Dare 2 Dream Forum

Feb 21, 2018

Broody Hens


Hi - I'm in the process of planning for our first flock of chickens. My selection has been based on chickens that are friendly, smart, good for beginners and somewhat heat tolerant as the summers in Santa Clarita can be brutal at times. Oh, yes, and a few eggs would be icing on the cake. My selection includes a Barred Plymouth Rock, a Rhode Island Red, an Easter Egger, and a Wyandotte. However, I have noticed that the Wyandottes don't seem to be recommended on this forum and have discovered that they tend to go broody. How difficult is it to deal with a broody hen or should I just switch to a different breed. If switching is the best choice, what would you recommend?

Feb 21, 2018Edited: Feb 21, 2018

I understand your concern about the Wyandottes. Barred Plymouth Rocks, Rhode Island Reds and Easter Eggers are all excellent choices. We love the beauty of the Wyandottes; but yes, they are a bit less hardy than the other breeds you chose, and can also be more prone to broodiness. They'll likely not brood as often as some breeds like Orpingtons, but a broody hen does need to be helped from the nest if she sits too long. They put out tons of heat and humidity as they try to keep the nest of eggs warm, and they only leave their nest once per day to eat and drink and relieve themselves. So their input is low and output is high, and it can cause severe weight loss, stress, and other health issues.


If you can simply separate her from the nest using a dog crate or a partition in the coop so she can't make another nest, she'll believe her nest went cold, and give up. It might take a few days. You can let her return to the coop after one or two days, and see how she acts. If she's still running for the nest, send her back to "solitary" for another night.


You could also slip a couple female chicks under her so she thinks she "hatched" and let her raise them in a protected space.


If you decide to switch breeds to another breed that's hardy, intelligent, and tolerant of heat, you can try one of the Sexlinks (Golden or Black), Black Australorps, or New Hampshire Reds.


Welcome to the forum!

Feb 21, 2018

Thank you so much for such an informative response! As I am a novice in the care of chickens, I think it would be kinder to the Wyandotte if I make another selection.

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