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- What is Broodiness?
- Breaking Up" a Broody Hen
- Foster Mama's
What are the signs your hen is going broody?
Remember all hens tend to sit the nest for a while after they lay an egg, sometimes 30 minutes or more.
That said you might like to test to see if it is resting or hiding, or if she is really broody.
- Try reaching beneath her and remove any eggs, If she runs off in a snit ---Not Broody
- If however she pecks at your hand, puffs up all her feathers or starts making growly noises--this is a Very Good sign that she is broody.
Encouraging a hen to be broody:
I leave Marked eggs in a nest for several days, if one of your girls are prone to going broody, I would not recommend closing a hen in with a pile of eggs as she is more likely to break and scatter them than sit on them.
Once you have determined your hen is broody, it is a good idea to separate her from the rest, others may enter her nest when she is out eating--causing her to resettle in the wrong nest box. Additionally if she manages to hatch any of the eggs, the other adults in the coop may kill the new strange little ones.
I would recommend moving her after dark, have her new nest ready (a second pair of hand really comes in handy) one person grab the hen, the second person grab the eggs ( would recommend a container where they are supported--egg carton works good) place the eggs in the new nest and then momma. This could be a good time for the "switch" if you are using fake eggs.
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