My broody hen WILL NOT STOP

IamRainey

Crowing
Aug 22, 2017
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Los Angeles (Woodland Hills); gardening zone 9B
She hatched 3 chicks about a week ago. She's still up in the coop with the little ones -- even tho they no longer need her body heat -- but every time I go out there she's sitting on someone else's egg.

I understand it's hormonal but what part of the signal that it's over didn't she get?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Some just like setting, and aren't necessarily interested in the chicks. I would pen her away from the nests. Hopefully she's a good mother otherwise?
 

IamRainey

Crowing
Aug 22, 2017
2,849
11,735
486
Los Angeles (Woodland Hills); gardening zone 9B
The chicks and the hen all stay pretty much up in the coop. The hen descends to the run occasionally and even more occasionally the chicks accompany her. Mostly the chicks are up in the coop either in the nesting box where they hatched and where I provided food and water or visiting the other nesting boxes or exploring the larger coop.

I'm in SoCal and it's very warm here already -- high 70s, 80s and we've even had triple digits already. (An enormous amount of temperature fluctuation lately but it's generally pretty warm.) The hen is usually in close proximity around them. I don't see them struggling for heat and she's picked a corner in the bedding under the roosts where she lets them cuddle with her at night. I'm not worried about that part.

As for how "good" a mother she is, I've never had a broody hatch eggs before so I don't really know what to expect. Everyone seems healthy and vigorous. I haven't heard the chicks complaining :), but once one of the chicks got left down in the run alone with the other chickens. I don't know how the other 2 were able to follow her back up to the coop. I put the straggler back up there myself.

I hear her doing some loud snipping at the other hens and, altho I've seen other hens and the roo up there with them during the daylight hours, the egg production is WAY down so either she's not letting them have any peace near them in the nesting boxes or they're practicing their own form of birth control because 3 new chicks is definitely 3 too many for the size of my coop. But still, if someone's laid an egg and I haven't collected it, she's on it!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,882
78,508
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Wisconsin
Sounds like a fairly good mom. I just watched my one hen with chicks take her chicks over to a floor nest with an egg in it and set there.

Generally hens like to lay where other hens have already probably because it looks safe. So perhaps that's why she returning to nests with eggs in them.

Some hens are chronically broody as well. They want to care for everything.
 

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