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All Hens just sitting in coup. They can’t all be broody right?

We have 4 girls. 3 Silkies and 1 Jersey. Our Jersey hasn’t laid in years as she is around 11 years old. This week they have all decided to just sit in the coup. One is definitely broody, as she is very prone to being. But the others, especially our older girl, don’t seem to be. Egg laying for them all has ceased however. I have read elsewhere it could be the heat, but until today, it hasn’t been over 85. They have plenty of shade, and are free range in our 1/4 acre. They also have been eating and drinking at a rate that I wouldnt find concerning. I checked them all for mites and found nothing. Could they just be choosing to sit in the coup rather than in the shade under one of our many plants and trees available to them? Any input as to what it could be is welcome!


  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    theres no predators around are there? could be that they are nervous to go out because theyve seen a fox or somethhing ?
     the only other thing i can think of is that they are all supporting the broody - silkies tend to go broody like its contageous and the jersey may just want/ need to be in with the flock
     i must admit i havent heard of this before but would say that my 2 silkies are always still laying down in the morning when i open up and always the last to come out . they are 6/7 so i just put it down to their age and possibly restless nights due to the heat
  • edited July 13
    Thanks for your input undautri. There are no predators that we’ve seen. We have several cameras that watch the yard to confirm it. The Jersey is definitely the ruler of the roost, but this is the first time since we’ve had her that she’s appeared “broody” to us. I’m sure you are spot on with the idea of broody contagion. For the past several days they all just want to sit inside the coop all day. Because we are now undergoing a heatwave, I’ve taken to picking them up and closing the coop off during the day as it’s just too warm for them to stay in there. Our yard has many cool options for them to lay down. And they move about the yard free range like normal once I move them out, eating and drinking but no egg laying. The only one who sits for most of the day is our one definitive broody silky. It’s all a bit confusing for me.
  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    Broodiness does seem to spread. I've got 3 all sitting in some loose straw in my sheep shed and they don't seem to want to break the habit. It's way too warm in there, too.
  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    Ladies you have made me giggle about your broodies!  Thankfully I haven't had any for years!  :D
  • Silly cocos as my little one always says, that’s for sure!
  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    Helen, I'd happily let you have a few. I found a hen yesterday who must have decided to go broody at the top of a bank. The other girls donated eggs as they do. The eggs must have started to roll down the bank and the hen went down the bank with them (clearly visible track). The bank was steep so she was sitting halfway down the bank with 13 eggs all the way down to the bottom......some cracked, all useless! Broody hens are so brainless.

    Meanwhile AnnaPaz, are you hens still staying in the coop or are they coming out any more?
  • edited July 18
    That must have been a sight to see! 13 eggs and one chicken! No chicken bottom is big enough. Sadly my girls are all still broody. The one that isn’t, doesn’t know what to do with herself alone, so she stays close to the broody flock and has ceased laying. I will be elated when this is all over.

    I was curious if anyone call tell me the behaviors of an older chicken that may be getting ready to pass away. Because our Jersey is so old, I thought maybe that could be a possibility, and her closest companion is just hanging with her. And then it’s just a coincidence with our other official broody girl.
  • undautriundautri Senior Member
    ive had oldies get very slow and sit around more but also some have continued to be sprightly until the end
     anyone near you selling maggots for fishing ? throw some of them down when theyre all outside and youll soon see a difference
     may be worth you adding vitamin drops to their water if they all look sluggish
  • I do routinely give them meal worms and add vitamins to their water since Silkies are especially prone to wry neck. Thanks for the input!
  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    Sandie, that broody tale made me giggle!  Our most broody hen was a Barnevelder.  If you tried shutting her out of the hut she would just sit anywhere as if on eggs. (We didn't shut her out for long!) She was a lovely old dear and never feisty with it.

    AnnaPaz, hope yours get over their collective broody spell soon!

  • edited July 26
    Thanks solarbats! Our true broody has finally emerged and has joined our confused and lonely girl to finally free range. Our eldest girl still sits in the coup with our other hen refusing to leave her side. They come out to eat and drink but quickly return. And speaking of bats! We just built a bat box as I’ve seen them flying at night. Hoping for some solid help with the mosquitos. 🤞
  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    I agree with Kath....maggots are very popular with chickens. Worth a try if you can get some.

    OH found a bat on our draining board a few days back....but they (pipistrelles) do live under our eaves, so no great surprise really.

    It's still broody city here. One after another they are bought up to the house where I keep them in a room with a cold tiled floor. 2-3 days and they are 'de-brooded', but some of them are off again a few weeks later. Helen, I'm glad to say Brahmas make the most placid of broodies, and they may 'growl' and puff up a bit, but don't get pecky and aggressive like some hens. Very easy to slide your hand under them to candle eggs or slip chicks under if you are inclined.

    I'm sure that all our hens (and Kath's cocks) will be happier once the heat dies down. They don't like the weather a s warm as it has been lately.
  • solarbatssolarbats Senior Member
    Much as I love Brahmas you are very welcome to your broodies Sandie! I have heard of exbats getting broody but yet to experience it myself. Talked that one up now eh.....
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