new to this...what is broody???/

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tarheel4lif3, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. tarheel4lif3

    tarheel4lif3 In the Brooder

    Oct 4, 2007
    well i am only 20 years old and have started recently raising chickens. i keep reading on peoples post about "broody". what does this mean?! and is it a good thing?!
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    It's when a hen wants to set on a clutch of eggs to hatch them.
  3. peeps7

    peeps7 Songster

    Aug 26, 2007
    North Carolina
    broody is when a hen decides she wants to be a momma and she sits on eggs. O, and welcome to the board, do you live in N.C? I just saw your tarheel name.
  4. arlee453

    arlee453 Songster

    Aug 13, 2007
    near Charlotte NC
    Broody describes a hen who will sit on a clutch (set) of eggs to incubate and hatch them.

    Typically a bird will lay one egg a day for a certain time until there is a nest full of eggs (8-12 is typical for a chicken). AFTER all the eggs are laid in the clutch, THEN the hen will begin to sit on them to incubate them. That's the broody period.

    The tendency to brood (incubate) a clutch of eggs has been bred out of most laying hens. When they are broody they stop laying eggs, so it isn't good to be broody if you are wanting chickens for egg production. So, over many generations of selective breeding, the broody trait has been bred out of them for the most part.

    While any hen can 'go broody' - even those breeds that rarely do, certain breeds are more likely to go broody than others. Silkies, for example are well known as excellent broody hens.

    Going broody is purely a hormonal thing - when a hen goes broody she will incubate golf balls, or nothing at all. They just sit in the nest and only come off once a day or so to eat drink and poo. They tend to be very grumpy and will hiss or complain or even peck if someone tries to get them off the nest. A hen that goes persistently broody (won't come off the nest for longer than the typical 3 week incubation period) can actually cause harm to herself because they don't eat and drink as much as usual during that time.

    If a hen goes broody and you don't want her to, there are ways to break the broody like blocking her access to the nest, etc. Doesn't always work, but sometimes will get her off the nest and laying again.

    That sums up my knowledge of broodiness...
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2008
  5. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Here is a pic of a broody hen sitting on eggs.
    When you go near a broody they tend to puff up like a beach bal and they growl and bite too.


    Here are the chicks she just hatched out


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: