What To Do When Your Hen Becomes Broody

"Just like any other animal, chickens have instinctual behaviors in regards to protecting their children or eggs. This behavior in hens is called broodiness, and as a chicken owner, can be quite annoying to deal with. Your hens will go through periods of time where they will absolutely refuse to get off of their eggs, and will not be happy with you if you try to move them. On the one hand, you can't be upset at the hen for wanting to take care of her eggs, but as an owner this can cause problems.


You are likely to see broodiness if you do not collect the eggs on a regular schedule. If you let the hens have their eggs longer than usual they tend to become broody and will start protecting them more than if you collected them everyday. Some breeds of chickens are known for becoming broody more often than other breeds, one of these breeds is the Silkie. During broodiness your chicken will rarely even move from her eggs to eat, drink or dust bathe. This can lead to your hens getting sick. You need to be careful when going near a broody hen, even if you are not trying to remove her eggs, just going near her could lead to getting pecked.

Your hens will sit on these eggs for sometimes weeks at a time, and unfortunately they do not understand that if the egg is not fertilized that it will not hatch. Also, other chickens may get upset with a broody hen if they are constantly taking up a nesting box that they would normal lay their own eggs in. You don't want fights to break out between your chickens, so handling a broody hen is not only important for her own health, but also to keep the coop a happy environment.

Even if your hen refuses to eat or drink, do not bring these necessities to her, because then she will absolutely never leave and might become broody more often knowing that you will take care of her. As I said before, collecting eggs on a regular schedule will help to prevent your hens from becoming broody, but even with this practice, you are still likely to get a broody hen once in a while. If you know that the egg is unfertilized, or if you definitely don't want another chicken, you need to stop this behavior as soon as possible. You need to remove the eggs as soon as you realize your hen is becoming broody, usually this will end the behavior. If she stays upset, you may have to move her out of the coop for a little while to calm her down."

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