1st Broodie Recluse

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chic-a-deee, Apr 9, 2012.

  1. chic-a-deee

    chic-a-deee Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have had a broodie hen for about 6 days now. She sits in the nesting box & doesnt move. I havent seen her get out. I tried to tempt her with her favourite...grass. Picked a bit of grass & waved it in front of her & she didnt even flinch. 0.o I was surprised. They usually go bananas over grass. When I lift the nesting box lid, she makes a funny little noise (I think its cute) & then fluffs out all her feathers like a big FAT ball. She lets me stroke her & look under her at the eggs. She has two under her & 3 fake eggs. SOooo we do hava roo so there is a good chance their could be chicks. One thing tho, she doesnt seem to be getting up & eating.....grant it Im not watching her 24/7, but I see no sign of her when I peek outside. I did lift her up 2 days ago & put her on the ground, she ate hungrily & drank quickly. That looked like she was really hungry & thirsty. I have left a little plate of food & drink in front of her (up in the nesting box), so maybe she will have a drink. The other hens cant get into lay, so there hasnt been any eggs for 3 days. Im worried now about them becoming egg-bound?? BUTT, I got the old doghouse, & put it up on a sidetable in the run area, with a tray & straw....and YAY, someone was smart enough to lay an egg in there. So miss Broodie can have the entire nest box area to herself & the others get to go in the doghouse LOL [​IMG] Do I have to worry about miss Broodie's welfare as far as eating & drinking is concerned??? I am lucky that she doesnt attack me when I go & check on her, I give her a lovely long pat. Such a cute little mama. [​IMG]
  2. BirdyMe

    BirdyMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aww, what a sweet hen, to let you reach in and pet her like that. :)

    You shouldn't have to worry about her too much. Broody hens don't get up off the nest too often, but when they do, they usually eat a little something, get a drink, have a quick run around, and then head back to the nest. Just keep providing fresh water and food nearby, and she'll be fine. She'll get up when she knows she needs it. :)

    As for the chittering and fluffing up, that's just instinct for a broody hen. She's making herself look bigger and more 'menacing', only to protect her nest. But I totally agree with you- it's so cute when they do that!!

    I hope you're lovely hen hatches some fluffies! :)
  3. Mum

    Mum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 23, 2011
    I have a broody and the other girls still go in and lay in her nest! [​IMG] I just remove the fresh eggs from under her and leave her with the fertilized ones.
  4. chic-a-deee

    chic-a-deee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thankyou for replying.

    Well she got off for the first time today. I checked on her in the nest & I think she got cranky...hhehe. Dont blame her. If any of them sits still enough I'll sit & pet them for awhile.
    She rushed out of the coop, ran around flapping & squawking. Then ate & drank. My children were so worried that the eggs were going cold. She eventually sat back down but the other two hens had gone to her nest & layed their eggs. There are two boxes inside & one outside the coop up high. Its funny how all 3 hens want to lay in the same nest??? [​IMG] Its getting cold where I am now, so the eggs would lose heat fairly quickly once she got off.

    I dont feel so worried now. I said to my children, that the chooks will do what they do, & we should let them. I cant force them to sit or lay where I want them, they are free to be as happy as possible. If she is happy sitting on the fake ones for a while, then thats ok by me too...[​IMG]
  5. chic-a-deee

    chic-a-deee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi again.
    Well I checked on miss broodie today (not the 1st time....Ive been looking in on her every 2nd day) Ive seen her off the nest in recent weeks...days...but wasnt paying attention to how much she was eating/drinking. I thought they wouldnt starve themselves to death on the nest ... right???
    I noticed today that her comb & waddle were VERY pale, the poorer side of light pink. So I took her off the eggs & put her down on the floor of the pen.
    She had some water & some feed. I gave her bread & grass (greens good for iron right??) She seemed steady on her feet, but I could tell she wasnt up to fighting for the food with the others (only two other hens & Mr Roo) so I guessed she felt a bit weak.
    SO..just wondering do I have cause for concern or is this a normal process that sitting hens experience?
    Hope she is going to be ok, she is so sweet.
    I checked about 9 eggs. Some of them were just practically see thru (I candled) so I guessed they were off...no air sac = build up of gases I guessed?
    Other ones I saw some veins & a big air sac...so left those. Another one looked like an early developed one....a blob about as big as a Australian 5c piece...probably a dime in USA talk. :) I kept that one too....just in case. I was beginning to think Mr Rooster wasnt doing his job properly, tho he is pretty small & most time fails at his attempts to mate. Its quite funny, as my children call him the Rooster Fail. LOL

