Experience of broody hen

  • 18 Replies
  • 711 Views
*

Tom Parrot

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Location: Chelmsford, Essex.
  • 95
Experience of broody hen
« on: August 26, 2018, 13:51 »
Hello readers,
Just like to say about my experience of my first broody hen.
I have had a few hens (for laying eggs) but at the moment I only have two (Hetty and Hannah).
I should point out that Hetty and Hannah are both hybrid Warren-Isa chickens, books telling me that they do not usually go broody. One of mine did.
On Thursday 23rd August Hannah got up late, about 12 noon, but had laid an egg of 52g. About usual size for her.
Later, about 1pm she was back in the nest. Kept an occasional eye on her not knowing she was ill. She seem ok, warmish.
Next day she was in the nest all day and I suspected she was broody. Had a read on this forum and a few books I have. Left her to it.
Meanwhile Hetty was getting a bit lonesome and moody.
On Saturday Hannah still in the nest. But Hetty was trying to get in the nest and Hannah was partly out. But there was an egg which I grabbed and another one had rolled out of the nest. Two eggs normal size for my hens. Later tried to give Hannah some food but she looked at me as if I was mad.
Sunday much the same she looked ok was bright and alert. So left her. 1pm she was out. Nest had one egg 62g possibly from Hetty that morning.
What a relief. For me anyway.
Another new experience from chickens.
More: 2pm Hannah has gone back to the nest. At 1pm she was drinking, maybe that's what she wanted. Also I found another egg 62g. So Hannah is not laying. Understandable.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2018, 14:11 by Tom Parrot »

*

grinling

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Lincs
  • 3104
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2018, 21:36 »
Why are you allowing her to be broody on non fertile eggs?

*

New shoot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading
  • 13404
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2018, 09:02 »
Broodiness is physically tough on a hen.  I turf mine out and close the coop up once anyone who is laying has done the biz.  They need to eat and drink.  We have had posts on here where hens have died from the draining effects of persistent broodiness.

I also have a puppy cage for the determined.  A few days in there cools down the most ardent nester.

*

Tom Parrot

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Location: Chelmsford, Essex.
  • 95
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2018, 14:27 »
I'm allowing her to be broody partly because I don't know any better, also if that's what she want's to do who am I to stop her.

*

Tom Parrot

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Location: Chelmsford, Essex.
  • 95
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2018, 14:33 »
I wasn't aware that the hen could die from being broody. Just thought she would come out of it when she was ready.
Meanwhile Hetty lost her head to a fox yesterday so I think I'll go and push her out of the nest and coop and into the cage only. She usually sleeps on the top of the coop so should be alright.
Think you for the comments. It does help.

*

snowdrops

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Burbage,Leics
  • 15226
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2018, 19:40 »
Oh poor you & Hetty. Will you get any more to keep Hannah company, she’ll be very lonely on her own☹️
A woman's place is in her garden.

See my diary pages here
and add a comment here

*

New shoot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading
  • 13404
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2018, 09:56 »
I wasn't aware that the hen could die from being broody. Just thought she would come out of it when she was ready.

She may just come out of it and be fine, but what naturally triggers that is the cheeping of chicks in their eggs before they hatch.  Without that, broodiness can drag on.  Hens go through a lot of hormonal changes during the process.  They don't eat or drink as much.  They sit for hours whatever the weather.  It just knocks the life out of some, they push it too far and collapse.  It's not that common, but better to be aware of the risks than not.

If you only have 1 hen now, she will need a friend, but best to get her over her broodiness first.  Broodies are more aggressive to other hens and that won't help any introductions.

*

Tom Parrot

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Location: Chelmsford, Essex.
  • 95
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2018, 19:17 »
Yes I think I will get some more again, but, will have to put up an extra fence to partition off part of the garden.
This because I like the hens free roaming and this year I have lost five or six hens to fox/s mainly in the far part of the garden.
Trouble is cost of the fence. I'm no longer able to erect a fence.
I have never had one hen for long, not fair on the one hen.
Thank you New Shoot for the comments. Much appreciated.
Now need to find a supplier of eggs. Will contact my normal supplier of hens but, not sure if they can supply eggs.
I don't have and personal transport to run around to collect eggs.
Will see what I come up with tomorrow.
Thank you all as it's nice getting it all off one's chest with other ideas coming back to me.
I did buy some live mealworms for Hannah and although she didn't eat them all in ten seconds as normal, she did eat some and I have seen her eating more during the day along with other chicken feed.

