Dealing with A Broody Hen

If you’ve noticed one of your hens being protective or sitting on her eggs for long periods of time, then it’s likely she’s gone broody.

A broody hen is a chicken that has become determined to hatch eggs.

Signs of a Broody Hen: 1. She will refuse to move from the nesting box 2. She fluffs her feathers out to make herself look big 3. Growling and pecking when you try to remove her from the nesting box 4. Running back to the nest box after you’ve managed to remove her 5. Plucking out her chest feathers

A broody hen will leave the eggs for very short periods of time, to get food and water, but as the eggs develop she’ll leave less frequently.

Left unattended, a hen will stay broody for around 21 days, which is the time it takes to hatch a clutch of fertile eggs. After 21 days the behavior should stop at which point she will raise her young.

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