Your Questions: Answered

How do I know if my hen is broody?

Hens that do not have a cockerel can’t lay fertile eggs, but they can still become broody and attempt to sit on a clutch of eggs.  Broodiness is natural instinct which happens to some, but not all chickens.  There are lots of signs to look out for if you think your hen might be broody.  The main one is that she won’t get off her eggs, and she may even put other chicken’s eggs underneath her too!  She may appear “flattened” as she sits on the eggs and may become very vocal and even aggressive should people (or other birds) go near her.  She may pluck out feathers to produce more heat for the eggs and because she rarely leaves the nest she may not eat or drink, and produce larger than normal poos when she does leave the eggs.  Additionally, because she is not moving you might find there are problems when she does try to walk.  Broody hens may be more susceptible to mites and lice as they don’t leave the coop where the mites live.  Unless your chicken has fertile eggs to hatch, you don’t want your hens to be broody and need to take action to stop the broody behaviour.