*

grinling

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Lincs
  • 3104
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2018, 19:48 »
Until you can keep any hens safe from foxes, by fully enclosing the house and run from burying weldmesh as well as roofing with a solid material,I think it is irresponsible to allow them to be a target for foxes.
Foxes will continue to come to your garden and take them....someone else will discover buried hens and that can be upsetting.
You have a reponsibilty for livestock, so it might be better to give up now.

*

New shoot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading
  • 13404
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2018, 10:58 »
I like the hens free roaming

If the cost and effort of putting up a fence is too much of a burden, you may just have to settle for keeping a couple of hens in a run.  They are OK that way, you just have to make sure you give them everything they need, including grit and green stuff to peck at.

Mine were in for months because of the bird flu threat and were fine  :)

*

Tom Parrot

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Location: Chelmsford, Essex.
  • 95
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2018, 12:24 »
Hello grinling,
I think it is irresponsible for the foxes to kill my hens. Also irresponsible for not being allowed to kill the fox. or are you saying no one should keep chickens except those who have unlimited funds with several acres of land.
I was hoping for constructive comments not being  criticized and damned for keeping for few hens for a few eggs.

*

Tom Parrot

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Location: Chelmsford, Essex.
  • 95
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2018, 12:29 »
Hello New Shoot,
I don't know if the cost is too much as I don't the cost involved as yet.
Keeping them in a cage is to my mined not satisfactory as I've seen them pazing up and down trying to get out.
But it may be an answer.
Or get rid of Hannah and dispose of the hundreds of pounds of equipment I have spent over the last four or five years. Then revert to supermarket eggs. Yuk!!!!!

*

New shoot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading
  • 13404
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2018, 18:51 »
Keeping them in a cage is to my mined not satisfactory as I've seen them pazing up and down trying to get out.

Hi Tom.  I guess what you have to weigh up is whether it is better to have a life of comfort and safety, but be in a run, or risk being killed by a fox.  My garden is fenced, but I know foxes can still get in.  I also have problems with cats - there are a couple locally who are too interested and my lot are bantams.  The result is they stay in unless I am in the garden and can supervise.

Mine pace when I get close, but often all they want is to see whether I have food for them.  Ideally they would be running free, but I still think they have a far better life than a commercial hen.  Even the free-range ones have their stresses to contend with.  Mine are pretty spoiled  :)

*

Tom Parrot

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Location: Chelmsford, Essex.
  • 95
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2018, 09:38 »
Hello New Shoot,
Your latest comments are more up my street. Along the lines I have been thinking. With only Hannah left, she is perking up a bit each day, I let her out and make sure she is fairly close to me, although yesterday having to pick some beans she did come running to me which I believe is a good sign, although after about ten minutes she did go back to cage. She won't let me touch her, she gives a growl. This morning she eat some mealworms I put down for her and walked around a little and eat some grass then went back to the cage and back to the top of the coop.
Overall I think she is coming out of being broody - no longer trying to get into the nest area - but, now very much lonely.
So I think I got her out of the nest area just in time before she got really bad.

*

New shoot

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Location: Reading
  • 13404
Re: Experience of broody hen
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2018, 08:49 »
Hi Tom.

The growling is normal for a broody.  They really do change personailty while they are in that state, but keep going and Hannah will snap out of it.

If you can be satisfied with supervised garden access for your hens, that sounds like a good compromise.  You can still have your hens and they will be safe  :)



xx
Broody Hen Day 16

Started by Chicken star on Chicken Chat

0 Replies
590 Views
Last post July 22, 2012, 22:23
by Chicken star
xx
Is she broody?

Started by Tigerwren on Chicken Chat

2 Replies
591 Views
Last post April 25, 2011, 15:22
by Tigerwren
xx
Broody Hen??

Started by Franceska on Chicken Chat

1 Replies
679 Views
Last post May 01, 2013, 14:26
by ANHBUC
xx
OMG broody hen poo

Started by gingerplant on Chicken Chat

3 Replies
1200 Views
Last post May 13, 2010, 18:25
by LittleRedHen
 

Page created in 0.065 seconds with 35 queries.

Powered by SMFPacks SEO Pro Mod |