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My crazy chicken

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a leghorn who just turned 7 months old and she started laying last month giving us an egg a day.  Everything was going along very smoothly until one day she just quit laying and is just setting on her nest.  She won't move off of the nest; we have to literally pick her up and force her out of the coop into the yard.  We also have two other leghorns who are about a  month and a half in age behind BeBe (our firstborn) lol.  Obviously one of our other chickens - either CeCe or Deedee - has decided that it's time for them to start laying also.  Now I have 3 chickens laying in One nest on one egg and they won't get out of the coop.  I take that back - CeCe and Deedee do get up and get out  for periods of time; they don't stay on the nest with BeBe 24/7. 

 

I have been told that if you dunk the chicken in water, this will bring them out of their "crazy" mode.  My husband has tried this twice but I don't think he's dunking her properly - not putting her head underwater.   Can someone please help me with our crazy situation.  This is our first rodeo with chickens and any and all help is very much appreciated.

 

Thanks again,

CindyLou

post #2 of 4

Please stop dunking your chicken in water.

 

Your hen is broody. The best way that I have found to snap them out of it is to remove access to the nest entirely.  I have done this by either excluding her from the run and coop while the others were inside to lay their eggs (so she was free ranging alone) and by putting the offender in a small pen called a "broody breaker" (google that) for a couple of days.  It has never taken me more than about 3 days to break a broody using either of those two methods.  Obviously your situation is unique to you but if you google broody breaker, you should get an idea of what you need to do.  The main object is to not give her a comfortable place to settle down and continue her broody activities.

post #3 of 4


I agree with Mortie, although it is unusual for leghorns to get broody.  You may want to take advantage of the situation and put some fertile eggs under her, or see if she will foster 1 or 2 day old chicks from the feedstore.  Put those under her at night, then monitor to ensure she has accepted them as hers.  Otherwise, use the broody breaker.  It will still take her a few weeks to start laying again.

Peeps61
Location: NW Florida
Chickens since Feb. 2013
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Peeps61
Location: NW Florida
Chickens since Feb. 2013
Reply
post #4 of 4

Dunking is the last resort, IMO, and you never put their head underwater.

Weather needs to be warm and water needs to be cool but not frigid.

 

 

Using a crate for broody breaking is far more efficient and kind.

My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day. 

 

I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.

Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
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