Originally Posted by PD-Riverman
Mercy, Mercy, I am sorry but I have never heard of anyone treating their broody this way. If I was her I would bust them all. My Broodies are my babies and hatch me many chicks---I treat them with respect. I know its Not my broody and I probably should bite my tongue But I couldn't. I am Sorry I really Don't Like This Post!!
Not sure what you're picturing here-- I'm talking about the slow movement of a broom, no jabbing, no swatting, no meanness, just the broom as an extension of my arm. The whole thing started because she had dragged a piece of watermelon rind into the nest with her and was partially sitting on it which I can't imagine is a good thing for the eggs underneath her. With the watermelon rind there (and a concern about vanishing eggs- as we are closer to the hatch date I did want to know how many were still there, but getting the watermelon out was the first priority), I opened the back of the nest box and slowly moved the broom towards her. The only other 2 times I did this- one time after either she moved an egg to a higher nest box or another chicken stole it- and it wound up in the fridge and then unfortunately in the frying pan due to an inexperienced DH- she just stepped off and went to do her drink, poop, eat and broody yoga routine while I counted (and was missing a total of 3, 2 unaccounted for) without any worries.
Her hormones are clearly higher now as instead of a quick peaceful move-off as described above, the broom took some hits, and as she eventually moved off for a drink, a little food, and a stretch.
As it turns out, in addition to the watermelon rind issue, a 4th egg had broken (or was getting eaten) was a gooey mess broken over the remaining viable eggs under her with a wet gooey straw nest. It had been broken for some time- yolk was dried to the remaining eggs, so she didn't break it in the process of getting gently moved off. She doesn't associate the appearance of broom with people, and she doesn't think of my hands as any kind of threat to her nest (or targets to be bitten) because I do not reach in on her.
I'm glad that you are concerned for the welfare and feelings of our feathered friends. I'm sorry if my description leaves or left you feeling like I don't respect my broody, because nothing could be further from the truth.
Once she moved off after telling the broom a thing or two, she did her normal eat drink poop stretch while I removed the gooey nesting material, did my best to clean up the remaining eggs, and replaced them as she had them. It was the first time I'd seen her really assert herself to her flockmates which I take as a good sign with respect to taking care of the chicks that will be raised with the flock after however many hatch and she's ready to be up and around. She peacefully went back to the nest afterwards.