Laying chickens becoming Brooders

My Plymouth Rock & Buff Orpinton 1 year old chickens/hens one by one are becoming brooders and nest constantly day and night.

They were egg layers daily but now for some reason do not lay or leave their nest WHY? I am desperate now because when I lift them out to eat, drink or mingle with the others they are attacked. It is horrifying to watch. Please, please help.

This is my first experience with raising chickens and up to now it has been enjoyable.

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Broodiness in hens, is unfortunately a normal instinct and unless you have a cockerel about this is an instinct that you will need to break as not only is broodiness contagious but it can also result in poor health of your hens in several ways.

It is not unusual for hens to become quite thin with anemic looking combs as they seldom leave the nest to feed themselves or even take water. They can also be susceptible to external parasites as they are sitting on the nest all the time without moving about.

You can try and help the parasite issue by lining the egg boxes with pine needles. However, never bring food to the hens as you are only reinforcing the broody behavior.

To discourage broodiness in your hens you can remove the nesting boxes for a time as well as making sure that you collect any eggs regularly so that there are no eggs about for them to sit on.

If this doesn't work, then you will need to physically remove the broody hens and place them in a quiet spot on their own for a few days.

Being in a different environment will help break the cycle and after 3 or 4 days you will be able to put them back with the rest of your hens.

Regards
Kathryn
Countryfarm Lifestyles

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Oct 07, 2012
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Broody Hens
by: JuJu

I have 18 hens and there always seems to be one or two that want to set.

After I am sure they are broody and not just lounging, I remove them to a small cage and supply food and water.

After a week or two I will find a nice fresh egg in the cage and then I know they are over it and ready to rejoin the egg layers.

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