possible young broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wleigh1021, Jan 16, 2016.

  1. wleigh1021

    wleigh1021 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2016
    Hi Everyone,
    I am a first time chicken owner, and looking for a bit of advice. I picked up 4 red sex-links last weekend. I got 3 brown eggs on my first day (one hadn't started laying yet), so that meant every one of the sex-links was laying. Two days later someone laid an egg in the middle of the night (under the roosting bar). For the past 3-4 days I have not had another occurrence of all girls laying. I noticed that one girl tends to sit on the others' eggs. She still roosts at night and I see her go out first thing in the morning before eggs are laid (not sure how active she is during the day since I've been at work). I thought maybe she might be egg bound but I haven't felt anything lumpy/strange in her abdomen or her vent. According to the farm I got her at she's about 5-6 months old (just laying). Her comb isn't very red right now. She feels a bit skinny compared to the other girls--her bones stick out the most. I gave her a warm bath in case she was egg bound and when she came out she was picking at her breast feather--not sure if this was just because they were wet and she was upset or maybe a sign that she's broody. Is it possible for a hen this young to go broody? Should I keep her inside in a crate for a few days to keep an eye on her or am I just having newbie worries?

    Thanks
     
  2. MarcyR1011

    MarcyR1011 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 29, 2015
    Hemlock Michigan
    Yes it definitely sounds like she is broody. I've had them broody that young too! Good luck!
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!!

    New layers often spend more time sitting in the nest,
    whether they produce an egg every time they visit the nest or not.

    They may be sitting on other birds egg because they often all lay in the same nest,
    an egg being in the nest tells them, 'this is a safe place to lay'.
    It's why fake eggs work as 'bait' to get new layers to sue the nests.

    They also might not be producing every day at first,
    or ever for the matter(not all birds lay daily, some only 3-4 a week).

    A broody will sit the nest day and night, flattened out nice and wide, often in a kind of trance.
    They will growl, fuss, even bite if disturbed.
    If you remove them from the nest, they will often flatten out right in the ground, have trouble walking,
    or make a mad dash to eatdrinkhugepoop and even dust bathe, then right back to nest.
     
  4. wleigh1021

    wleigh1021 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 16, 2016
    She was in a crate for about 24 hours, was eating, and didn't seem to be acting strange so I put her back in the run. She ate and foraged for a bit then went and sat in her nest. I'd let about 15 mins go by then kick her out and she'd forage again and come back. The last time that I kicked her out she had just laid an egg and I felt awful for harassing her. I guess she just likes to hang out and take her time about it. Perhaps my neice who named her princess had it just right! Thanks for the advice, looks like me and the girls are both newbies and just need to get the hang of it.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    It's best not to bother them unless they are in the nest after roosting time...then you start to suspect broodiness.
    No harm done, you will learn a lot as time goes on.
     

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