Possibly broody Production Red hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Afterburner, Jul 13, 2011.

  1. Afterburner

    Afterburner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2010
    Vancouver, WA
    I have a 2 1/2 year old production red hen. She's really friendly and a good producer. But sometimes, usually during the summer months, she'll sleep in the nesting box and act like she is trying to lay an egg. When I gently pet her neck, back and rear, she'll get up and reveal one or two eggs that she's been hiding. Sometimes one of them are her eggs, other times they all belong to the other hens. Once a get the eggs, she'll squak a little, wander around the coop and get up on the roost. Other times she'll sneak back into a dark corner of the coop and go to sleep on the floor. Here is a picture of her late night activities


    Her egg hiding doesn't bother me, but I was getting some ideas. If I snuck a few fertalized eggs underneath her, do you think she might hatch them? always though PR had the broodiness bred out of them, is her behaviour normal. Finally, at her age, egg production has diminished greatly frtom her first year high. She is only producing 2 or 3 eggs a week. Could the brodiness be affecting it?
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The do try to breed broodiness out of these chickens, but sometimes it shows up, anyway. She nay be what I suppose would be called partly broody. You may not want to try setting eggs under her unless you are sure she is broody. Many will not set eggs unless the hen remains on the nest all night for one or two nights, along with other usual indicators such as growling when disturbed, "pancaking," etc. Even then, if they are not reallly broody, they may abandon the eggs before they hatch.

    I am also concerned that she may be developing a problem with her egg laying system.

    Good luck to you both.
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Quote:Agreed... put 3 or 4 golf balls under her.. .If she can stay on those non-stop for 48-36 hours, you've got a broody and can put some fertilized eggs under her... but I don't like her location at present, she needs to be a tad more isolated.... so she doesn't get pooped on.
  4. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    I have a barred rock that for the past 2 weeks off and on has acted broody. Getting in the nest screaming at me fluffing up and one day set on the nest for over 24 hours but then abandons it. I have eggs she started but left in the incubator, so if she ever decides to actually set she will get these back. Sometimes I think they want to but are a little ADD and cant stay with it .
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Agreed that broodiness had been 'bred out' of modern hybrids-- supposedly, but there are other posts on this forum where hybrids and sex-link hens have hatched babies.

    I think the previous suggestions are going to really help you to 1. try the golf balls or fake eggs and 2. provide a safer nesting box for her.

    who knows---you just may end up with chicks.
  6. Afterburner

    Afterburner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2010
    Vancouver, WA
    Update - I did some renovations to the coop, to make the nesting box more secure. When I do my bed check 1/2 hour after sundown, the other birds will be streching and cleaning themselves. My broody PR will fake sleeping or pretent she is laying an egg. When I open the nesting box acess door, she will continue her deception until I slip my hands underneath her breast and slid out the eggs. She then announces her displeasure before getting comfortable in the nest.

    Last night, an hour before the ladies usual entry into the nest, I stuck a couple of golfballs into the nest where my PR normally sleeps. As usual she went inside to the nest and acted strangely as she struggled to understand the new objects in her nest. After ten minutes of confusion, she sat on the floor next to the balls. This morning, 0700 to be exact, I heard her clucking and squaking. My Jersey Giant was replying by singing the egg song while the Amerucana did the ususal roar. Not uncommon when everybody wants to their lay eggs at the same time, in the same next. Somebody please explain that to me since there are three nests. This went on for about ten minutes, then quiet. I didn't pay any attention.

    When I came to check the henhouse before going to work(noon), everybody was outside except for the broody PR. When I looked inside the henhouse, the Jersey made a new nest and laid it an egg there. My little PR was sitting in the main nest with the goldballs underneath her. When I did the usual search underneath her, she allowed me to reach under her body, but she didn't stand up fully. The golfballs were underneath her, no other eggs, so I left her alone. She then sat back on the balls and made sure they were underneath her breast, quietly clucked while shaking here body. I am thinking, I might consider looking for fertilized eggs next spring. I think my sweet lady would make a great mom. I will keep everybody posted after I check her tommorrow afternoon.

    If it comes down to it, is there anybody in SW Washington (Brush Praire/Vancouver/Camas area) who would sell me some fertilized eggs?
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011

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