What is a Broody Hen?
- A broody hen is a hen that has decided to sit on her nest (with or without eggs) and will not leave the nest at all.
- The term broody means having maternal instincts that make the hen want to hatch her eggs.
- Broody hens can, if left sitting in a nest box, suffer from a loss of body weight and egg production.
- Location of the nest box is very important when a hen decides to sit because the other hens in the coop could attack the sitting hen or take over her nest.
- Parasite control is important when a hen is sitting, so applying a parasite product to the hen is a good idea.
Brooding By A Hen
- If you wish a hen to sit on a nest of eggs then make sure that the nest site is comfortable and away from other hens.
- If the hen has to be resited, try to remove her from the nest as soon as possible, but preferably at night so that she has time to settle in the new site.
- Sometimes it is necessary to use pot and plastic eggs to encourage a hen to sit.
- A good site is a darkened, well ventilated nesting box where other hens cannot disturb the hen.
- Food and water must be readily available and easy to access.
- If you do not want to let a hen sit on a nest, then it is a good idea to remove the hen from the nest as soon as possible (night time is a good time to do this).
- Sometimes it is necessary to put a broody hen in a broody coop.
- A broody coop is a small cage or box which has a wire or slatted bottom to discourage the hen from sitting in the coop.
- A broody coop can be suspended from the ceiling of the poultry hut so that the hen is not removed from the other hens completely.
- Food and water must be provided in the coop.
- After a few days the broody hen can be returned to the rest of the flock.
[eshop_show_product id=’4331,5724,4363,4341′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]
If you keep hens or are interested in keeping hens then visit the farmingfriends hen forum for the latest chat about hens and then check out the books shown below about keeping hens which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced hens keeper.
If you would like to receive regular information about poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.