Questions about Broodies/hatching eggs from a newbie

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eleaserek, Mar 6, 2016.

  1. eleaserek

    eleaserek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    Billings, MT
    So I've had chickens for about a year now. I found this site pretty early on into my chicken journey and have found everyone's advice and knowledge so helpful!

    I personally don't have any roosters (I live in town where I can't [​IMG]) but a friend of mine has one, and I'm just curious how the process works.

    She swears that when a hen is ready to go broody they will lay a "clutch" of eggs over the course of a day. Just churning them out one right after another till she's got 6-10 or so eggs. Then she'll sit on them till they hatch.

    So this is where my confusion comes in...from the reading I've done, here and in the books and magazines I've accumulated, I thought that a hen just layed normally when she was about to go broody but collected eggs over the course of a few days. Both her own eggs, and any she could steal from fellow hens just sat in the nest, then when she decides she's got enough she'll sit and stick on them till they hatch....

    So, now her little silky is considering going broody, and she tells me that she saw her "laying all day" yesterday...but I just didn't think chickens were physically capable of laying more than one (or in rare circumstances 2) eggs in a 24 hour period!

    I so look forward to finding out how this works! Thanks in advance!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    For many different reasons a hen does not lay a bunch of eggs in a day. Her body cavity is not large enough to hold them. Her body does not make enough egg material in a day to make that many eggs. The way her internal egg making factory works the eggs would be deformed even if she could.

    A hen will normally lay an egg a day, occasionally skipping a day, before she goes broody. Her going broody does not depend on her having a clutch of eggs. Going broody depends on hormones and those hormones can kick in whether she has an empty nest or a full nest.
  3. eleaserek

    eleaserek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    Billings, MT
    Ok, thank you!! That is what I thought, but she had me starting to second guess myself. We were discussing egg laying yesterday when she insisted she had one barred rock (her only barred rock at the time) hatch out a clutch of like 8 chicks when she was younger. I said she probably had hid and/or collected them over the course of a week or more, but she said she layed them all in one day. Since I really didn't want to sound like a know-it-all, I let it go.

    Now she's got a silky who's going broody, and she told me she saw her "laying all day yesterday" today she's still sticking to her nest, so I just had to know. I asked if she knew how many eggs she was sitting on, but she hasn't looked yet. Now I can let nature tell her I was right, when there is only one or two (since this started yesterday) eggs under her, lol.

    Course, this same friend also refuses to believe that her Easter egger rooster is not a pure breed ameraucana [​IMG]
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Not much you can do with someone like that.

    Maybe show them this video about how an egg is created and laid over an approximately 24 hour period?
    Egg Formation Video
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd just smile and nod when she spouts off her inaccurate information and move the topic to something else. Some folks you can't educate. Good on you for getting the correct information for yourself [​IMG], but if she's unwilling to listen then it's really no biggie for you. Just try not to roll your eyes in when she's looking [​IMG].

    It would be great if going broody worked like that, like throwing a switch and *BOOM* they're broody! I have hens that practice or flirt with going broody for over a week before they settle down to business, and they drive me nuts.

    And to clarify, a hen doesn't have to have a clutch of eggs under her to go broody. Personally, I believe it helps, but it's not necessary. Persistent broody hens will brood on empty nests, they don't care once those hormones start flowing. I remember one pic someone posted here of a silkie setting on a "nest" of nuts and bolts in a shop...poor little thing must have been pretty uncomfortable, but she was sure setting on her nest.

    Prior to going broody, a hen lays just as usual. One egg a day, occasionally skipping a day depending on her production level.
  6. eleaserek

    eleaserek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    Billings, MT
    Thanks again, she really is a good person, but what can you do, lol. She tried to tell me that ducks layed a bunch in one day too, before we got on the topic of chickens. I literally know nothing about ducks, but kinda had the same reaction. I think I told her that I didn't think that was right...they aren't turtles! [​IMG]

    She went and snuck a peek under the silky last night, and sure enough. Two of her own eggs, and two from other hens. So that accounts for each day :) now to see if she sticks with it. It'll be the silkies first chicks.

    In the meantime, like you suggested, I'll keep my eye rolling to myself! Lol

    Edited to add- thanks for that video aart!! It is the most thourough explanation of egg laying I've ever seen! I'll have to see if I can find an opportunity to show it to my friend.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2016

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