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What to do about broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Shrader, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have a hen who sits in the nest all day.
    Her under belly is completely bald!
    I now understand that she is broody (had no idea).
    Should I be worried?
    Is there some way to snap her out of it?
    I'm afraid she's not eating or drinking enough.
    She just sits there.

    Thanks.
     
  2. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    Are the eggs fertile? Would you like for her to hatch some chicks if so?
     
  3. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No fertile eggs.
    I hadn't even considered having her hatch some eggs.
    If we don't want any more right now, what should I do about her?
    (I guess we can always get some fertile eggs, which would be fun -- but probably not in the cards.)
     
  4. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2008
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    To break up my broody whose eggs didn't hatch, I had to remove her nest and place her in an isolation pen where she couldn't get to ANY nest for a few days. It would be nice if you could get some fertile eggs for her to hatch, as it's almost getting rare to have hens that go broody these days. Broodiness has almost been bred out of some breeds. When you break up a broody hen, it sends the message that you don't want her to do what is natural for her. That's what I read about broody hens, anyway. You almost have to do it if the eggs aren't fertile. Will she stay on the nest if you remove the eggs? Of course if she does, she won't lay until her broodiness passes, so I suppose you should take her off the nest if after removing the eggs she is still determined to sit there. Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
  5. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She will still sit there, even if I remove the eggs (which isn't fun, by the way, she screams and pecks and puffs up like a balloon).
    So, if I were to get fertile eggs, would she just hatch them? In other words, I wouldn't need any other incubator? I'd consider doing that for her. (Since she's hell bent on trying to hatch these infertile eggs.)

    I was concerned about her not eating, so I've been putting seeds and other things in the nest for her to eat. Most of them she'll eat, but she pushed the grapes under her and tried to hatch them!
     
  6. babyboy1_mom

    babyboy1_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2008
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    I had a hen that went broody on me and I had to put her in a pen with no nest boxes at all. After a few days, she got over the urge and went back to laying eggs. I put her back with the other hens and she was fine.

    Dorothy
     
  7. Nichole77

    Nichole77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 14, 2007
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    I have never been in this situation but could you just put a few chicks under her? She would think that her grapes hatched.
     
  8. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, so now I've bit the bullet and ordered her some fertilized eggs.
    But they won't be here for over a week!
    Will she still be broody by then?
    Should I keep eggs under her to keep her that way, then just swap them out when the fertile eggs arrive?
     
  9. tulls422

    tulls422 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 20, 2007
    Tampa Florida
    I have 3 broody hens right now. 2 Australorps and 1 adopted feather legged Banty (I think). All 3 have been squeezing into a little nesting house for about a week. Finally I decided enough was enough, so my husband helped me put all 3 into a wire bottom coop/hutch today. We have no roos and will not have any roos, so having them hatch fertile eggs is out of the question (we live in the city and although it's rather common for people to keep chickens here, I think our neighbors would kill us if we included a roo or two. The girls are loud enough. Besides, I'm content with a small flock of 9 [​IMG] ) Anyway, I've only been keeping chickens for about a year now and this is my 1st experience with broody hens. I did some research and it was suggested that we 'break the brood'. Is this standard practice? At first the girls were so mad. They made a raucous. Then they all eagerly ate and drank after a few minutes, but our little banty was upset for a long time after. Every time I'd go by the coop, she'd fly at the sides of the coop squawking at me. I hope she gets over it and I'm doing the right thing. I feel bad [​IMG]
     
  10. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    Shrader, you can either leave the infertile eggs under her until the fertile ones arrive, or, even better if you want to EAT those eggs, you can slip a couple of golf balls or fake eggs under her until the fertile ones arrive. Best wishes! It will be fun if and when your fertile eggs hatch! Read everything you can find about candling and enjoy!

    http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html

    This is where I got almost all my broody information.

    tulls422, try not to feel so bad. She will get over it and you did the right thing since you don't have any fertile eggs for her to hatch! You can purchase fertile eggs to put under a broody and bypass owning a rooster. You can usually successfully keep a hen broody until the eggs arrive by placing fake eggs or golf balls under her at night. I felt bad for my broody when I broke up her nest after 24 days or so because she had done such a good job sitting on those little eggs. She is fine, now, however. Best wishes!
     

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