Broody Hen???

Posted by: cinwri

Broody Hen??? - 03/24/15 06:40 PM

Hi, I have some questions about broodiness. I have a couple of hens that are 4 to 6 mo old, they had just started laying and now all of a sudden they only want to sit on the nests on the other chickens eggs. I have no rooster so now I am confused as to why this is happening. I don't think they are laying now either. Wondering if I have done something wrong or is this just normal behavior??? Thanks in advance for any and all advice I could get on this subject
Posted by: CJR

Re: Broody Hen??? - 03/25/15 11:40 AM

Broody is a hormone thingy. It is normal. These are pullets, not yet hens, and have not settled into a laying schedule. While it is not common for pullets to set after only laying a few eggs, it happens (and these pullets are not good choice for actually staying on the nest for the 21 days--IF you wanted setters, so should not be allowed "setting" privileges.) IF indeed they ARE in a setting mode so early, removal from ANY nesting place is a way to upset the hormones and get them back to laying. (food, water, bare floor!) Most pullets and hens will prefer to lay in a nest that already has an egg or eggs. (wouldn't you like to crawl into a warm bed, if a choice?) And so, even setting hens with fertile eggs, will sometimes move to another nest after getting off to feed, drink, and depositing a big smelly poop, (and lose their hatch) so should have a private place to set and hatch. So-- collect your eggs several times a day so that there is no happy setting of the pullets. (Setting hens do not lay--it is a resting time from production of those lovely eggs.) Some breeds of poultry are "good" setters and HENS will set after a small clutch is layed--12-15 eggs or so. PULLETS, may lay up to 30-40 eggs before setting, so they are not yet on a laying schedule. Mixing pullets and hens can be a reason for mixed hormone stimulation???? While many folks have no probelms, I never do it! Means extra pens, if you keep your hens, but it makes happy chickens, living with their own friends of same age group. Your birds are doubtless perfectly normal--has nothing to do with not having roosters. Proper feed and housing, will get them on a schedule==enjoy them!
Posted by: cinwri

Re: Broody Hen??? - 03/25/15 04:25 PM

Thank you for the advice CJR. Since I have no rooster ( really don't want one ) and don't want setters I will remove her from the nest and collect the eggs several times a day. I only have 6 pullets and 2 older hens and am only getting on average of 3 or 4 eggs a day. The really small ones have stopped all together so am sure she is not laying and I suspect the other one like her is starting to go broody as well. If it keeps up we will be building another pen to put them into to upset the hormones. Again many thanks for the advice...
Posted by: Altair

Re: Broody Hen??? - 03/25/15 07:27 PM

You can use a dog kennel/crate.