Abnormally broody?

Mixed flock enthusiast

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We hatched “barnyard mix” eggs for fun. The yard had production red and Easter egger hens, with a white rooster (I thought maybe leghorn from pictures). We’ve ended up with five pullets (4 mostly white and one red) and an EE looking cockerel, all now 7 mo. Naruto was the first pullet to lay, tan eggs at 4 mo, with all the rest laying cream to tan eggs by 6 mo. They all lay med-large eggs regularly, nearly every day. Naruto went broody 2 weeks after she started laying, in late July. We had some difficulty breaking her, and when we did, then two more new layers also went broody. Now Naruto is broody again, in October in Oklahoma! I’m rather new to chickens, but isn’t this abnormal for young girls to be serially broody in fall? Is it likely that the others will follow her again? I’d rather that they not go broody at all and am wondering how much management it’s going to take to keep this group laying... I’m also considering whether I should just let them be broody, but I worry that it will affect their health.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

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Edit - just added picture of Naruto, pullet closest to camera.
 

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oldhenlikesdogs

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The problem with hatching eggs from a broody hen is you are also continuing the broody genes. It is a inherited trait. I've got some that lay 8 eggs than go broody. It continues year round sometimes. Generally if you want production you need to keep breeds where the trait has been bred out of them.

I would continue to break them, especially this time of year. I personally can tell when mine are just starting to go broody. They go in the box, sometimes even as I'm getting that last egg. They break quicker, and resume laying quicker, but it's a perpetual pain in the butt.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

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The problem with hatching eggs from a broody hen is you are also continuing the broody genes. It is a inherited trait. I've got some that lay 8 eggs than go broody. It continues year round sometimes. Generally if you want production you need to keep breeds where the trait has been bred out of them.

I would continue to break them, especially this time of year. I personally can tell when mine are just starting to go broody. They go in the box, sometimes even as I'm getting that last egg. They break quicker, and resume laying quicker, but it's a perpetual pain in the butt.
Thanks for responding. These eggs were from a friend, and were hatched in an incubator. I don’t think that they came from hens showing much broodiness, and none of the breeds she had were known for broodiness (all production breeds), so it’s curious! Can I ask how you break yours? I am finding the dog crate unworkable so am using gentler means, but she is acting more determined this time, like if I place her on the roost at night, she hops right back down into the nest box.
 

EggWalrus

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Can you get hold of some day old chicks from TSC or Rural King near you? If you can, give her some golf balls, baseballs, egg sized river rocks or something to sit on for a week, then slip about 3-4 babies under her at night. It will break the broodiness and make her a happy Momma. When I have birds that go broody, I try to break them. But if after the 2nd time doesn't work, I either let them sit there for 3 weeks with eggs of MY choice, or with young pullets I go buy then some babies so they don't have to put their bodies thru 3 weeks of hell at such an early age.
:old:pop
Just pick out some of the best looking eggs they are laying and keep them indoors, turning them a couple times a day till you get about 6. Then let her sit on them. I say 6 because 1st time broodys don't always have success hatching all the eggs.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

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May 21, 2018
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Stillwater, OK
Can you get hold of some day old chicks from TSC or Rural King near you? If you can, give her some golf balls, baseballs, egg sized river rocks or something to sit on for a week, then slip about 3-4 babies under her at night. It will break the broodiness and make her a happy Momma. When I have birds that go broody, I try to break them. But if after the 2nd time doesn't work, I either let them sit there for 3 weeks with eggs of MY choice, or with young pullets I go buy then some babies so they don't have to put their bodies thru 3 weeks of hell at such an early age.
:old:pop
Just pick out some of the best looking eggs they are laying and keep them indoors, turning them a couple times a day till you get about 6. Then let her sit on them. I say 6 because 1st time broodys don't always have success hatching all the eggs.
Thanks for the suggestion. I am interested in letting her hatch some eggs in the spring, but now is not workable due to weather and some changes that we need to make to housing and etc.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

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Thanks for responding. These eggs were from a friend, and were hatched in an incubator. I don’t think that they came from hens showing much broodiness, and none of the breeds she had were known for broodiness (all production breeds), so it’s curious! Can I ask how you break yours? I am finding the dog crate unworkable so am using gentler means, but she is acting more determined this time, like if I place her on the roost at night, she hops right back down into the nest box.
I have some separate pens, so mine just go in there. I don't use a wire bottom crate as it's recommended. Mine break in just a regular pen. It does take a bit longer, but it works for me.

I guess I just assumed they were from broody hens. I have had lots of broodies with certain breeds being more so than others. I also find one being broody can suddenly spread to others, so breaking them quickly helps that.

A separation pen doesn't need to be elaborate, or very large. Having one is useful for all types of reasons. Keeping any separated birds a part of the flock still is important to avoid the pecking order problems that occur when a bird is totally removed. So building something in the coop is the best thing. Either something permanent or something that can be removed and set up easily.
 

Mixed flock enthusiast

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Ok, well it sounds like Naruto is not so abnormal as compared to your experiences, though it’s so maladaptive for her to go broody in fall! It’s a pain, but I can take her into a divided pen during the day. Not sure what I’ll do with her at night...
 

EggWalrus

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Ok, well it sounds like Naruto is not so abnormal as compared to your experiences, though it’s so maladaptive for her to go broody in fall! It’s a pain, but I can take her into a divided pen during the day. Not sure what I’ll do with her at night...
Just leave her they're a couple days and nights till she breaks. She won't freeze to death unless the temps are well below freezing.
 

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