Broody again … and again

Earlier in the year five of the six bantams decided to camp out day and night in the nest box. They went into pancake mode … anyone who has ever had a broody hen will know what I mean! If you attempt to lift them out of the nest box they flatten themselves out like a pancake and hiss and peck to prevent you lifting them … it’s an amazing sight for the uninitiated!

It started back in May … and they’ve all been broody in turns on and off ever since. On one occasion, we had five of the six broody at the same time … the remaining hen was obviously lonely but if the hormones don’t trigger, there’s no reason to spend time in the coop during the day other than to lay an egg! We eventually broke that brood by locking them out of the coop during the day and one night forgetting to let them back in again :blush: (try searching for ‘broody’ on this blog for the full story). But they were soon back in the swing of it …  on and off right through until now. It’s not a straightforward decision to close up the coop, especially when a couple of the girls may still be laying, but at least we have a technique that works!

When they are broody, hens don’t eat or poop except once a day when they emerge for a few minutes to do the necessary. They lose weight and condition, so to be broody three or four times a year is a threat to their health … therefore a couple of nights ago, once again we locked them out of the coop. The weather has changed now, so hopefully that’s it for this year.

It’s very tempting to put a couple of fertile eggs under one of them … but we really don’t need any more hens just now, though a few more eggs would be useful :doh:

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  1. I feel so lucky not have had the broody experience so far. It’s been a year and a half now since I got my big girls and six months since I got the bantys and none of mine have attempted it so I hope they are just not that way inclined. I do feel for you.

  1. Still broody? | The Hen Garden

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