personally would NOT be pulling her out of the box just yet IN CASE she is trying to work something out and drop an egg. :confused:
 

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