When will my broodies get back to laying?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    We were overwhelmed with eggs when all 11 girls were laying. Now suddenly we have plenty of people to buy them- we have wait lists! But now more than half the flock is/was/might be broody. Three of them are done hatching, one will be done soon. As much as I love the little peeps, they don't pay the bills. When will the hens lay again? we are getting 3 eggs/day from 11 mature hens. How long can this continue?! I've never had so many broodies at once before. It was never enough to make a huge dent in egg production so I never paid attention to how long it took them to lay again. We are removing ALL eggs and golf balls as quickly as we can to discourage the undecided from setting. Will they start laying while caring for chicks? I have hatchery chicks due to arrive friday and I could give them to broodies instead of brooding them myself if it would get it out of their system faster. I would be happy to let the chickens care for their own so I don't have to... but either way i need more eggs!
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I would DEFINITELY give the chicks to my broodies! It's by far the best way to break a broody, along with, chicks seem healthier, it's much easier, and probably a dozen more reasons. I left the chicks in a box with some food scattered on the floor, and water of course, til well past dark, then slipped them under the broody. Worked perfectly.

    Generally, mine have "mothered" their chicks for 4 to 5 weeks, then resumed laying within the next week, maybe a little longer. There's no hard and fast rule, of course. I've never known one to lay while setting on eggs or raising chicks.
  3. eggocentric

    eggocentric Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2011
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    I just registered and need some help with a broody hen problem too. I have two bantam hens (small flock) and both are broody. One has been broody for almost a month, the other for about 2 weeks. There are no eggs to sit on. I don't want babies. How long will this go on or how to I stop this and get them laying again. Is my only solution to get babies for them or fertile eggs? Help, please.
  4. nuchickontheblock

    nuchickontheblock Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2010
    south portland, maine
    [​IMG] eggocentric!

    there are many threads on breaking broody behavior if you don't want chicks. At the top right side of the web page there is a google custom search box -- just type in breaking broodies and you will get all types of info.

    basically, they can stay in this hormonal state for quite a while. To break them, you try to cool their body temp -- most folks put them in an elevated wire cage with food and water without any bedding material to cool their tummies. Or place them in an ice water bath. Or someone just posted about putting ice cubes or an ice pack in a baggie under them in the nest box.

    Good luck!
  5. azpenguin

    azpenguin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson, AZ
    Breaking Broodies would be a great name for a band.

    Signed, the guy with a broody silkie (which is probably a redundant phrase.)
  6. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 16, 2009
    To just chip in with the question as to when momma hens leave their chicks. Mine always seem to take longer than the 4-6 weeks usually quoted.

    I currently have two momma hens with 8 weeks old , one with 10 week olds and my record was a Brahma with 14.5 week olds.

    I think the breed has some bearing as my 'reluctant to leave the kids' mommas are/were all Brahmas.
  7. Johnn

    Johnn Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 5, 2011
    my hens ended broody in july-both failed, they have both molted but only one of them is laying again and the other has only laid one gg since
  8. chickchicks

    chickchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 28, 2011
    warrington uk
    my hen is still looking after hers at 8 weeks now and the other adult seems to be chipping in aswell ! ivehad no eggs in over 12 weeks AHHHHHHH:(
  9. eggocentric

    eggocentric Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 3, 2011
    Grants Pass, Oregon
    Just a quick thank you for the guidance and suggestions offered. I have a lot to learn and I'm thankful for this source for information and help. My hens thank you too.
  10. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    So far it seems that between 8 and 10 weeks my hens start to let the chicks go. Fortunately the original source of my frustration (the companion broodies- those who quit laying because someone else is broody) all went back to normal a week or so after the first round hatched. I am getting a half dozen+ per day now.
    Interestingly, the sympathy broodies ignored Scarlett when she hid a nest from me ant hatched a second round of chicks. Maybe they couldn't find her either!

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