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What is the differene between a hen and a broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by sutphindanesnchickens, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. sutphindanesnchickens

    sutphindanesnchickens In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2009
    NorthofColumbus Ohio
    Anyone that could shed light on this would be helpful. Also what do they do differently? Rooster needed?

  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Hen is the general term for grown-up female chicken.

    Broody is a hen that has, well, gone broody, i.e. taken it into her head to sit on a clutch of eggs in hopes of hatching chicks.

    Not gonna get any chicks without a rooster. However, just having a rooster around doesn't necessarily have much to do with whether a hen will go broody.

    Make sense?

    Have fun,

  3. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    A broody (hen) is simply a hen whose maternal hormones have kicked and compels her to sit on eggs until they hatch. This will happen to any hen, even those with no roosters for miles.

  4. okiehen

    okiehen Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    No rooster needed , for the hens to go broody.
    Rooster needed to make eggs fertile to hatch.
    A hen that wants to set eggs and raise baby chicks is called broody.
    A hen will lay eggs in cycles, after she lays so many she will go broody. If she is a breed that has the broody gene.
    Some breeds that are bred to lay eggs have it bred out of them.
    Some still will go broody.
  5. Clarification here......... Most white egg layers are bred for egg production. Thin bodied fowl, like Leghorns fall into this catigorie. On the other hand, most brown or tinted egg layers will brood and hatch eggs. The reference to "broody" merely refers to a hen that has taken a nest in hopes of being a mom.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2009
  6. sutphindanesnchickens

    sutphindanesnchickens In the Brooder

    Feb 6, 2009
    NorthofColumbus Ohio
    ok what behaviors do they show?
  7. OrpingtonManor

    OrpingtonManor Building the Castle

    Nov 15, 2008
    Martinez, CA
    They stay on the nest, getting off it very rarely (once/twice a day) to poop (broody poops are huge and stinky), and eat/drink if you don't make it available to them while they sit on the nest.

    They also fluff up their feathers to retain heat. Mine growl, for lack of a better description, when I get near them or feel around under them for eggs.

  8. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I agree with the other posts. A pullet is a female under a year old. A hen is a female over a year old. A broody is hen that tends to sit on a nest only to get off long enough to eat a little and poop. A rooster is not needed except to fertilize the eggs if you are interested in hatching chicks.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2009

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