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Broody in a cage - and won't get out - is that ok for 3 weeks?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

I have a young broody buff orpington. She went broody for the first time and sat in the nest box with or without eggs, puffed up like a pincushion. I moved her into a closed dog crate (2x3 feet) that is on the coop floor. I have a friend who has a flock of Buckeyes, and wanted to know if I'd let my hen sit on some of her eggs. So, as of last night, Pumpkin is sitting on 10 eggs (we tried 12, but two always stuck out). I have food and water in there with her (she is sitting in a box that is about 13x17 inches, lined with pine chips). I never see her get up, poop, drink, or eat in the box, so I get her out once a day (she's been sitting on wooden eggs for 4 days, just to make sure she was really broody). Today when I tried to pick her up, she went limp in an attempt to stay on the nest. I put her on the floor and she just puffed up and spread out like she was on the nest. I moved her to the coop door - same thing. Ended up pushing her out. She ran out, scratched around a bit, pooped her impressive broody poop, preened for about 15 minutes, ate some food, then got attacked by 3 other hens (maybe because she was all puffed up?).

 

So my question... am I doing the right thing by taking her off the nest for 15 minutes once a day? Or since she shows no inclination to get off, do I just keep water and food right in front of her? Don't really want her to poop in the nest box. If I should be getting her off the nest once a day, I think I'll put her in the yard without the other girls - they were pretty hard on her and her little puffed up self today.

 

Thanks!

Heidi

post #2 of 4

Do not keep the feed and water in the dog crate with her.  She has to leave the nest at least once a day or she will foul the nest.  Most hens leave the nest voluntarily, but if she is locked in a dog crate she is unable to do so; therefore, you have to help her out.  The attack by the flock is because she appears to be a stranger to them due to her broody behavior.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks - I will keep taking her out. I attached two cages, and put some food and water at the opposite end of the second cage. She will have to get up and leave the nest to get to it. Just want to make sure she has access if she needs it. I'm just going to shut all the other girls out of the smaller run once a day and let her stretch a bit out there also. She only stayed out 10 minutes this morning, then ran back in and leapt back into the nest.

 

So if the other girls don't recognize her because of her broody behavior, will she have to be "introduced" back into the flock after all of this, even though she is in a wire cage in the coop? 

post #4 of 4

She will have to reestablish her place in the pecking order.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
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BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Incubating & Hatching Eggs › Broody in a cage - and won't get out - is that ok for 3 weeks?