Is she eggbound or just broody?


May 16, 2010
Washington State

So, for the last two days, one of my girls has been hanging out in her nest box. I didn't really notice until today, because she comes out in the morning, and they're in their coop by the time I close it up. She's been laying for 3 years now, and none of the girls have ever been broody. Not even a little. So I don't really know what to look for. I'll check her out tomorrow to feel if she's got something in there, but I figured I'd ask the forums tonight!

She doesn't seem ill. In the morning she comes out with the other two, but makes kind of nervous/excited sounds, which is pretty unusual. Today, when I realized she'd been in the nestbox for hours, I opened the top to look in at her and she made her trilling sound (usually reserved for when she sees something that worries her just a little) and got SUPER fluffy. Then she hunkered down and I pet her a bit. The scenario was repeated this afternoon, but she was in the other nestbox, and there was an egg in the one she vacated. I'm not sure if it was in there this morning, but it seemed odd that she'd moved.

Does any of this sound familiar? It's so odd. I would love to hear if anybody has suggestions or similar experiences.

It sounds like your hen is broody. My Buff Orpington had something very similar to what you just described. She would sit on her nest all day (even if there wasn't an egg underneath her) and would get fluffy and make this raspy kind of trill. Have you tried just taking her off the nest? My Orpington had a severe case of broodiness that lasted almost a week. She would go around our yard, her feathers all puffed out, making funny clucking sounds, and then go sit on her nest for hours at a time. I would take her off the nest like five times a day, only to find her back at it. Finally, after getting some advice from friend, I put her in a crate in our garage, gave her food and water, covered the cage, and waited. It took three days to break her broodiness. It sounds like your chicken's broodiness is mild, though. Try taking her off the nest and see what she does. Good luck!
It sounds more like broodiness to me. Usually egg bound chickens don't move much at all. Still, I'd check for a hard lump in the morning, just to be sure! She probably moved because someone wanted to lay an egg where she was.
Thanks guys! It's just so bizarre that she'd get broody after so many years. Chickens are so weird. I'll check her tomorrow, and then see if I can break her habit!
does it sound like this?


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