Will a broody hen stop her own egg production for the duration?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mr Grandcanyon, May 13, 2011.

  1. Mr Grandcanyon

    Mr Grandcanyon Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2010
    St. Johns, AZ
    Howdy,

    One of my Speckled Sussex hens has started setting on a bunch of eggs. Does being broody stop her own production until the chicks hatch or will she keep adding to the nest?

    Second question: When I open the pen for a few hours of "free range time".... she will leave the nest, but goes right back when dusk comes (that is when they all go back in). Will this time off the nest affect things?

    Thanks for your help.... Joe
     
  2. sheila3935

    sheila3935 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 10, 2010
    Stonington, illinois
    First question yes she will stop laying til she hatches and gives her babies up. Second she should only leave the nest for an hour at the most. Mine usually only left her nest for less then half an hour.
     
  3. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Aug 25, 2008
    SC
    Broody hens do stop laying while broody, the trick is to keep the other hens from laying their eggs in there! I have a "broody cage" that I move the hen and the nest into right away. She gets mad, but gets over it pretty fast. I recommend leather dloves for the transfer. [​IMG]

    How long is she off the nest? Mine does maybe 10 minutes, tops. But she is the world's most determined broody!
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  4. shellyga

    shellyga Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 23, 2010
    Milner
    One of my three broody hens gets off the nest at the same time each late afternoon -- almost like clockwork.. she eats.. drinks.. walks around all puffed up and clucking..then back to the nest she goes.. The first of the three to go broody rarely even blinks...and just like #2 broody hen.. she hasn't been caught off the nest. It would worry me if she was off all day.. unless your outside temperatures are REALLY HOT

    Gotta love a broody

    Shelly
     
  5. Mr Grandcanyon

    Mr Grandcanyon Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2010
    St. Johns, AZ
    Thanks for all the advice...

    Eve (her name) and the others are only allowed out for at most 2 hours just before dark. They go in at dusk all by themselves. I think I'll move her into a BRAND NEW smaller coop/pen that I set up just to be the Maternity Ward, Intensive Care Nursery. I'll trust her (until she disappoints me) to raise the babies the old fashioned way....

    Joe
     

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