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Moody EE Chicken

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi fellow members! I need help with an EE hen. I have a raised 6 EE's and 6 Buff Orphingtons from chicks purchased this past spring. I was given 3 rocks and 4 RReds that were already laying about two yrs old.  I have a coop, an enclosed run and a fenced run. The fence is 6' but two of the EE's jump it daily. Several weeks ago the younger ones started to lay. My two jumpers had hid nests that they filled with eggs. One joined the elders in laying in the coop, the other refuses and continues to use a spot in the garden. I started to let the birds free range since the garden was done and some of the other hens found the garden nest and used it too.  Now the EE hen won't leave the nest. It is empty and has been empty for two days. When approached she jumps off with her neck feathers flared and makes distressing clucking sounds. She will run get a drink of water or food and return and set. It has been pouring rain and she sits there. I physically put her in the coop at night. Is she broody or egg bound?  Should I destroy the garden nest?

post #2 of 4


She's broody for sure! To break her broodiness, put her in a small coop / crate / dog kennel with food and water, but suspended off the ground for a few days. The cool air circulating around them usually stops their broodiness. Personally, i put broodies in a coop outside - the cool air (I live in Kenya so its at worst "mild") and the frustration at seeing their flock mates enjoying life seems to snap them out of it.

 

Re: garden nest - destroy it. You can try keeping your girls in the coop until lunchtime for a few days. In doing this, they will be compelled to lay in the coop and are thus very likely to use the nests. The recommended hen to nest ratio is 4:1 so ensure that you have sufficient nests. Your new layers may well feel a little threatened by the older hens when they want to lay, so its important to ensure that you have sufficient nests (even though they will have their favourites!).

 

Good luck

 

CT

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much. I was worried she may be egg bound. I destroyed the nest and she has been running around instead of sitting.  Still has ruffled feathers and steady clucking. There are 11 nests in the coop so there is no problem for plenty of laying space. We are going through some stormy weather so it is cool, wet and blowing outside. Hoping she will find comfort in the coop with the rest of the girls.

post #4 of 4
As she is still fluffing up/clucking she will probably eventually settle into one of the other nests and start sitting again.

Breaking a broody doesn't need to be difficult but it will only work if you keep her off any nest day and night for 3-4 days. If you are just picking her off it when you see her or letting her sleep on it at night it won't work, it has to be no nest at all 24 hrs a day. How you keep her off really doesn't matter at the end of the day, you can lock her up in a cage etc but I have just as much success simply putting a bit of a wire divider up one end of the run and putting them in there to wander round for those 3-4 days. Good luck!

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

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Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply
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