My Hens have Stopped Laying and I need them to go Broody this spring. Help Would be Greatly appreci

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Olivermaxsmith, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Olivermaxsmith

    Olivermaxsmith Hatching

    May 31, 2016
    I own Buff Orpington hens, and I was hoping to have them broody this spring. However a couple weeks ago they stopped laying. I suspect this has something to do with the heat lamp I removed when it started to get warmer. But when I researched deeper into the subject I found that red lamps don't register as daylight to chickens thus if you take them away the hours of daylight they get won't be affected. So I have a few questions for you guys.

    1. How likely is it that my hens will go broody this spring?
    2. How can I get them laying again?
    3. If I coop them up in a dark coop will that make them more likely to go broody?
    4. What have been the most successful methods of encouraging broodiness for you?
    5. Should I use artificial light to induce broodiness?
    Thanks So much
    -Oliver Smith
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2017

  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.

    Chickens go broody in their own hormonal time. Usually when it's least convenient for you for them to do so, and not at all when you want them to.

    I'm not sure why you would have had a heat lamp on fully grown chickens, but if they've had light 24/7 all winter, and it's suddenly gone, that may have affected their laying somehow. Chickens are kind of touchy that way - they don't like change. Change can affect laying. Also, with natural lighting, when the light decreases, their hormones tell them it's time to stop laying and molt. Maybe taking their light away has forced them into molt? Can't say for sure, just a thought.

    If you want to hatch chicks on your own time, you're much better off getting an incubator and hatching that way.
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Not all hens will go broody. Some breeds are more likely to go broody than others, and some individuals are more likely than others, as well.

    Broody hormones will fire up after a certain number of eggs are laid. Each broody hen has her magic number, and she won't go broody unless she meets her count. I'm waiting for my star broody to go broody so she can sit on some fertilized eggs I've been collecting for her. So far, she shows no signs of going broody although it's been four weeks since she started laying this go-round. Usually it takes about five weeks of laying for her to fire up her hormones. Nothing I can do will hurry the process. And light or darkness has nothing to do with it.

    Another factor in whether a hen will go broody is age. Younger hens are more likely to go broody than older ones. My hen is now six years old. It's more likely than not that she's now too old to go broody. I'm prepared for that eventuality. My other star broody is also still laying at age seven years, and while she went broody last year, she may be way too old this year.

    So be patient. Once your hens begin laying again, and they will, they need to lay eggs for a few weeks before they'll be ready to go broody. All you can do is keep your fingers crossed and hope. Like me.

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