We seem to have a hen that has gone broody. I haven't previously experienced this, so I'm still researching it.
Then hen on the left is Lucy, and the one on the right is Zoner. Zoner has gone broody. At the time this pic was taken, Lucy was sitting in the nest box, and Zoner came in & tried to push Lucy out so she could sit on Lucy's egg. Zoner was in a zone right then, focusing on the eggs, ignoring me. Lucy is looking at me & wondering why Zoner is sharing the nest box with her.
Zoner was our first hen to lay eggs. She always has been the most popular hen with the roosters. And now she's the first to want to raise chicks. She's only 5 and a half months old.
Zoner never wants to leave the nest boxes to go outside. When we remove the egg from under her, she moves to another nest box where someone else has laid an egg and sits on that egg. Sometimes she doesn't wait for them to get out first.
Zoner is always sitting in the nest boxes. We take her and put her outside as much as we can when we are home. She screams at us and pecks us when we come near her, she doesn't want us to take her eggs or to move her away from them. In the past she has always had a huge appetite; she still seems to eat, although since she's not pecking around outside much, she can't be eating all that much.
Zoner feels very warm when I pick her up out of the nest box - I read a broody hen's body temp rises and she may pull out her own feathers. I haven't noticed her pulling out any feathers, but I haven't inspected her belly. I read that a broody hen will stop laying eggs - so far I think Zone is still laying, but since she moves around from box to box to steal other's eggs, who knows. We have thirteen hens right now and we get receive anywhere between ten to thirteen eggs a day, averaging about eleven a day.
Any ideas to stop this broody hen? Although they are adorable, we don't want chicks right now!