When to tell if a hen is really broody

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by kristenm1975, May 4, 2009.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have had four hens out of my seven this week decide they needed to sit on the eggs instead of relinquishing them for omelets. It's a head scratcher. I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that I just put 4 two month old pullets in there with them, or if it's just a random hormonal surge in the hen house.

    Either way, I've been quickly putting together a little broody coop, just in case. I don't have a rooster, but I've heard that Trader Joe's sometimes has fertile eggs that you can put under a broody and see what happens. I'd be so tickled if one of my hens actually hatched out some little chickies.

    So here's the behavior I'm seeing. Tell me if you think it's worth buying those eggs. She's been sitting on one little egg since yesterday morning. She's only gotten up for food once since then and walked out of the coop all fluffed up and hissing, which I've never seen her do.

    What do you think?
  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I can usually tell if mine are broody when I go down with treats and they choose to stay on the nest instead of seeing what I have. That's clue #1. They're often puffed up and trance like.
    Clue #2 is when you take a trip to the coop after dark and she's sleeping on the nest instead of roosting with her buddies.
    Clue #3 would be growling or pecking when you try to root around under her.
    Clue #4 getting up only 1x/day to eat/drink.
    Clue #5 Elephant sized, very stinky broody poos

    Broodiness is hormonal, so you didn't do anything to induce it. Spring is in the air!
  3. SproutGirl

    SproutGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    Missoula, Montana
    If they won't get off the nest, sounds like you may have a couple of broodies. Fun stuff! If you can get eggs at a local farmer's market, you'll probably have more luck than with the eggs at Trader Joe's. The longer an egg is refrigerated, the less likely it is to hatch. Also, if the egg has been washed, it has less chances of hatching. That's not to say that your Trader Joe's eggs won't hatch, but that you'll have a very low chance of success. You could also order some fertile eggs. If you get them quick, your hens will probably still set since they can't really count to 21! Good luck to you!
  4. pascopol

    pascopol Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2009
    Tampa Bay
    Quote:I test my first time broodies as follow:

    Kick her out of the nest for three days, if she still insist to sit I consider her good, passed the test.

    I have one hen making clucking "broody" sound for 3rd month now, but her comb is very red and she is laying regularly.

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