Why is it......?


5 Years
Jun 4, 2014
Victoria, Australia.
That just when I get my beautiful Orpington's laying sorted out, she goes broody

She is 11 months old, and has always laid soft-shelled eggs. After intensive calcium therapy, she has not laid a soft shell for three weeks now.

She has also always laid very small eggs - averaging 48 to 53 grams each. This week she has laid : 60g, 61g, 62g and today 63g.

And now here she sits. On the nest. On top of 10 eggs. Fluffed up like a porcupine and singing to herself.......


Sigh. So I guess once she's hatched out chicks it will be another 4 months or so before I see an egg of any kind?

LOL Bummer!!! Well.... it is spring there, time for chicks!

21 days to hatch another 4-5 weeks before laying will probably recommence.


You could break her broodiness and get eggs again sooner maybe.

But there's no fun in that

Poor Broody Hen. She looks really, really sad compared to my previous 2 broody hens.

Yes, she is puffed up and growling, but she is super sooky, and is sitting on her eggs with her head buried down in the straw.

She looks truly pitiful, lol.

It's funny, she was fighting to go broody for about 3 weeks, and I kept turfing her out of the nest, sometimes up to three or four times a day.

Now that I've actually given her permission to sit she looks miserable! I wish I knew how to cheer her up......

.....Give her chicks in 3 weeks, I suppose!

Has she been eating and drinking enough?

No Rooster..so no fertile eggs?

If you're just going to get her chicks you could probably do it now if shes been trying to sit for 3 weeks...sneak 'em in at night?
Hi aart, thanks for your reply

In response to your questions, we do have a rooster and have just hatched a batch of chicks with another hen, so he is 'doing what he needs to be doing' if you get my drift! Also, the chicks I'm going to 'give her' are the ones I am hoping she will hatch underneath her. So I can't hurry that up either! I wish I could!

Broody has only been on the nest for one solid day so far (Today being Day 2), so I'm not really concerned about her not eating or drinking yet. Whilst she has been trying to sit for 3 weeks, but by that I just mean that she continually sneaks back to her nest three or four times during the day (and I keep taking her out - battle of the wills!) - not that she's constantly been sitting. So she shouldn't be at the end of her rope yet either.

I don't think there's anything 'wrong' with her per se. She and the nest have been dusted for mites and lice, the food and water is within five feet of her (she is just in a corner of the main coop) and she has finally gotten her way - I am allowing her to do what she has been wanting to do for weeks!

It was so funny when I gave her the eggs though. She was sitting on plastic ones not wanting to get out - until I came in with the bottom half of a cat carrier. She watched me fill it with fresh soft hay and put it in the darkest corner of the coop. Then I pulled out the 9 eggs I had been saving for her and nestled them in to the nest. I swear, if she had eyebrows, she raised them at that point!

I gently picked her up (growl, growl, puff!) and put her down right in front of the new nest. She was flat as a pancake (a very puffy pancake, that is) and made this strange sooky noise, before she slowly climbed into the nest, turned around, and sat. And that was that.....

I don't quite know why she looks sad. Her behaviour is similar to my previous 2 broody hens (with the growling, the pancake look, and the spiking up of the feathers!) She has always been a sooky hen though, the one who comes running to me when she spies me across the yard, and the only one who would willingly let me pat her. I used to take the opportunity to do this every time she laid an egg - I would take her from the nest afterwards and give her a cuddle, and she seemed to quite like it.

The only thing is....I wonder if she is just sooky now because she can see the other broody hen and her five chicks running around a few metres from her? My last hen watched a batch of chicks being raised too, but maybe this hen is so broody she is just sad because she can see babies but doesn't have her own yet? Just a thought....OR.... it could just be that she is my favourite - my special baby - and I empathise with her too much.

In an update....

I just went out to the coop for the first time today, and Broody Hen was not on her nest. I checked the eggs and they were still warm, and then I found Broody on another (inferior) nest looking sad. I couldn't figure out what had happened, and then I realised - there were 10 brown eggs in the nest, not 9 as I had originally given her.

Since she lays white eggs I knew immediately that it was not hers. Someone has obviously bullied her off the nest and laid an egg in there. She is the lowest chicken in the pecking order so I suppose this is not surprising. Maybe this is the source of her sadness too - bullying?

I have now penned off a separate part of the coop for her, given her a brand new nest which is much bigger (she is an Orpington and was a bit cramped anyway) and transferred all the eggs into the new nest. Then I put her down in front of it - and she immediately stepped into the new box and re-arranged her eggs. She has not moved since.

I assume, since yesterday was her first day sitting, that the 'new egg' which was added by someone today can remain with her? I know it's a day younger, but I can't tell which one is the new one anyway! Also, as the other eggs were still warm to the touch when I found them, will they still be ok?

Any advice or comments would be appreciated.

Hens come and go from the nest when broody, so if they where warm don't worry.
I had a EE go broody this year, on and off the nest nearly daily. Her hatch rate was poor, but that could have been caused by many factors. This hen also resumed laying after three weeks, so maybe you won't have a long wait for her return to production.
Good luck.
Oh and the extra egg was "fresh" no dormancy while the hen built her clutch maybe it will hatch with the others or perhaps she will sit until they all pop out... It happens.

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