whats the signs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ameraucanacrazy, Apr 26, 2009.

  1. ameraucanacrazy

    ameraucanacrazy Songster

    Feb 11, 2009
    how to tell when a hen is about to go broody and do u keep the eggs in the nest until they set on the nest or will the hen just set after laying one egg

  2. SoJoChickens

    SoJoChickens Songster

    Mar 9, 2009
    Fountain Green, UT
    If a hen is sitting on an egg, reach under and see how she reacts. If she runs off, she is not broody. If she pecks at you and throws a fit, she may be getting broody. Clucking can be another sign of broodiness.

    A broody may set on one egg so you will probably want to remove individual eggs and store them at 55 degrees (for up to six days) while you collect other eggs to hatch. If the hen is already setting, replace the eggs you take with fake eggs until you are ready to hatch a group of eggs then replace the fake eggs with the real ones. That will keep her on the nest.

    Good luck!
  3. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    The natural course is that the hen lays several eggs, then stops laying and sets on them til they hatch, then mothers them for a few weeks. But broodiness has been bred out of these chickens to the point that they often only follow some part of the natural course. So we wind up trying to second guess them. SoJoChickens has given you a good and useful example of the techniques we have developed to try to deal with these variations in broodiness. Mother Earth News did some good writeups on broodies which for some reason I can't find right now.

    Basically, a hen has gone broody when she will not get off the nest. She may or may not be setting on real or fake eggs when this happens, though no doubt it is more likely if she believes there are eggs there. My one broody did not seem to care whether there were eggs under her or not; it took me 3 months to get her off the nest (I had no roo.)
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    You are getting good advise from the others.

    A broody hen article. This may be the one DDawn was talking about. Note this lady has lots of room and a certain set-up so take only what applies to your situation. A great source of information, however.


    This article discusses how to store eggs for freshness. I think it is good information and may make you more comfortable with something I'm going to suggest.


    This tells you how to move a broody hen if you elect to do that. I promise I will quit posting links soon.


    My last two links. These cover incubators but they give you a lot of information on how to store eggs for incubation, whether for a broody or for an incubator.

    http://gallus.tamu.edu/Extension publications/b6092.pdf


    I don't think there is a reliable way to tell when a hen is about to go broody. If you have enough hens laying so you can get sufficient fertile eggs within a week of a hen going broody, just use a fake egg or two to help keep her broody while you are collecting eggs. However, if you don't have enough hens laying or you have a few certain hens you want to hatch from, I suggest setting up a system where you keep enough eggs for hatching ready. First, store sufficient eggs until you have enough, marking them with the date they were laid. Then, after you have enough, every day take away for your use the oldest eggs and save the freshest eggs.

    Hope this makes sense.
  5. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop

    Stays in the nest overnight.

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