Sitting On Each Other

kat399

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
14
0
22
Northern Canada
My two hens have been acting very strange for the past few weeks. It started with Martha acting broody and sitting on the nest all the time. Now it turns out that Gwen is constantly sitting on her head. They have two nests, but always shared since they were young. Gwen is always sitting on Martha's back, one facing forward and the other backwards.

My grandmother thinks it might be because these two hens have never been around a rooster, and that gwen has taken on the role of trying to fertilize the eggs.


They've been doing this for 2 weeks now, and not eating or drinking much. They are about 3 years old, and have always been together since birth. I got them when they were about 3 months old.

What are they doing?
 

RioLindoAz

Sleeping
12 Years
Jul 8, 2007
2,479
8
196
Yuma, Arizona
Maybe Martha was broody but Gwen decieded to join. And maybe Gwen Loves Martha as a child and is brooding her??? that might be it.


P.S. check out this video:
 

Wolf-Kim

Songster
11 Years
12 Years
Jan 25, 2008
3,832
28
221
Do you collect the eggs every day? Are your hens sitting on something? How long have each of them been doing this? Are you sure they are acting broody and not just sick? I'm not trying to worry you, it is just hard to figure some things out when we cannot be there in person.

Your hens shouldn't be broody unless there is something in the nest for them to sit. If they have not been around a rooster then they are broody for nothing(unless you have fertile eggs for them to set for you).

Occasionally, hens do mount each other, especially in the absence of a rooster, but it does not sound like what your describing. Roosters do not usually mess with a hen on the nest, at least mine have never.

I would try sitting a golfball or fake egg into the second nest. My hens have positioned themselves like you describe yours, if they both have an egg to lay and don't want to settle for the other nest. Almost always though, they each lay their egg and are back off free-ranging.

-Kim
 

peeps7

Songster
12 Years
Aug 26, 2007
1,833
0
179
North Carolina
Hens will go broody even if they have nothing to sit on. I'm sure since they have been together since birth then they do everything together, just sily hen behavior
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
965
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Sounds like you have two broodies wanting the same nest. They will sit when the mood strikes them, without roosters and without eggs in the nest. If you don't want them to set, kick them out of the nest, don't let them in, put them in a small wire bottom cage, and make them uncomforable for a few days... and hopefully it will break them. Else, you'll have two skinny hens in a few weeks.
 

Wolf-Kim

Songster
11 Years
12 Years
Jan 25, 2008
3,832
28
221
LOL. Well, I learned something new! I didn't think a hen will be broody without any eggs. I have never had mine go broody without eggs, always if I forgot to collect eggs for a few days.

-Kim
 

kat399

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
14
0
22
Northern Canada
There are no eggs in the nest. I pick them up and move them out of the nest, but they fly right back and do the same sitting maneuver. I'll take a picture for you guys, to show you what it looks like:p

They NEVER leave, but seem to be alert and their usual selves, despite sitting gwen sitting on Martha's head 24/7
 

kat399

In the Brooder
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
14
0
22
Northern Canada
Well, I have some good news. Yesterday I stripped all the bedding out of the coop and caused quite a racket. The girls left the nest for about half an hour, while I changed the hay, food and water. This morning when I went in, they were still sitting, but when I went in just now to take a pic of them, the black one left and went on the perch. Martha stayed on the nest, but then also left and perched. I wish I could have gotten a picture of gwen sitting on her to show you guys. Hopefully this means they're coming out of it

Unfortunately I don't have a wire cage and there is 6 feet of snow here, so I can't bring them outside to break them.








 

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