Thursday, March 18, 2010

Broody Hen

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!   


Foothills Poultry said...

You may have a "chronic" broody. This is a term I use to describe a couple of ladies. If I leave an egg in a nest they will set on it. As long as I take the eggs, theirs included, they are normal chickens.


Jenny wren's nest said...

I found a web sight called (My pet chicken) that has a variety of info on chickens, I have found answers to my questions there.

AJ-OAKS said...

Well, my Little Inger was determined to sit on eggs.I'd pull all the eggs and as soon as one of the other girls laid an egg, Little Inger stole it and sat on it. She was so sad everytime I took the eggs, so I gave up and let her sit. As you know, there are now ten chicks! I am hoping she doesn't want to raise anymore babies. But if she does, well, this time I will stick to my guns and keep taking the eggs. Good with with her! :)

Knatolee said...

No advice but my word, those are some adorable chickens you have there!

Texan said...

oh my determined to raise a bunch of chicks :O)...

I guess if you don't want chicks just keepin picking up those eggs everyday!

Sounds like a good pair of gloves might be in order :O) if she is pecking you :O)...

Razzberry Corner said...

Matt - Hmmm, chronic broody hen. Maybe that's what Zoner is. It certainly seems like it. Maybe I wont worry about her, as long as she still eats & drinks.

Jenny - I bought some things on My Pet Chicken - I didn't know they had answers to questions like this - I'll have to go back & check it out! Thanks!

Cindy - I really don't want chicks right now. I think I have enough chickens!!!

Knatolee - Thank you! They all have such personalities, too. I have gotten attached to them.

Texan - Yes, I do need a good tough pair of gloves to keep in the coop. Zoner pecked me a few times today & it really hurt! I still risked the pecking & rubbed her neck, which she likes, but then she went right back & pecked me again when I tried to take her egg!