Won’t leave nesting box

Denise0708

In the Brooder
Apr 2, 2020
21
6
13
Hello,
My chicken hasn’t left the nesting box since yesterday’s afternoon. They are free range the only time they spend in the coop is to lay and sleep. I’m really concerned something is wrong. I am on my way to the store to get yogurt because I herd that could help if she is having trouble laying. But is there anything else I can do. Also when I try to give her food and water should I make her come out or just put it in there for her. She is a Colombian wyandotte so she is very personable she let me hold her and hand feed her she waits for me to pick her up if she is running around the yard. But I just don’t want to do that if it’s going to hurt her. Thank you in advance!
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
4,044
6,749
406
USA
She might be broody.

Broody is when a hen wants to sit on eggs and hatch them. Some broody hens are quite willing to sit on fake eggs, golf balls, or even an empty nest, although of course none of those will ever hatch.

If she is broody, she will want to sit there all day and all night, except that she's likely to come off occasionally for a quick meal. She may also puff up her feathers and growl if you or another chicken comes close, and she may peck your hand if you try to reach underneath her. If you take a broody hen off the nest, she will tend to walk around with her feathers all fluffed up, she may eat and drink and poop, and she goes back to the nest pretty soon.

If she is broody, you can let her sit on eggs to hatch them. Or you can let her sit for a few weeks and then buy chicks for her to raise. Or you can break her, which means to make her stop being broody.

Of course, the first thing is to figure out whether she really is broody, or whether she has an actual problem.
 
Hello,
My chicken hasn’t left the nesting box since yesterday’s afternoon. They are free range the only time they spend in the coop is to lay and sleep. I’m really concerned something is wrong. I am on my way to the store to get yogurt because I herd that could help if she is having trouble laying. But is there anything else I can do. Also when I try to give her food and water should I make her come out or just put it in there for her. She is a Colombian wyandotte so she is very personable she let me hold her and hand feed her she waits for me to pick her up if she is running around the yard. But I just don’t want to do that if it’s going to hurt her. Thank you in advance!
Maybe she has gone broody, is she sitting on eggs?
 

Denise0708

In the Brooder
Apr 2, 2020
21
6
13
She might be broody.

Broody is when a hen wants to sit on eggs and hatch them. Some broody hens are quite willing to sit on fake eggs, golf balls, or even an empty nest, although of course none of those will ever hatch.

If she is broody, she will want to sit there all day and all night, except that she's likely to come off occasionally for a quick meal. She may also puff up her feathers and growl if you or another chicken comes close, and she may peck your hand if you try to reach underneath her. If you take a broody hen off the nest, she will tend to walk around with her feathers all fluffed up, she may eat and drink and poop, and she goes back to the nest pretty soon.

If she is broody, you can let her sit on eggs to hatch them. Or you can let her sit for a few weeks and then buy chicks for her to raise. Or you can break her, which means to make her stop being broody.

Of course, the first thing is to figure out whether she really is broody, or whether she has an actual problem.
thank you! She did growl yesterday when my daughter went to get the eggs. And yesterday afternoon she really only came out to eat and went right back in.
 

Denise0708

In the Brooder
Apr 2, 2020
21
6
13
thank you! She did growl yesterday when my daughter went to get the eggs. And yesterday afternoon she really only came out to eat and went right back in.
this might dumb question but if I let her just stay and the baby’s survive will the other chickens hurt them before I can get them safe? Also how long does it usually take?
 

Denise0708

In the Brooder
Apr 2, 2020
21
6
13
She might be broody.

Broody is when a hen wants to sit on eggs and hatch them. Some broody hens are quite willing to sit on fake eggs, golf balls, or even an empty nest, although of course none of those will ever hatch.

If she is broody, she will want to sit there all day and all night, except that she's likely to come off occasionally for a quick meal. She may also puff up her feathers and growl if you or another chicken comes close, and she may peck your hand if you try to reach underneath her. If you take a broody hen off the nest, she will tend to walk around with her feathers all fluffed up, she may eat and drink and poop, and she goes back to the nest pretty soon.

If she is broody, you can let her sit on eggs to hatch them. Or you can let her sit for a few weeks and then buy chicks for her to raise. Or you can break her, which means to make her stop being broody.

Of course, the first thing is to figure out whether she really is broody, or whether she has an actual problem.
this might be a dumb question but if I let her just stay and the baby’s survive will the other chickens hurt them before I can get them safe? Also how long does it usually take?
 

coach723

Free Ranging
Feb 12, 2015
5,837
9,938
561
North Florida
Eggs take 21 days to incubate and hatch, assuming they are fertile. It's not uncommon to have them hatch on day 20 or 22 either. I generally move my broodies to their own pen while they sit. Every flock is different, every mama is different, I separate mine to avoid any drama and tragedies. She is calmer as no one is bothering her, the chicks are safe until they are big enough to know to get out of the others way. Usually the broody will be even more stuck to her nest just before hatch, she knows they are coming. If she is a first time mama, then she bears watching, just to make sure all goes well. Most of them do a very good job, occassionally you get a bad mom. Always a good idea to have a back up plan (brooder) just in case.
 

NatJ

Crowing
Mar 20, 2017
4,044
6,749
406
USA
this might be a dumb question but if I let her just stay and the baby’s survive will the other chickens hurt them before I can get them safe?
If there are other chickens in the same pen, they might lay eggs in the nest she's sitting on. This is a problem, because you do not want some chicks to hatch one day and some another and some a week later. The hen can sit on eggs, or she can take care of chicks, but she cannot do both at the same time. (One solution: take every egg she has, label them with a pencil so you can recognize them later, and give them back to the hen. Each day, remove any new eggs.)

If you want the hen to hatch eggs, it would be best if you arrange a private place for her that the other chickens can not get to. That could mean moving the hen to a nest in another pen (some hens will move, some refuse to sit in a new place.) Or it could mean arranging a temporary pen around her nest, so she's still in the same place but the other chickens cannot get in to bother her.

The hen needs enough space to get off the nest for eating, drinking, and pooping (and maybe a dust bath, although some hens are not willing to spend the time for that.)

When chicks do hatch, they usually stay under the mother for a day or so before doing much else. So if you needed to move the hen and chicks to a different pen after hatching, that could be a good time.

If you leave a hen and chicks in the pen with other chickens, the hen will try to keep the other chickens away from her babies. In a really large pen, that sometimes works fine. In a small pen there isn't enough space for them to stay "far enough" away, so you get problems.
 

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