It’s natural for a hen to get broody and fertilize eggs. Some of you find it beneficial, while some think it’s just a waste of time because hens won’t lay eggs during broodiness and become rude by not allowing other hens to enter the coop.
A hen can sit on several eggs depending on her capacity and the number of eggs she’ll cover easily. Usually, hens can cover 10-12 eggs, but this number varies depending upon the hens’ breed and size. The number of eggs can increase and decrease, so don’t worry about it. Let’s talk about this whole process with all the requirements.
What Does Broody Hen Means?
Broody hens mean when hen’s nature changes as she wants to fertilize her eggs. She will sit on her eggs until they are hatched. A broody hen’s temperature rises more than usual, eat and drinks less, and might become rude because, during broodiness, she may peck as she wants to protect her eggs until they hatch. Ensure that you have a rooster in your flock because eggs will remain infertile if hens get broody without a rooster.
Signs Of A Broody Hen
Sometimes hens show unusual behavior leaving you to think that the hen gets broody. It might be due to a lack of nutrients, as you saw her becoming lazy. Let’s talk about some of the symptoms of broody hens that will help you identify them from your flock.
- First of all, her behavior will be totally different from the rest of the flock.
- She will peck at you if you try to go near her.
- She will not allow you to pick up the eggs.
- She will sit in her coop even there are no eggs.
- Feathers from the chest and lower body will be missing.
- A broody hen will leave the coop rarely as she will not eat and drink too much.
- Hens poop will be much more smelly than usual.
How To Make A Hen Broody?
It seems like a forcing process of making hen broody, but it’s not because you can’t make her broody forcibly; instead, you can only encourage her to get broody. Let’s discuss different ways to make your hen broody.
Provide Right Environment
One of the easiest ways to make your hen broody is by providing her with the right suitable environment. In this, you have to make an extra coop for her or simply change her resting place. Give her a clean and dark atmosphere that should be quieter because you know how noisy these chickens are. And at last, add some fresh herbs to her nesting box because they will help keep her calm.
Place Eggs in the Nesting Box
You can encourage her by putting some fake and real eggs together in her nesting box. Simply provide her with a quiet and calm environment. It’s best not to pick eggs that she lays as it will be more effective. If you want to place some eggs under her, then mix fake and real eggs because if she doesn’t get broody, the chances of breaking eggs will be more, so be careful.
Wait For Right Environment
Making a hen broody might seem tiring as you have to do some stuff on your own, then you can wait for the right circumstances. Like most hens get broody in summers or spring, or the chances of hen getting broody increases in these seasons.
Other than this, first, check out that breed, whether it is perfect for getting broody or not and then set a nesting box for her. At last, bring a rooster in your flock as he will fertilize eggs and encourage the hen to get broody.
Number of Eggs For Broody Hens
Eggs range varies depending on your hens capacity; most hens sit on 10 to 12 eggs like bantams as they are small and lay eggs smaller in size than usual. But other hens belonging to different breeds that are larger can sit on more eggs ranging from 12 to 15 or more. If you put bantams eggs under large hens, the number of eggs will increase.
How to Set the Eggs Under Broody Hen?
It’s not a difficult task to place eggs under a broody hen, but a bit of care and guidance is still needed. First, place the eggs in a safe place where predators can’t reach them. Then use a particular spray to keep the mites away because broody hens need a warm, dark, and quiet environment where mites can reach easily.
How to Care of A Broody Hen?
Do the following things for your broody hen to keep her delighted and focus on the hatching.
Provide Comfortable Place
The first thing to do is take care of her comfortability as she needs a quiet and dark place. Make a special broody box from cardboard or wood. Use grass or something else so she’ll feel comfortable and put it somewhere else, not along with the other hens.
Chickens can get mites quickly, so it’s necessary to lift her from the broody box daily for 20 to30 minutes so she’ll get some fresh air and can eat freely.
Provide Food and Water
If your hen doesn’t like to leave her eggs alone or don’t want to go outside, provide her food near the broody box. It’s better to give her straight wheat and freshwater. You can feed other things too, but keep it in moderation as broody hens eat less.
What Happens to A Broody Hen?
Broody hen’s temperature increases with time as she gets broody, due to which she will get dehydrated much more quickly. Moreover, these hens reduce their nutritional intake, which could lead to malnutrition, so if your hen is stubborn and don’t want to leave the nest, give her food around to avoid this.
Q1.How many eggs does a hen lay each year?
It depends on the chicken breed as some of them lay fewer eggs than others. Different chickens breed like Leghorn lay 300 eggs per year, Sumatras lay around 50 eggs, Cochins lay 100 eggs, but typically hens lay around 250 eggs each year.
Q2.How many times does a hen get broody each year?
It depends on the environment and chickens’ breed. A few chickens won’t get broody in their whole life, while some can get broody multiple times in a year.
Q3.How to break a broody hen?
If you don’t want your hen to get broody or want to break a broody, then do the following things, they will help break a broody hen.
- Don’t let your hen sit on the eggs, remove her from there and pick all the eggs from the coop so she will not sit on the other hens’ eggs.
- Give her a bath of cold water regularly. It will lower her body temperature and break the broodiness faster.
- Keep her out of the coop in the sunlight with other hens most of the time. You can lock her up in a small wire cage.
Hens can cover 10-12 eggs easily, so allow her to sit on them by fulfilling all the other conditions a broody hen needs. There are multiple things to keep in mind for a broody hen, so she will hatch more eggs and increase your flock.
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