The Ameraucana breed of chicken is a docile bird with a friendly personality, making it an excellent choice for both experienced and beginner backyard chicken keepers.
Ameraucanas come in several feather color and pattern varieties and have fluffy feathers on their beards and muffs.
The beard feathers on Ameraucanas give them an appearance similar to a hawk.
While they have average egg production, Ameraucanas are most well-known for the color of their beautiful pale blue eggs.
These blue egg layers produce around 3-4 eggs per week, with an average of 200 eggs per year.
But will an Ameraucana chicken go broody?
Ameraucana hens tend to go broody more often than other chicken breeds unless they were raised as hatchery chickens. Hatchery strains of Ameraucanas are bred strictly for egg production, and this typically lessens the broodiness trait.
When Ameraucana hens do go broody, they are known to be attentive mothers and will even raise baby chicks hatched from other hens.
Read on to learn more about the broodiness of the Ameraucana chicken, as well as how to properly care for a broody hen.
What Makes an Ameraucana Hen Go Broody?
Ameraucana chicken broodiness is due to a fluctuation of hormones in the hen’s body.
The broodiness trait varies from chicken to chicken and depends on instincts and the distinct personalities of the hens.
Ameraucana hens have a strong mothering instinct and are attentive mothers to their baby chicks.
There is no direct cause for broodiness, as it may occur randomly or be triggered by conditions in the hen’s environment.
A young hen usually does not go broody in her first laying season.
The most common time of year for hens to become broody is spring, as the warmer months approach.
It is very rare for Ameraucana hens to go broody in the winter, as the cold months are unsuitable for raising baby chickens.
Some Ameraucana hens will never go broody, while others may go broody several times throughout the year.
Hatchery chickens usually do not become broody because their brooding instinct has been bred out.
When one hen in the chicken coop goes broody, it is more likely for the other hens to go broody.
This may be a problem if you depend on your Ameraucana hens for egg production.
How To Know if Your Ameraucana Is Broody
There are several signs of whether your Ameraucana hen has gone broody.
Your broody hen will start behaving very differently, and the change will be noticeable enough even for inexperienced chicken keepers.
The first thing you will notice is your hen will stop laying eggs and start spending a lot of time in her nest.
Broody chickens rarely leave their nest and will only do so to eat, drink, or poop.
Your broody hen will also stop roosting with the other chickens in the coop at night, keeping to herself at all times.
If any other chickens get too close to the Ameraucana’s nest, she will puff out her feathers, fan out her tail, and cluck very loudly as a warning to stay away from her.
Related Reading: Are Ameraucana Chickens Noisy?
The hen may also exhibit these behaviors if other chickens get too close to her while eating or drinking.
Whenever the brooding hen does leave her nest, it will be for very short periods.
As soon as the hen is done eating, drinking, or pooping, she will immediately run back to her nest, even if she hasn’t laid any eggs.
When the hen returns to her nest, she will settle in and stay there until she gets hungry or thirsty again.
Further Reading: Ameraucana chickens and aggressive behaviors
How To Care for a Broody Ameraucana Hen
Since a broody hen does not leave her nest very often, it is crucial to keep an eye on her for signs she is not taking care of herself.
If your Ameraucana has been pooping in her nest, not only does this signal, she is not getting up to relieve herself, but she is likely not eating or drinking enough water, either.
When this happens, it may be necessary to gently remove the hen from her nest so she will come out of her broody trance long enough to eat, drink, and go to the bathroom.
Check and Mark Her Eggs
Whenever your broody Ameraucana leaves her nest to eat and drink, it is a good time to check her eggs.
It is essential to ensure the eggs are in good condition, as cracked eggs will cause bacteria to spread in the nest.
You must also mark the hen’s eggs with a pencil or non-toxic pen.
Other hens may lay eggs in a broody hen’s nest while she is away, so it is crucial to know when new eggs have been added to the mother bird’s clutch.
Remove New Eggs
Any new eggs added to a broody hen’s nest will not hatch simultaneously as the others.
The broody bird will abandon these eggs after her first baby chicks hatch, leaving the unhatched eggs to rot.
When too many eggs are in the nest, they are more likely to become soiled or damaged.
Uneven incubation may also occur if the hen cannot cover all of the eggs, and many of them may not hatch at all.
Remove new eggs as soon as you find them to prevent these issues.
Ensure She Has Access to Food and Clean Water
Keeping plenty of layer feed and clean water near your broody Ameraucana’s nest ensures the hen does not become malnourished or dehydrated.
If a less adventurous chicken does not leave its nest frequently enough to eat or drink, it will lose weight and become too sick to care for its eggs properly.
Dehydration is a serious issue in chickens and will quickly lead to death.
Leaving the layer feed and clean water nearby makes it less likely for the broody hen to skip a meal.
Relocate the Hen
If your broody Ameraucana hen has chosen an undesirable location to nest, you may need to attempt to relocate her.
When the nest is outside the coop or in another hen’s favorite nesting box, the broody hen is at risk of being trampled or damaging her eggs.
Start by transferring all the nesting material and eggs into a box or crate, and place it exactly where the original nest was.
Give the broody hen some time to get used to the new nest.
Once the hen has made herself comfortable on the portable nest for several hours, it will be easy to move the entire container, along with the hen, to a safer area.
If you are unable to relocate the broody hen and you fear for her safety, place a protective barrier around the nest to keep predators away.
Leave the hen with plenty of layer feed and water inside the barrier so she can still eat and drink.
How To Stop Broodiness in an Ameraucana Hen
When a broody hen sits on her nest for prolonged periods without eating or drinking, she may lose a lot of weight.
If the eggs are not viable and there are no signs of them hatching after three weeks, this might be very dangerous for the Ameraucana.
To break your hen from being broody, you must place her in a wire cage away from the chicken coop.
The cage must be elevated to keep the hen safe and should not contain any bedding or nesting material.
After a couple of days, your Ameracauna hen will likely stop being broody and resume her usual behavior.
Never leave a broody hen in this type of cage for longer than three days, and always ensure she has plenty of food and clean water available.
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