My chicken is broody, now what? Text version of infographic

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The broody hen; How to recognize a broody hen and knowing what comes next

Broody hen:

Your hen decides she is going to hatch her eggs. She will not move from her nest, except for food, water and to go to the bathroom. She may “growl” if you try to come near her nest.

When and how of broodiness:

Chickens often go broody in the summer, but they can decide to do it any time of the year. Some say you can encourage broodiness by providing a dark, safe nesting place and leaving eggs or golf balls in the nest to encourage nesting.

How long does it take?:

Most chicken eggs will hatch after 21 days, although, when you are waiting, it can often feel like longer. You also might feel sorry for the mother hen, who will look kind of miserable sitting there all the time, but don’t disturb her. She’s just fine and needs to keep eggs at a consistent temperature.

When the chicks are here:

Let the mother hen take care of her chicks as much as possible. Give her and her babies their own warm, clean area with grit away from other hens and roosters, who may try to attack the new additions until they are old enough to fend for themselves.


Most chickens will reach maturity by 16 to 24 weeks of age. They will seem to grow every day. So, enjoy every minute watching these goofy fluffballs turning into adults. For tamer chickens, spend some time getting them used to being held (once they at least a week old) and being fed by hand. Just don’t overdo it with the handling and make sure your wash your hands when done to prevent getting salmonella.