The incubation time for a chick is 21 days.Broody is the term used to describe a hen who decides she wants to sit on and hatch a clutch of eggs.She wants to be a momma ❤So why does a hen go broody?Mother Nature and that innate desire to multiply and replenish the earth. Broodiness is not just a behavioral thing. It also involves physical changes. Under normal conditions hens produce a hormone which stimulates the production of eggs. When certain environmental, behavioral, and physiological conditions exist, a hen will begin to produce prolactin, a pituitary hormone that causes a decrease in the hormone that stimulates egg production. The result is a broody hen who doesn’t lay eggs.I always think of spring as the season of new life and fresh starts. As the days grow longer and the weather begins to warm, our hens natural biological systems alter and egg production will increase after a winter’s hiatus. It seems like just when egg production is in full swing, more changes take place, hens become broody and egg production takes a dip.Some of the environmental factors that affect broodiness include warm weather, a reduced exposure to light, and an accumulation of eggs in the nesting boxes but here we are in October with a couple broody hen’s,a BCM and a Cochin which with the Cochin I have they tend to have a communal hatch. Once one goes broody they all tend to and when one hen’s clutch starts to hatch the other hens take over the unhatched eggs and continue the process. Even seeing baby chicks can trigger broodiness in a hen.Genetics can also be a factor as some breeds of chickens are more prone to broodiness. I notice that my hens seem to exhibit broody behavior more frequently than some of my other chicken breeds I’ve raised.A broody hen is fairly easy to recognize. She is the one that doesn’t want to leave the nesting box…for any reason, and she gets aggressive if you try to remove the eggs she’s sitting on. Once a hen decides she wants to be a mom, her determination is unparalleled. She will sit on eggs, any eggs, fertile or not. She will become a hoarder of eggs! She will sit on the nest diligently for 21 days, dashing off only a couple of times a day to gobble down a quick meal. She takes great care of her eggs,turning them, controlling the temperature and humidity, often plucking out her own feathers to line the nest and initiate skin to egg contact. Once her eggs hatch,momma hen will dote over her young, teaching them the ways in a chicken’s world. She will spend several weeks with the little ones before sending them off on their own. Her broodiness will wane and egg production will once again continue. If her eggs do not hatch within a reasonable length of time, she will abandon her nest and her broody behavior and begin laying eggs.
Broody behavior can not be controlled, but there are things that you as a chicken lover can do to either increase or decrease the chances of a hen going broody. If you want your hen to go broody, provide an environment that will encourage broodiness. You can try providing a clean,safe nesting box, maybe put up a curtain to reduce the amount of light and leave a few eggs in the nest. Give it a couple of days and see if any of your hens respond by spending some extra time in the designated box. More often than not, the hen will decide when to go broody and where she wants her nest to be.
Hens will pick where they think is a safe place to be to lay and hatch her young.To discourage broody behavior, I simply make sure that I remove all the eggs from the nesting boxes several times a day, and if I notice a hen spending too much time in a box, I take her out and encourage her to spend time in the yard by offering some special treats or boredom buster activities like playing in a pile of freshly raked leaves the chicken’s Love to rearrange and destroy. I don’t confine my broody hens or remove them from the flock to discourage broody behavior. It’s a natural part of the life cycle and I don’t want to punish my girls. I don’t like to remove a bird from the flock unless it’s absolutely necessary because it can affect their standing in the pecking order and as back into the ranks can be hard. Time and patience on your part is the best treatment, letting Mother Nature run her course.
A pile of short grass clippings to scratch through will get chickens out of the coop.BROODY DUCK’S
Tho these are not broody You might notice a potential momma duck running towards the feed dish in the morning, quacking like she’s late for a date! Indeed, she doesn’t want to leave her nest for long, so she’s warning everyone to get out of her way, she’s on a mission to eat, drink and bathe in record time. Then it’s back to her nest.
Having a broody hen can be a good thing. If you have a rooster, you can allow a hen or two the opportunity to hatch and raise some chicks to replenish or grow your flock. That can be a fun and rewarding experience. If there are different breeds you want to include in your flock, you can purchase fertile eggs and let your broody hen hatch and raise the chicks instead of using an incubator. Personally, I love to watch a mother hen raise her little ones, talking to them, showing them what is good to eat, protecting them from scary things, and keeping them warm. Broody or not, understanding your chicken’s behavior makes raising a flock a little easier.