When to put hen in ‘sin bin’
QWhat are the dangers of just letting my broody sit? And what happens if the eggs don’t hatch for any reason? A Victoria says: A hen is programmed to be broody until eggs hatch, this can be 21 days if chicken eggs, 28 days if duck, guinea fowl or turkey eggs or around 32 days for goose eggs. She changes from being broody to being in rearing mode (maternal) at the sound of cheeping from eggs. She cannot count the days! It is unfair on the hen to let her sit for weeks on end as her muscles will atrophy, lice and mites could be a problem and may result in death. It is very difficult indeed to restore good health to a hen which has gone downhill from being broody for too long, so it is detrimental to her welfare to “just let her sit” without either giving her eggs to hatch or breaking her from broodiness by using a sin bin (wire crate with food and water) for about 14 days or at least until she stops clucking. If the eggs don’t hatch – infertile, got cold/rotten – then once they are taken away and she is transferred to the sin bin she will come back into lay in 2-3 weeks.
Don’t let a broody hen sit for too long