Will she give up sitting after 21 days or so?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by emilysteng, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    Hi all,

    My hen friend Casino has started sitting in earnest on her latest "clutch" of eggs. She laid 5 eggs, but I took them and replaced them with rocks. I wanted her to continue laying in that box instead of going to some hidden place to lay eggs. Anyhow, I checked today when she got up to eat and drink and no real eggs under her - just the 4 rocks I put.

    My question is - will she give up on them after about 21 days or so of sitting? Or am I going to have to take the rocks away? She is a wild chicken. I want her to feel that this next box I made her is a safe place to lay eggs so I can control whether she has babies or not.

    Thanks for your help. Here she is - sitting in earnest and protecting those rocks.

  2. nivtup

    nivtup Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 24, 2008
    Shelton Washington
    In my experience. no she won't keep track of time.

    We have one Ameraucana that seems like she is constantly broody.

    It takes forever for her to give up, even when we keep taking all of the eggs from her.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Chickens can't tell time. She will keep sitting for as long as she can. Being broody takes a toll on their bodies (they lose a good amount of weight), as they don't eat much while trying to hatch.
  4. ilovechickens

    ilovechickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 14, 2008
    West Central Wisconsin
    I have a little RIR Banty who was sitting on eggs, I let her sit and when she got down to eat every day, every now and then another hen would get in there and lay an egg, knowing what I had under her, which were LF eggs it was easy for me to pull the other eggs out from her. We had a very very cold spell with 22 below zero, out of the 8 eggs 3 hatched, finally after her sitting still on the unhatched eggs, I took them out from under her and the other 5 were undeveloped, when I went out this morning she had her little trio of babies out (she is in a confined area in the pen with the other RIR Banties) showing them how to peck for food. Everyday as long as she was in that one nesting box, she continued to go there until I moved her 2 days before hatch.
    I find that they are stubborn birds and maybe all your hen had were those eggs in the clutch and so she will sit there until those rocks hatch!!! I don't know, good luck!![​IMG]
  5. cambriagardener

    cambriagardener Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you want her to stop setting, it would be better to remove her "rocks". [​IMG] The idea of getting a hen to stop setting, is to cool her bottom. We remove our setting hens from the nests at night and put them on the roost with the other hens. Of course, they're back on the nests the next morning but I remove them several times a day to eat and drink. Ours usually give up after a a week or so. Your circumstance is different with a "wild" chicken but I'd not make it quite so pleasant as you have. Best of luck. Let us know how this turns out.[​IMG]
  6. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2010
    Western Wisconsin
    I had a hen go broody for a couple of months once. I felt bad for her so I decided to let her set on some eggs. I didn't have any roosters so I went to a neighbors farm and bought half a dozen eggs from her. She hatched out 4 of them. They were all roosters!
  7. kano

    kano Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2008
    Santiago de Chile
    No. You have to separate her in a cage with wire floor, no cozy at all, plenty of ligth, and wait for 3 to 6 days.
  8. emilysteng

    emilysteng Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2010
    Hi everyone - thanks for your replies! Do you think it makes any difference that she is a wild chicken? The chickens around here always lay a clutch of eggs and then sit on them dutifully. One time Casino disappeared for about 3 weeks but didn't come back with any chicks. I assume they either didn't hatch or got eaten by a mongoose. Anyways, I thought it might be a little different with her being a wild/feral chicken but I guess it's hard to say. This is her first batch since she had her first babies.
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Quote:Sort of. Broodiness is determined by hormones. She's likely to be strongly broody because of being wild, that is what her breeding would tend to produce, but it's no guarantee. I had one who was certainly not wild stay broody for 4 months before I gave her chicks, but she was a broody breed.

    You know, she was setting in your nest this time, although she used a bush in the past, so maybe she's already accepted that this is her nest, whether for laying eggs or hatching chickens. Personally, I believe I'd let her use it as she wished, in the hope she'd continue to use it. I would expect the rocks to convince her she's setting eggs, though, and she's not going to lay if she thinks this.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 16, 2011

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