Is My Chicken Broody?

From time to time your chicken may go broody. In some chickens this maternal instinct is stronger than others and it can happen at any time. It is quite easy to spot because the broody hen will simply sit in the nesting box (or flower pot!) and refuse to budge. She may also make a peculiar growling noise if disturbed and become quite aggressive. However, unless your chicken has been near a cockerel within the last 7 days the eggs will not be fertilised and will never hatch into chicks. If you are not removing the eggs everyday there is more chance that a chicken will go broody.

What you should do
If you do nothing, your chicken will stay like this for up to 3 weeks (the incubation time for eggs). It is not necessarily a problem but it will prevent your other chicken from laying in the nesting box. You can remove her from the nest and block the nesting box so that she cannot get in. Be brave, open up the egg port and lift her off. After a couple of days she will lose the urge to sit on the eggs and you can open up the box again.


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Cornerstone, 21 March 2015

We have a broody bantam, very aggressive, so we moved her to a separate box, but I love her being there. Her male partner died a few weeks ago, so I know her eggs won`t be fertile. I just bought 6 eggs from a local breeder and swapped her eggs for these others. One week to go!

Chloe, 21 September 2013

When my chook went broody we bought some fertilised eggs for her and they hatched within the 3-4 weeks!!

Linda, 10 September 2013

I had an ISA Brown go broody. I kept removing her from the nest box and also removed eggs. It was a very hot day 99 * and I found her dead in the nesting box. I tried to make sure she was drinking every time I found her sitting gaping. I think she just got dehydrated. Broke my heart.

Suzi, 30 July 2013

Hi I have a chicken suddenly gone broody at first I thought she was unwell but what with the growling and snappyness I had a hint she went broody, I wonder if it has to do with bringing out the new chicks we hatched and are now in their own coup next to the older hens as 2 of the chicks is hers and she reckonises them as she spent a lot of time looking. Now I know I will lift her off .

Rebecca, 06 July 2013

Thank you for the information.... I wasn't sure if she was sick or gone broody. All the symptoms lead me to believe that she has gone broody and is not sick. I will block the nesting box and see if that works and keep a watchful eye on her..... thanks....

Lizzy, 26 June 2013

My speckled hen has gone broody too. I lift her off and she continues to sit on the ground then heads back to the nest box. I think I'll persevere and hope she loses interest soon. I'm still managing to collect eggs, including an absolute stonkingly massive one from her this morning (earlier than her usual lunchtime lay).

Sharon, 25 June 2013

I have 7 hens of which 2 Orpington's who have been broody for the last 3 weeks now and it's beyond a joke! At first when I tried to take the eggs from them they became defensive, growled and pecked. But i was determined to get MY eggs and armed with thick gardening gloves i went into battle. Now they seem to accept every evening I am going to turf them off and take the eggs. They're not happy about this but I give them a nice treat of grapes or other tit bits by way of apology.

Catherine, 29 April 2013

14 yr old lad, I will try your tip tonight! Will post not if it works for me, hope so coz maybe she will lay again as well. She is only a year old and has been laying for about 2 months then gone brody on me lol.

, 04 April 2013

I am experiencing my first broody chicken. Strangely she is a speckled too! I have been worried that she isn't eating enough as she doesn't even get off the nest some mornings but two or three times a day, once the others have laid,I take her off the nest and shut the coop door for half an hour so she can eat and drink. She seems to think its worth coming out for corn and mealworms. I have invested in some rubber eggs so that she can indulge herself once I have taken the real ones. So far so good. It's good to hear from others on this site that it should be over soon. Thanks :0)

Jan, 06 February 2013

My buff orpington chicken is broody and sitting on the eggs but also going or for a wander,, she is making all the growling noises but I don't know what happens when she keeps getting off and the eggs cool down. I would love to have some chicks. Should I get a rabbit cage and put her in there for a while?? any advise would be grateful

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