signs of broodyness?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SLWyandotte, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. SLWyandotte

    SLWyandotte Chirping

    Feb 23, 2011
    Chatom, Alabama
    can anyone tell me some of the signs of a hen going broody? i have 1 hen that sits in the nest box and fusses with the (empty) nest. she will do this for about 5 mins then go get water or food then come back and sit and fuss again. she doesn't seem to be staying in the box for long periods of time and the other hens are not driving her out of it. she is also only 5 months old and a hatchery bird so i wouldn't think she would be going broody. it's not a problem if she is. i can get some eggs from a neighbor to stick under her. all i get is pullet eggs so not sure they would hatch. just wondering if she is showing symptoms or not and wanting to know the signs to look for later.

  2. rungirl

    rungirl Songster

    Apr 7, 2010
    Columbus, Ohio
    Sounds like it. If you take her off does she just go back to the nest? If there are eggs in the nest box will she go sit on them and puff up when you try to take them away? Does she insist on sleeping on the nest? Those are definite signs. I have a Buff Orpington hen who came from a hatchery and she's a constant broody. I let her hatch out a couple eggs this spring and raise the chick. Now she's broody again! It'll come in handy when I have some eggs that I want to hatch, but not constantly.

  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Signs of a broody:

    Puffs up and screams at you (and other hens) when you reach for her or her eggs.
    Pecking at your hand.
    Plucking her belly clean.
    Staying on the nest all night instead of roosting.
    Looking flat, like a pancake on the nest.
    Soft clucking sounds.
    Quit laying eggs.

    Not all hens will have all the signs above. My current broody screamed and pecked on the nest and had her belly picked clean for 3 months before finally quit laying and stayed on the nest at night. I make mine sit on the nest 2 nights before I give them any eggs. This makes sure they are serious and settled on the nest.

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