The behavior of Broody Hens, whats the show/singing all about?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by VioletBlueIvy, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    My OEGB has been broody off and on over the last month or so. She is just brooding straw, except when the other hens lay their eggs on top of her, that is. Poor girl. She gets

    soooo upset! She hold her wings out at an angle and fans her tail up she looksShe gets out of the nest boxes every day to eat, drink, poop, take a dustbath and SING. The first think she does is hop up on my milk crate stool in the yard and

    she sings an egg song. A much longer, louder and more complex one than she does when she lays. She even hops around and fans her tail and clucks and runs around in circles

    like she is after an imaginary foe! It's something to see! She eventually winds herself down an then runs off for a bath next, then she eats, drinks and back on the nest. She has

    been sitting for 4 weeks with no eggs! I can get some eggs for her i suppose, but she has already been at it for so long I am afraid it wont be good for her. If she hatches some

    babies will she finally stop brooding?
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    My broody would walk around the yard all puffed up. Making her little grunting noises, like don't mess with me! The other hens were bothering her on the nest though, so I moved her to a separate area.

    Do you want more chickens? If you do, why not get a couple chicks for her to mother? (like from a feedstore or something) Slip them in at night and I bet she takes over from there.
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    I would get her a couple of day old chicks, she DESERVES them.

    I have just let my Gold Brahma hen out to free range with her 6 week old chicks and they are a complete joy to watch.....she is SO proud strutting about and constantly 'talking' to them. I feared they wouldn't go back to the pen easily, but as soon as it rained she had them straight back in.

    Broody hens lose a lot of condition and weight, and, of course, don't lay eggs, so I wouldn't go for letting her hatch a clutch now.

  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Yes she will stop being broody if she hatches some chicks -- or gets some chicks to mother.

    I don't know what's with the song. I suspect it is not an egg song. Maybe a mama protecting her eggs song? I've had broodies hatch chicks several times and I don't think I've ever heard any type of song from them. But I've also never owned an OEGB.

    I have read that OEGB are some of the best chicken mothers around.

    What would be ideal is to slip a live chick or two under her at night and let her mother them. I have, however, given fresh fertile eggs to a hen who's been broody for a month already, and it worked out fine. It's not the best thing for them, but then, neither is being broody for long periods. I actually had one set for six months before I had a mature roo (Another good mothering breed, a Kraienkoppe.) Since that experience, I have found some way to deal with the broodiness when it happens.
  5. mmaddie's mom

    mmaddie's mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Day(or two)old babies would be the solution I would use. Sometimes they want SO BAD to be mommies! [​IMG]
  6. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    mmaddie's mom :

    Day(or two)old babies would be the solution I would use. Sometimes they want SO BAD to be mommies! [​IMG]

    I've been dealing with the same three hens all summer that go in and out of "broody". I tried everything to break them, and I finally gave up. Presently none of them is broody, but that doesn't mean they won't all three be tomorrow. They WIN, but they ain'ta gonna get no eggs. They can sit on the nest 24/7 trying to hatch air, and I wish them the best of luck and success, but I ain't dealing with their problem. I've had it.​
  7. VioletBlueIvy

    VioletBlueIvy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 29, 2010
    I have been watching for some, but haven't found any yet, it's a little late in the season for chicks. [​IMG] I like the idea myself, but my husband would say [​IMG] !

    Maybe a mama protecting her eggs song?

    It's a MOMMY song! I am going to call it that anyway until I learn otherwise [​IMG]

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