When will my broody hen give up?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MuscovyMad, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. MuscovyMad

    MuscovyMad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody hen at the moment. She started being broody about 5 weeks ago. So instead of cracking her by using various methods i decided to let her sit on eggs after she had been sitting in the nest for 2 weeks.

    The eggs were due to hatch 3 days ago i.e they are now on day 24. How much longer should i leave the eggs under her? Also after this failed attempt to hatch eggs will she stop being broody and start to lay again. Or will she just keep on sitting?

    Any help is much appreciated as this is my first ever broody.
     
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    It's time to take the eggs away. The chicks in the eggs must have died at some point. As you take the egg, make sure you listen for any cheeping or pipping from the eggs. But it's seems unlikely that they will hatch at this point. As for your broody taking the eggs may not break the brood. You may still need separate her from the nest. I place my girls into a large bird cage for a day or to. So far that has been the most reliable method for breaking a brood.
     
  3. MuscovyMad

    MuscovyMad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aww it seems a shame that she never managed to hatch any. Atleast i gave her a chance. No doubt she will be broody again very shortly after i break her. Thanks.
     
  4. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    At 5 weeks of being broody, she needs a break. It is hard on a hens body to be broody. They seem to lose a lot of weight, and or mussel mass. She needs time to eat and do normal chicken things. I just had the same thing happen to me last week.
     
  5. CariLynn

    CariLynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a very broody hen who is just like yours OP, we let her set a few eggs this time and unfortunately, they were not viable so we got baby baby chicks and slipped them under her. She has been wonderful with her little adopted family and is very attentive and good to them. I am hoping that this has eased that want to brood so often and she will at least start to lay eggs for a while before repeating the cycle.
     
  6. MuscovyMad

    MuscovyMad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think she must be gorging herself in the little breaks she gives herself as she is still pretty plump. I didn't plan on her being broody for so long. I left her for the two weeks at the start in the hope that she would snap out of it herself. But when i realised that wasn't going to happen i gave her some eggs. That's why she has been broody for so long. I will take the eggs out tomorrow as i'm not seeing her today. Guess i will crack them open and see what happened.

    I thought hens normally pushed dud eggs out of the nest?
     
  7. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    My broodies didn't push the eggs out of the nest. I left the eggs nearly a week after the hatch date. It's best to not have to deal with really rotten eggs. [​IMG]
     
  8. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ditto switching the eggs for chicks. Even if you break her broody urge right now, as you say she will be broody again in short order. My broody hens seem to do better if I let them raise some chicks. They usually "kick 'em loose" at about 6 weeks and go back to laying for a good while before they get broody again. If I don't let them raise chicks they either go broody and I can't break them out of it, or they come off the nest for a week and are right back on it, ad infinitum. It's more of a pain for me to continually oust them from the nest than it is just to give them some eggs or chicks, and it makes them much happier!
     
  9. #1California Chick

    #1California Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Quote:Do you have to remove the hen from the main coop and run? All of my 8 hens share one coop and run. If I put some chicks under my broody hen, will the other hens kill them?
    Cindy
     
  10. MuscovyMad

    MuscovyMad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So i went up to the farm today to remove the eggs and on opening the door i hear high pitched cheeping coming from under the hen [​IMG] . One of the two eggs i had set has hatched on what is effectively day 26 [​IMG] . So i have left the other egg under her for another day to give it a chance to hatch. [​IMG]

    Do you think she was just leaving the nest for too long at a time and thus the chicks developed slower?

    Cindy i havn't removed my hen but she is at the top of the pecking order which i think makes things different.
     

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