Why so against hens going broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by obxWaMi, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. obxWaMi

    obxWaMi Songster

    I've read so many posts about breaking broody hens by various methods. WHY? What's wrong with a hen going broody? I haven't read any posts saying it's unhealthy. In fact, isn't it normal? What is the benefit of breaking her?

    Except for a few weeks with one less egg at the end of the day I don't see what the big deal is all about.
  2. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    I think it's because they don't eat and drink properly either.
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    It's the loss of eggs and then some broodies won't let the other hens use that nest and then hens will seek somewhere else to lay....

    ... and then it's just like Easter... huntin' for eggs.
  4. CalebtheChicken

    CalebtheChicken Songster

    Jun 5, 2010
    Jeremiah, Ky.
    If you don't have a rooster then you'll have a hen sitting on soon to be rotten eggs.
  5. TexasVet

    TexasVet Songster

    Nov 12, 2008
    Willis TX
    It started with one broody hen. Then the others noticed she was sitting on eggs. So now I have 3 hens with chicks and 4 more on eggs. So that's a whopping SEVEN hens not laying eggs every day. And they don't just stop laying for a few weeks, either. As a rule, they don't lay again until they think the chicks are big enough to survive on their own. So figure on 3 months of non-productivity.

    And don't forget the chicks! If each hen only hatches 4 chicks, that's an additional 28 birds added to my flock, half of which will be roosters that have to be culled. When I order chicks from a hatchery I can get all pullets.

    Kathy, Bellville TX
  6. slackwater

    slackwater Songster

    Feb 1, 2010
    1) you may not want the chicks that your broody will hatch out (if they are fertile)
    2) the eggs might not be fertile (and brooding them is therefore a waste of time)
    3) drop in egg production

    If you have eggs that you want to hatch, and you have a broody hen - that is the PERFECT combination. But otherwise, broody hen w/no eggs, or eggs w/no broody hen - not so perfect [​IMG] (though an incubator does fairly well for the second scenario).
  7. apmorris

    apmorris In the Brooder

    Feb 22, 2009
    Grand Ledge
    Also, a broody hen sits in a hot barn all day, not eating or drinking. I have a broody bantam that I have to physically remove from the nesting box every time I am in the barn.
  8. Oven Ready

    Oven Ready Songster

    May 9, 2010
    I was always under the impression that the term 'broody' when used in a negative way is for hens who attempt to hatch nothing. They sit in nest boxes with no eggs and don't lay any of their own, and are non productive.

    If you leave a hen to lay a whole heap of eggs and then she starts sitting on them, she is still being broody but not in a negative way, that's what she is programmed to do.

    We have one broody hen (out of 40 hens) she is permanently broody, has never laid an egg in her life but has hatched out about twenty chicks (from other hens). She doesn't even bother with the chicks once they've hatched, they have to be 'adopted' by other hens with chicks. She is straight back into wanting to sit on something.

    Broody - negative if you want eggs, positive if you want chicks.

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