Is My Hen Getting Broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Headers Hen House, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. Headers Hen House

    Headers Hen House In the Brooder

    Sep 20, 2017
    Minneapolis, MN
    One of my girls likes to take a looooooong time laying her egg. I mean like 2 hours.

    Lately, it's been more like 4 hours of her being on the nest. I know because I have a cam in the coop on the nesting boxes.

    Last night, before I went to bed I went out to check on them and found her in one of the nesting boxes. Normally she's roosting at night on the top bar with the other hen.

    I picked her up off the nesting box and placed her on the roost. There were a bunch of feather from her in the nesting box, I figured she's starting to shed her winter coat. Then she hopped down and went back into the box. So I took her out again and put something over the boxes so she didn't go in when I left, luckily she didn't over night. I also found some poop in the nesting box for the first time. She's a chocolate cuckoo orpington.

    I checked for mites/lice and didn't find anything.

    Is she getting ready to be broody? How do I prevent that?
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    It could be she's toying with being broody. Another possibility is that she's getting bullied and the nest box is a safe place for her to hide. If you don't want her broody, you can keep doing what you're doing - pulling her out of the nest box at night and putting her on the roost. Another good way (but I'd make sure she's full-on broody at this point) is to put her in a wire dog crate, no bedding, just food and water, and suspend it above ground so the air can circulate under her and cool her down. It can take a few days for it to work. Let her out after a day or two and see if she goes back to the nest or goes out to do her chickeny thing.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    They don't 'shed their winter coats' chickens will molt old feathers and grow new ones in the late summer/fall every year.

    Feathers in the nest are sign of broodiness, look at her breast and belly, they will pull feathers from there to make bare patches for skin to egg contact when setting eggs.

    Yep broody breaker cage is the best way to go if you don't want her hatching out any eggs.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop with fed and water

    I let her out a couple times a day(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.

    Feed and water added after pic was taken.

  4. LoveDatChickenLife

    LoveDatChickenLife Chirping

    Jul 9, 2017
    If she’s laying eggs, she’s Not broody. If she still comes out and eats and drinks for more than about 20 minutes shes not putting all her work in it. If she does become broody, she will pluck her own breast feathers, and you might be able to tell. Also, to stop, you could try put frozen fruit under her because when their temperature drops it send a signal to the brain that your not broody anymore. Hope this helps!

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