My first broody, have a question about "lockdown"


The Chickeneer
9 Years
Jun 2, 2010
El Dorado County, California
I know this may sound like a silly question, but this is our first experience with a broody hen. We gave her some eggs the same day we set our eggs in the bator in the house, as she went broody quite coincidentally on the same day I had purchased several dozen hatching eggs (that I really didn't have room for in the bator, so it was a blessing). She has been doing such a wonderful job. The eggs in the house are set to go into lockdown this Friday. Well, little Miss Broody Olga out back there seems to be in something of a "lockdown" herself.

Is that something broodies do? She hasn't gotten off the nest since the day before yesterday, and I've been bringing her food & water while she's in the nest. Today she refused the food, drank the water briefly, then seemed disintersted. She has been "stealing" the infertile eggs my other hens lay in the nest next to her, and today she did not fuss at all when I stole them back. Her demeanor is slightly different, and she does seem to have locked her underside down on those eggs!

This is just too much fun for me. Hehehe.
Both my broodies went into locked down on Friday... Finally got one that had all her chicks hatched off the nest really quick to "go" and boy did she
. The other one still had chicks hatching so I haven't messed with her yet and will probably get her off for today for a minute so she can

Make sure you take your broody outside to "go" or else you might want to light a few dozen candles.
Good luck on your girl and eggies

I have experience with only one broody hen, but I thought I'd share it:

I have found that she will NOT eat or drink, even when the food and water are within range, until the chicks have hatched. I had to take her off the nest once a day and carry her to the water and food. She would poo, eat and drink, then go right back to the nest.

Now that the chicks have hatched, I still carry her out of the brooder (she is trapped in there) twice a day to just poo. The food and water in there she partakes of now.
They do stay on the nest during the period their chicks are hatching to keep them safe & warm. I don't think you need to bring them refreshments nor must you take them off to poop. They seem to know enough about what to do & when to do it. Sometimes I've seen the hen eating the membranes out of the empty eggshells, probably for some nourishment. But unless she is listless & pale, obviously ailing, I wouldn't take her from the nest. The chicks are fine during that time, and have all the nourishment they need from the yolk they absorb. They hang out under Mama's feathers and wait for her to take them all for their first outing. THEN Mama will take the giant smelly dump she's been holding, and probably take a refreshing dust bath too.

I have a little broody banty whose chicks just hatched, starting late yesterday afternoon. She has 8 little fluffies underneath her now, and 2 eggs that haven't started to pip yet. I'm going to wait until she either takes the chicks for an outing or until tomorrow morning to remove those eggs if they haven't hatched.
She has been getting off the nest about every other day to poo and eat everything in sight! She left a poo so big the other day you woulda thought it came out of our chocolate lab! I was out in the yard at the time & saw her do it, and I SWEAR, I could hear her grunt when it came out! LOL!

During this entire time (16 days), I've brought her food & water on the days she doesn't get off the nest, and I put it in a little dish she can reach without having to get up (maybe I spoil my chickens a little bit??). She normally dives into the food/water head first without a second thought, but not today! I even gave her a fat, fresh earthworm today (her #1 favorite treat), and she snubbed her nose at it.

Our bators don't go onto lockdown until late Thursday night, but I do believe our Olga is in a broody hen's version of lockdown already.

It's going to be fun to see where the higher hatch rate comes from, the broody hen or the bator.

ETA: Her color is good and her eyes are bright, so I am not in any way worried about her being sick. I just think she's preparing herself to hatch those babies this weekend!
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If you spoil your chickens by bringing them food/water then so do I LOL

Try putting an egg yolk in the microwave for a few and see if she'll eat. I fixed up 2 quail eggs a day for each of my broodies.

That's so funny...I compared my broody's poo to my yellow lab... and it's your lucky day cause I took a picture of it

Seriously though...this was my first time, so I actually thought her insides were coming out.

Oh, thanks for sharing.

Olga's big broody-poop was about half that size, but she does get up every couple of days to eat/drink/poop/yell at everybody. Usually she gets off the nest when one of the other hens wants to lay, usually the lead hen, Lola. Lola will sit on the eggs for her until she comes back, like having an older sister who will come over to watch your kids so you can take a shower and eat something real quick.
UPDATE!! We have chicks, ladies and gentlemen! Olga has been a busy girl hatchin' out the eggs we put under her. Pics to come as soon as humanly feasible, but she's not really letting me get a good look at the bebes right now. I counted at least 7 chicks but I think 8, which leaves only 2 unhatched eggs... so far, that's an 80% hatch rate! I don't know if the other two are just slow hatchers or if they're duds, but it's kinda early to tell. She had two pips/zips when we went to bed last night & a whole nest fulla bebes this morning, so she may not be finished.

I did get a good luck at one of the porcelain d'uccle chicks and OMG, I'm in love! I wanted to snag it up and bring it in the house, but the chicks in the house are still in the bator & the brooder won't be ready until later this evening.

Hatch day is even better than Christmas.
What breed is Olga? I want to get a broody hen someday! I know silkies are great brooders, but I'm not partial to them
Please don't hate me! I like old-fashioned laying hens! I've herd BOs are good?

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