1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

When orpingtons go "broodie"???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jafo, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. jafo

    jafo Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Good morning Peeple!
    I've read Damerow's book Raising Chickens etc, and the part about broodie hens. One question I have is, when an Orpington decides she wants to sit, or go "broodie", will she lay a clutch right off, as in a day or two apart, 5-6 eggs one after the other? or stay on the nest and do one egg a day till she has a dozen or so then sit? I read that she'll peck and growl at you if you try to move her off the nest too., so if and when she sets, is it best to put her and her eggs in a separate brood coop at night? or just do it whenever? If you move her and she throws a fit, will she stop / reject her clutch? We're looking forward to when one or a couple of the girls get "in the way", and I'd just like to know the signs beforehand. Right now everyones happy, laying one a day for the most part. ( 5 hens and a roo ) They're about 28 weeks old, give er take a couple weeks. so I suspect that this coming spring / early summer, someone's gonna want to become Mom. Also, What about the molt? They won't brood if they are about to, or during correct? What triggers the motherly instinct in a hen? Top have chicks??? [​IMG]

  2. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    When I find one sitting on a clutch of eggs, I just go to her and scratch her back. She will rise a bit into a squat and then I just slide my hand under her to pull out the eggs while I continue to scratch her back. I have gotten as many as five at one time that way. I do that out in their run too and like to see them ruffle and shake their feathers afterwards, like a wet dog. One Buff Comet used to peck a bit at me, but now does not do that. It is now working all of the time. I do that because I do not want any eggs freezing out there. I have found as many as 4 or 5 in a nest that is empty too, so that is why I do it. I have no roos. [​IMG]
  3. jafo

    jafo Songster

    May 2, 2009
    I may be mistaken, and forgive me if I am, but I think you missed my point. We DO have a rooster, and I DO want chicks, I'm looking for the behavior pattern of an Orpington that has it in her mind to raise a clutch. We get 3-5 eggs in the same nest all the time. But no ones sitting on them. I think It's monkey see monkey do, most likely because the nest is still warm. I've SEEN them wait til Pearl or Bossy gets out, then a Buff will jump right in and go about thier busness, even though there are 3 other nest boxes. Pre Broodiness behavior, that's what I'm looking for. Thanks![​IMG]
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Not every hen will go broody. Many hens do not go broody at all in their life.

    There is no magic age or time.

    It is mostly hormonal and varies from hen to hen. Some have been known to go broody in fall but most do so in spring and summer. (Some silkie roosters will go broody and hatch eggs, too.)

    I spent 20 years without ever having a broody hen.

    A couple years ago I had my first.
  5. Quote:If you want to find your broody hen, if you have one, just leave the nest full of eggs, fake ones even for a few days. Allow them to collect a few eggs and see who sits. I think the winter would be against you, instinct would be to start raising chicks late winter/early spring. And for good reason, it would be hard to hatch in a cold winter environment and take care of them.

    So you might want to wait until the cold weather is nearing the end.

    as far as PRE-broody behavior... the only thing I could think to even say is laying eggs. That's pre-broody.
  6. jafo

    jafo Songster

    May 2, 2009
    Right, I don't expect anyone to go broody til spring or later. But again, when they do, is it one egg at a time or several, one after the other?
  7. Quote:One hen is only going to lay 1 egg a day on average... so it's one today, one tomorrow, one the next day and so on.
    However, with multiple hens, if they all keep laying in the same nest, or you move eggs from one nest into the "group" nest... your Orpington can find herself with a full "clutch" of eggs within a day or two.

    Then whoever is sitting, will likely stop laying eggs.. for the entire time she is sitting until a couple weeks or LONGER after they hatch.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by