The advice hub The Broody Hen
Broodiness is a normal and natural state in hens as without broodiness they would not be able to reproduce. The onset of broodiness is governed by hormonal production within its body. Very common in rare breeds and less common in hybrid hens. Some hens can be in an almost permanent state of broodiness.
What to look out for
- Constant sitting on the nest with fluffed up feathers
- When you approach she may appear quite aggressive, she may peck you and loud clucking noises
- Common for a broody hen to move eggs from other hens into her own nest by rolling them with her beak
This is a natural process and although quite frustrating it is best left to run its course. We do not recommend extreme forms of treatment to try and break the habit.
During a broody phase take the hen off the nest once a day to eat, drink and defecate.
If you do need to stop her being broody then remove her from the flock and place her on her own with no eggs in the hope she gives up, then replace her back with the flock. Of course ensure you provide her with food, water and shelter.
During prolonged periods of broodiness and after broodiness where the hen has successfully reared chicks, hens can lose a lot of weight and go into a rapid moult. Give Chicken Vet Multivitamins for 5-7 days to help compensate for lack of eating during broodiness.
If you are interested in breeding then visit the Poultry Club of Great Britain website for information on breed clubs and shows www.poultryclub.org