What does it mean to have a "broody" hen?

srfjeld

Chirping
8 Years
May 13, 2011
165
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99
Portland
When we got our last two chicks one we chose was a black cochin. The woman at the feed store said they are more like pets and they can be broody. I asked what this meant and she said it just meant they want to be mamas. Well, she won't have an opportunity to be a mama here in our flock. What can I expect from a broody hen?

Thank you
 

stcroixusvi

Songster
8 Years
May 5, 2011
782
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166
Western NC
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Our friend has one, and she will sit all day, 24/7, unless she is physically removed and brought to the food and water. She is uber-broody. There is no rooster, so no fertilized eggs, but that doesn't matter to her. She will sit and sit and sit. Very sad. And she will sit on anyone's eggs.

Are you Portland Maine or the other Portland?
 
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teach1rusl

Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
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Broody is kind of a hormonal kind of thing - a nesting instinct where the bird stays on the nest all of the time trying to hatch eggs, even when there are no eggs under her (or even when you have no rooster). Not all broodies are mean, although many will "growl" when you pester them while on the nest. But my broody girl never pecked at me when I'd take her off the nest to make her go eat/drink. If you don't want chicks and she turns broody, there are ways to snap them out of their broodiness, or you can let them sit. But they don't take very good care of themselves when they're broody, so you have to make sure they're eating and drinking....
 

srfjeld

Chirping
8 Years
May 13, 2011
165
0
99
Portland
Thank you all for the heads up... so far, she is our sweet girl. She's only a week old and she's the one that will just stand there when you put your hand in the brooder and is completely chill when you pick her up. I am hoping she stays more "pet-like" and not so broody from what I'm reading.

St. Croix, I'm in Portland, Oregon and I see that you are in W. NC... I used to live in Hendersonville. Beautiful area.
smile.png
 

stcroixusvi

Songster
8 Years
May 5, 2011
782
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166
Western NC
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Quote:
I am from Maine, but always wanted to see the bigger Portland :). Now I am up the road in Buncombe County. By the way, my friend's broody hen is very friendly and quite patient when picked up. I don't think they are necessarily mean when broody. We've thought about ordering her fertilized eggs to hatch, and make her happy :). Good luck if yours turns out to be broody.
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
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Quote:
All the above AND they don't lay eggs while they are broody.

But if you decide you want more chickens later, you can give her a day old chick from the feed store to raise, and you won't have to do the work!
 

Anianna

Songster
9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
959
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N/E of Richmond, VA
Quote:
I am from Maine, but always wanted to see the bigger Portland :). Now I am up the road in Buncombe County. By the way, my friend's broody hen is very friendly and quite patient when picked up. I don't think they are necessarily mean when broody. We've thought about ordering her fertilized eggs to hatch, and make her happy :). Good luck if yours turns out to be broody.

I bet that would just make her day! I just love seeing a momma chicken with her chicks. It's all so sweet, though pretty short-lived.
 

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