Questions about Broodiness

kimmypie

Songster
9 Years
Sep 1, 2010
368
9
149
Utah
1. Will hens (different breeds) tend to be broody at the same time or just whenever? Is there a specific time of year that is more broody?

2. Do you have to break your birds from being broody? I don't want any hatches and won't have a rooster, but is there anything wrong with just letting her sit until it's over or does it only end with new chicks?

Hmmm..I thought I had more questions but that is all I can think of right now.
 

gamebirdsonly

Crowing
12 Years
Mar 5, 2007
6,418
169
321
UTAH
1: I have hens broody all times of year

2:Some hens you do. I have had one hen broody since febuary and I just keep taking the eggs from her but now she has 3 other hens sitting with her in same corner of the coop
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
267
421
SW Arkansas
Being individuals, hens will go broody when that little "broody switch" in their heads kicks on. Sometimes it does seem contagious though, with multiple hens all going broody at once. Broody fever really seems to take hold in the springtime, the time of year Mother Nature wisely deems is right for chicks to be hatched.

Some hens will broody themselves to death if not broken or allowed to hatch. A broody hen is not eating and drinking (or pooping!) but once a day. She will only consume roughly one-fifth of the amount of food she normally eats and can lose as much as 20% of her body weight; according to Storey's Guide to Chickens. It is for this reason and the fact that a brooding hen is not moving around and using her muscles, that it becomes important to break em or let em brood eggs to hatch. Sitting without results is just plain not good for them.

I happen to think that watching a hen raise chicks the natural way is one of the best parts of owning chickens. It's also the easiest way to replace an aging flock with new blood. You get to throw away the artificial brooder, the thermometers and all that junk and just sit back and watch mama do it. I promise you she can do a much better job.
 
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gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
267
421
SW Arkansas
I forgot to mention - some hens have broken broody switches. Some hens have a switch that is stuck in the "on" position (broody all the time); others have a blown fuse on their broody switch. It never comes on at all.
 

kimmypie

Songster
9 Years
Sep 1, 2010
368
9
149
Utah
Quote:Hmmm...that sounds fun.
At least if they are never broody you get more eggs right?
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
267
421
SW Arkansas
Quote:Hmmm...that sounds fun.
At least if they are never broody you get more eggs right?

Correct. The broody trait has been bred out of alot of breeds, the production breeds, in favor of more eggs. The heritage breeds are the ones to be more likely to still retain the broody trait.
 

shellyga

Songster
9 Years
Oct 23, 2010
1,355
2
141
Milner
I agree with Gritsar.. nothing like a broody hen with chicks. I do have "several" incubators going..but love nothing more than putting a nice clutch of eggs under a broody. I had one in Feburary and wished for another.. I got FOUR.. one hatched out on Monday.. another was hatching out yesterday.. two more to go. I love 'em

I have never tried to break a broody.. so no advice there.. but i would give her some eggs

Shelly
 

kimmypie

Songster
9 Years
Sep 1, 2010
368
9
149
Utah
Quote:I don't have any chickens right now, but what if I don't have room for anymore chickens? I live in a suburb and I don't have room for more than 6 birds.
 

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