Stupid question......?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tothemoon, Oct 6, 2009.

  1. tothemoon

    tothemoon Songster

    Sep 3, 2009
    Ok, I havent been at this chicken business very long. My hens are about 4 months old (no eggs yet) and im still trying to figure out what some of these statements mean. I know that when hens "go broody", it means that they want to sit on eggs to hatch them, but do they stop laying at that point? Is it a bad idea to remove the eggs from a broody hen? Im asking this because I saw on an auction page for eggs that someone had to cancel the auction because the hens went broody. I was just wondering why that was a cause for canceling.
  2. Godsgrl

    Godsgrl Ostrich wrangler

    Aug 27, 2007
    at the zoo usually
    hens stop laying when they go broody, that is probably why they cancelled the sale. Chickens are so cooperative. [​IMG]

    Your question is not stupid, by the way. We all have to learn in the beginning, and I didn't know that when my first hen went broody either.
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2009
  3. possumqueen

    possumqueen Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    Yes, if the hens go broody they stop laying eggs and start setting on them instead. If it was an egg auction then they weren't getting enough eggs to sell.

    It's always been my experience that if you collect the eggs every day and don't let them accumulate in the nest, then the hens will keep laying and won't go to setting. But then I've never had breeds like silkies that seem -- from what I hear -- to go broody at the drop of a hat.

    Whether or not you take eggs away from a broody hen depends on what you want her to do. If you want her to go back to laying eggs then you take the eggs away. Maybe she's been bred to a really good rooster, and you want as many of those eggs as possible. Or maybe you just want eggs and not chicks.

    Or maybe, like one little bantam I had years ago, the bantam had been setting on unfertile eggs, and she wouldn't give up, and she was turning into a little ball of bones and fluff. We took those eggs away from her and put her in a cage by herself without a nest until she got over it and started eating again.
  4. tothemoon

    tothemoon Songster

    Sep 3, 2009
    Thanks for the info! So when hens go broody, they dont get out of the nest and eat and drink?
  5. fordmommy

    fordmommy Dancing With My Chickens

    Jul 16, 2009
    Quote:Most get off once a day to eat, drink, and poop. But some are so stuburn, I'm told.
  6. tothemoon

    tothemoon Songster

    Sep 3, 2009
    Well i have cochins and i have heard they are very good sitters and mothers so im hoping i dont have any problems. Thanks to all for helping!
  7. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    Ohhhh, hate to be the one to tell you this, but... "very good sitters and mothers" is the definition of broody!

    Taking the eggs away does NOT mean they won't go broody, if their hormones tell them to brood, they will brood on an empty nest... and try to 'set' and be a good 'mother' due to all that setting.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: