Broody hen....again!

Discussion in 'Homesteading' started by outkastblast, Aug 8, 2019.

  1. outkastblast

    outkastblast Scout

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    591
    Location:
    Idaho
    Ok, so a few months ago we were gifted two 1 year old hens. At that time it was known one of them was broody and wasn't producing. I looked around on the internet and some suggestions were to cage her in something like a bird cage, suspended off the ground so she couldn't just roost like her instincts wanted her to. So we hauled out our dog kennel and I put it up on two saw horses. After about 3 days, she laid a "softshell" egg (unaware of the correct term, but it was like just the membrane, yolk, and white, no shell). After that, she was laying one per day just like her sister.

    That went on for less than two weeks and she's back to being broody again while her sister has not once done it. What am I doing wrong here? Any other tips or tricks to knock her out of it and keep her out of it?

    Bonus question: Anyone know what breed they are? The original owner didn't know either. Kind of hard to see in the pic, but they have feathers all the way down to their toes. The one with the white flecks on her head is Broody McBroodyface. IMG_20190630_181813678.jpg
     
    Winterhorse and Haggis like this.
  2. PAcanis

    PAcanis Bushmaster Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    8,603
    Likes Received:
    43,115
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    I'd be surprised she doesn't treat the crate like a nest box. And that's what broody is, sitting on the nest or egg trying to hatch one.
    I had two nest boxes in my coop and when night came I would shoo the broody hen out of the nest box and put an old coffee can in there so she couldn't get back in. If she was sitting in there in the middle of the day and the other hens were out she got booted out again. After a few days she was back to normal.
     
  3. Florida Bullfrog

    Florida Bullfrog Scout

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    661
    Those are cochin/Peking bantams.

    They make the most excellent mothers. You’re fighting instincts and hormones. Cochins go broody easier than other breeds.

    Usually you break one of “setting” (what we call being broody in the South) by taking the eggs away and making sure she doesn’t have access to more.
     
    Winterhorse, Wasp, Haggis and 4 others like this.
  4. bwallenjr

    bwallenjr Tracker

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2016
    Messages:
    161
    Likes Received:
    648
    Location:
    Blue Ridge Mtns SW Virginia
    They will always go back to trying to sit eggs its what they do..they will not do it for awhile but when they are ready they will attempt to sit again....its just nature. As mentioned if you are dilligent about collecting eggs its no big deal. Personally I like the brood instinct, it keeps all the eggs in the same place. None brood hens sometimes will lay eggs where ever, a broody hen goes back to the same spot...makes collecting eggs a lot easier, I just get them out of the nest box. Many times I have found that several broody hens will use the same spot or nest box and alternate sitting..even easier collecting then.
     
  5. Young Blacksmith

    Young Blacksmith Supporter Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2017
    Messages:
    728
    Likes Received:
    3,481
    Location:
    East Texas
    I take a slightly different approach to broody hens. I let them sit. They'll stop after a month or so, it gives them a break from laying, and you'll appreciate her if you want to hatch some out. If you're worried about egg production, you'll have to get more chickens.
     
  6. outkastblast

    outkastblast Scout

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    591
    Location:
    Idaho
    Yeah, sounds like I might need to add to our flock to get more eggs. Is there anything that can be done to increase size of eggs? I'm not expecting enormous grocery store type, but what we're getting are half the size/weight of a Large egg from the store. Still delicious. Is this just a factor of breed or age? As you can see, I'm very new to this whole thing. :)
     
    Winterhorse and Haggis like this.
  7. Redbearcat7

    Redbearcat7 Scout

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    1,364
    Location:
    Southeast Ohio
    Sounds like calcium needs to be added to their diet to eliminate soft shelled eggs. I’m no expert, just what my grandparents told me back in the last century.
     
    Madwell, Winterhorse and Haggis like this.
  8. PAcanis

    PAcanis Bushmaster Lifetime Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    8,603
    Likes Received:
    43,115
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    They'll lay small eggs when they are young, or first start laying.
    Otherwise you need to size the eggs by the breed. Some hens lay small eggs, some medium and some large.
     
  9. TWill

    TWill Guide

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    2,428
    Likes Received:
    5,349
    Location:
    central MN west of Twin Cities
    Get a few hems from the old fashioned heavy breeds. Barred rocks, Rhodes or some of the newer crosses out of them. They are also called dual purpose so if you want to retire them to the stew pot in three years. Cochins are neat but both you and her are going to get cranky fighting her urge to hatch some eggs. Do you keep a rooster or is she hoping for a miracle?
     
  10. outkastblast

    outkastblast Scout

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    591
    Location:
    Idaho
    No rooster currently, but I thought about sourcing some fertilized eggs from someone local and just let her instincts take over. Though I'm not currently equipped for more chickens. The coop we have is just big enough for the two girls we have now, but I wouldn't mind having more.

    Regarding the softshell egg, it was just the one time and she started laying normal after that. I seem to recall reading that the first lay after being broody is usually like that, but I can't find that source again. Perhaps I misremembered. The grit we supply them does have calcium in it as well so I'd hope they're getting enough.

    We collect the eggs immediately (well, egg, singular currently) every day. The other one lays like clockwork so we know roughly what time it's there. The broody hen kicks her sister off the egg and squats on it herself until we fetch it.
     
  11. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    16,658
    Likes Received:
    77,190
    Location:
    Arkansas (Central)
    Get bigger chickens!
     
    Madwell and Winterhorse like this.
  12. outkastblast

    outkastblast Scout

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2009
    Messages:
    450
    Likes Received:
    591
    Location:
    Idaho
    @Wasp I'll add more, likely a less broody prone breed down the road.
     
    Madwell, Winterhorse and Wasp like this.
  13. Raymond Eisele

    Raymond Eisele Scout

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    1,443
    If you are intrested in egg production, get leghorns. Smallish birds, economical with feed , prolific egg production. Trying to break a broody hen is like trying to keep kids off their devices. We loved broody hens on our farm and the chicks that followed. Of course if you have no rooster, no chicks.
     
    Winterhorse likes this.
  14. doulos

    doulos Supporter Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Messages:
    3,067
    Likes Received:
    8,360
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    Put her in the pot! Send a strong message to the other hens! :18:
     
    Winterhorse and Wasp like this.
  15. Florida Bullfrog

    Florida Bullfrog Scout

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2015
    Messages:
    213
    Likes Received:
    661
    Cochins lay small eggs. That’s just how they are. You’ll need a breed that produces large eggs to get the same.

    But when you’re ready to make chicks, you’ll be thankful for your cochins. You’ll want to move your other hens’ eggs to the cochins when they start setting.
     
  16. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2012
    Messages:
    15,929
    Likes Received:
    110,861
    Location:
    Under the Blue Nevada Sky
    Pick her up and put her feet in cold water... hold her there. My wife does this and it seems to work. Hold her in it for a few minutes. It works for us.
     
  17. arleigh

    arleigh Guide

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2015
    Messages:
    4,404
    Likes Received:
    13,365
    Location:
    southern california
    With out a rooster the eggs won't hatch .
    Personally I'd let her brood and leave phony eggs in with her.
    It's hard enough to get a bird to stay on a viable egg I want more chickens .
    I got an incubator and had viable eggs shipped here and we are seeing several hatch now . just had one tonight by the way.
    I have one hen that sat for some time and she had one hatch but it did not survive she is a new mother so I'm being patient. bantam
     
    okapimike and Winterhorse like this.
  18. Wasp

    Wasp DOWN IN DIXIE Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2014
    Messages:
    16,658
    Likes Received:
    77,190
    Location:
    Arkansas (Central)
    Actually letting her set isn't a terrible idea, just stick some other eggs under her and let her raise a few.

    You do have at least one rooster right? Gotta have a rooster! They do more than breed your hens.
     
    Winterhorse likes this.
  19. Raymond Eisele

    Raymond Eisele Scout

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2019
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    1,443
    Usually have over 300 hens on the farm for past 25 years. Tried lots of breeds, alot of the breeds have lost their desire to go broody. Free range all our animals, so we have many roosters who do protect the hens. Every day we release them from the barn. Each rooster will claim a group of hens, his harem. We live at the base of the Appalachians, so there are always raptors circling on the updrafts. When the chickens see a shadow, all the hens hit the ground, the rooster stands tall protecting them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. We have incubators, but it seems at some time during the incubation period, we loose our electric and eggs don't hatch. So we prize broody hens. In my experience, white leghorns are best investment. Only downside is they lay a white egg. Customers seem to prefer brown eggs.
     
  20. Madwell

    Madwell Supporter Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Messages:
    1,466
    Likes Received:
    7,670
    Location:
    Arizona

    I’m no expert by any means I started the same way with 2 hens that were all ready laying. After I got a hang of that I added three pullets. I think if you’re after larger eggs look into some different breeds if/when you decide to add to the flock. I have two Rhode Island reds that consistently lay large eggs. My reds have really good temperament too. They run right to me and squat down for pets. I also have a leghorn that is a very good layer. Good luck with your birds I sure enjoy mine.
     
    okapimike likes this.

Share This Page