  6. chic-a-deee

    chic-a-deee Chillin' With My Peeps

    OH NOOOooo
    I think I interfered with miss Broodie too much. She pecked, cracked & killed what looked like an 18day old chick (our first) [​IMG]

    I took the little one out, washed it & patted it dry to make it presentable for the kids to see. Poor little mite.
    I read a book that said to put the broody by itself. So I did, in a small old dog house, on a little table in the run, with a little wire fence around it.
    So when the chicks hatch, the mamma hen can be in there a few days safe from the others & they can feed there too.
    Miss broodie has lost a heck of a lot of body mass. I also read in the book that the mamma broodies, CAN starve to death in their obsession to hatch a chick.
    [​IMG]SHEEEESH!!! Glad I read that book. They advise to take the broody hen off the nest every 24hrs to make sure she eats & drinks.

    Now she is back in the usual spot in the henhouse. Ive put all 5 eggs back in there with her. Im just going to leave her alone now, except to let her feed & water. [​IMG] Learned my lesson [​IMG] I also read somewhere that if the mamma hen feels threatened she WILL eat her eggs. So like I said...I will be leaving her ALONE ALONE ALONE alone alone (Is there an echo in here??)
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    that is the hardest part, and that is the best thing to do, is leave her alone, and definitely leave her alone when they start to hatch. I find it better to move the layers to a different spot than to move the broody hen.

  8. Mommy 2 Wee Ones

    Mommy 2 Wee Ones Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2011
    North Texas
    Chick-a-dee, sorry for the loss of the little one. I just had two that went broody for the first time, and each hatched 4 chicks each. Just a suggestion for the next time one of your hens goes broody. Give her, her own space, put food & water near her, and she will do the rest. Both of mine started in the main coop, but were getting bothered so much by the other hens, I had to move her. Both hens were into their second week of sitting when I moved them. I built their broody houses in the fenced in run area, and put both on lock-down for 3 days till they get settled into their new home. I gave them each their own food & water (chick start & ACV water). Mama #1 never left her nest even after I opened her door, she brought her chicks outside on day 4 after the first chick hatched.

    Because Mama #2 was sitting on so many eggs, she had 6 to begin with, and then because I did not mark them, other hens sat on & around her & laid more eggs, by the time I moved her there were 18 eggs. 14 never hatched, and she was ready to get off the nest after 4 days of being on lock-down with her 4 new chicks.

    Mama #1 - her comb & waddle got very pale, and this is normal, they will also lose weight, I would give both my Mama's BOSS right in front of them, and when the chicks hatched, I poured chick start in front of them, that way, when the chicks popped their heads out from under Mama, they could nibble on some food. Also, when Mama poops for the first few times, it will stink to high heaven and will be grass green in color. Mama #1, took about a week & a half to get her color back in her comb & waddle, I also gave them some alfalfa, Mama showed the babies what to do, saw a 11 day old chick having a dust bath the other day.

    Good Luck with the rest of your eggs, hope you have fuzzy butts soon.
  9. chic-a-deee

    chic-a-deee Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]Well unfortunately no fluffy butts to adore. Miss broody got off her eggs & stayed off. They were ice cold when I checked.
    Thats 5 chicks. I gave mamma hen mash, with vitamins in. Put wormer in the water so she didnt have to compete with parasites. Even now she has picked up really well. So, I think I must have really cheesed her off to abandon her eggs. Im glad shes off them cos even the mites were leaving her weakened body.
    There will be a next time for sure.....Rooster is in da house. Thanks for all the replies & for sharing experiences....it really helps.
    Silly hen only had 3 days to go before the eggs hatched anyway..
    I moved her too much, So....yeah, my fault. [​IMG]Now its time to clean that darn thing out. Gosh they can poop in the pen cant they!!!!!

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