Will broodiness stop, or must I break it?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by hensonly, May 16, 2011.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    I have some 8 month old pullets, three of whom are showing broody behavior. They sit unless I evict them, peck me and growl if I put my hand in. They're not deadly serious about it; they don't peck hard and if I take them out of the nest boxes and don't let them back in, they will, after a few minutes of grumbling, go outside. When I go back in the coop later, they are back on the nests. They don't care whether there are eggs under them or not.

    I collect the eggs daily just like usual; I don't want to hatch anything until next spring. Will the broodiness run its course if they are not hatching any eggs? Or do I need to step in and break the cycle? Almost all the pullets are still laying.

    Please advise! Thanks!!
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I would continue to do what you are doing. When a hen gets dead serious about brooding, she won't go outside for more than a few seconds. Most will "pancake", lay flat as one in the spot you set them down in and go straight back to the nest the second you turn them loose.
    A hen can brood themselves to death by not eating and drinking, but most know to get up to eat and drink.

    BANTAMWYANDOTTE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    If they are laying eggs, then they have not went "Full-Blown" broody yet. They may never completely go broody and then again they may start one day and not take "no" for an answer. Anything is possible and with broodiness it is very hard to predict anything about the process. If they do go broody there are several steps you can take to "break" them without using old out-dated methods that are likely to hurt the hen (physically and mentally) and yourself. I have consulted a (close friend) several years ago on how to break this behavior in some of my most stubborn hens. She gave me advice and I am giving it to BYC.

    I posted replies to this subject so much, that I have created a thread here on BYC about this behavior and my advice (per the vet) in this link:


    Hope this helps!
  4. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    thanks for the advice! Yep, the first one who showed broody behavior would do the pancake thing when I took her out of the box. If I picked her up and put her on the ramp to go out, she'd ruffle all up and kind of squat and then she'd stand up and go out. I am hoping to have the hens raise the next generation for me, just not this year! They are a breed known for going broody and being good moms, and they come from lines that are known for going broody. The funny thing is that I have one teeny weeny pullet who has laid only one egg (an inch and a half long!), and she is one that is showing broody behavior. They do like to keep us guessing, don't they?

    Thanks again for the information.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by