Ummm...can a hen go broody without a rooster around?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by NewEnglandChick, May 18, 2010.

  1. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Songster

    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine
    All right, I've got 1 RIR hen who has been sitting in the same nesting box for about 3 days now. I know she's not moving because two of the other girls usually lay in that same box and have now been forced to lay in a neighboring nesting box. She looks flattened out and keeps an eye on me when I feed them, change water, add treats and open/close the coop - but she doesn't make any noise or get up. This is only my 2nd year raising chickens so my inexperience causes me to question just about everything they do. I've haven't had other hens act like this, so has she gone broody? (She's almost 1 year old, btw).

    Here's my true ignorance...I have no rooster. Is it even possible for her eggs to hatch without a rooster around?! [​IMG] If long will she sit on them before she realizes nothing's going to happen?

    The other girls don't seem to bother her - they go free range during the day, and are perched on their roost at night - so do I need to seperate her if they're all still getting along?
    Ducksandchickens likes this.

  2. Gallusfarm

    Gallusfarm Songster

    Jul 14, 2009
    I've never had a broody, unfortunately.... It sounds like yours is for sure. Yes, they will sit on eggs whether they have been fertilized or not - they don't know the difference - it's their instinct. The poor things... I've heard they'll even sit on golf balls! hopefully someone can tell you how to break her of this... Good luck.
  3. lovetocook

    lovetocook In the Brooder

    Mar 12, 2009
    Washington, NJ
    I have the same thing going on with one of my Buff Orpingtons. Except when I open the cover over the nest box she sticks her butt up in the air & ruffles her feathers. I'm beginning to think she might be eggbound not sitting on eggs. I do not have a rooster either, I know she can't hatch unfertilized eggs but I'm beginning to worry about her not eating or drinking.
  4. LadyinRed

    LadyinRed Songster

    Sep 22, 2009
    Yes! yes! yes! Seems our hens go broody even more when we have the rooster in the breeding pens away from the others. I don't know how often the RIR hens do it but it sounds like she's broody. Have you tried petting her or moving her? Even our silkies growl a little and will either sit wherever you put them or will get up, walk around a bit, poop a REALLY big poop, and then go back to the nest, all the while acting very insulted that they were touched by a human!

    Edit! Yes if you want her to hatch them out she CAN but you have to get eggs from someone who does have a Rooster!! She wont care that they are not hers.
    Last edited: May 18, 2010
  5. dichotomymom

    dichotomymom Songster

    Mar 19, 2008
    Dayton Indiana
    Yep! It happens.
  6. Oh yeah. Have one right now, unfortunately. Fortunately for her, I didn't get her in the pot before she lost too much weight. This is the third time in about 6 months and I am over it. I think I will rehome her to somebody that wants to hatch under a broody. I just want working girls in my flock.

  7. geepy

    geepy Songster

    Feb 24, 2009
    central FL
    If I didn't already have three good broodies, I'd take her. [​IMG]

  8. Bantimna

    Bantimna Songster

    Sep 29, 2009
    South Africa
    Quote:I would take all the broodies [​IMG]
  9. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Songster

    Aug 13, 2009
    Midcoast Maine
    I checked on her today...she's still in the box [​IMG]

    I knelt down beside her and petted her and she fluffed right up and kind of growled at me. (My husband says chickens don't growl...I beg to differ!!!)

    Anyway...since the eggs stand no chance of hatching, how long will she sit on them? (I don't have any idea how many are under her. I didn't want to pick her up and disturb her.)

    How would I be able to find someone with guaranteed "hatchable" eggs? And how will I know if she'd sit on them long enough to hatch them?

    I don't mind keeping her around (I love all my girls) but now I'm hoping my new batch of chicks has a rooster so we can really get the gang growing! [​IMG]
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Somebody quite recently posted about a broody attempting to hatch a Tupperware container. Since nobody knows how long the incubation is for Tupperware.... that would be a long "setting" if there weren't also some fertile eggs under her.
    ChooksNQuilts likes this.

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