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Am I overcomplicating my broody matters?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    My one broody is no problem at all. Seems to know exactly what she's doing. Gets up to drink and eat once a day, poops and then goes back to her nest.

    It's the other, young (7 month old) broody I worry about.

    She's in a large dog kennel, but she refused to give up the bottom half of her original nestbox (kitty litter box), so there's barely enough room for her to step out of it, away from her nest. It has bowls attached to the wire door of it, so there is food and water in front of her, but I've not noticed any of it being eaten/drank.

    So yesterday I took her off the nest to eat and drink. She grabbed a quick bite, but went right back to her nest. She started to go into the wrong nest, so I directed her gently back to hers. I had to keep my roo out of the coop to keep him from harrasing her. Impy the roo hasn't yet learned that no means no.

    Today I informed DH that I was going to force her off the nest, because I worried all night about her going without getting something to drink.

    I forced her out, she saw my big chickens in her coop and ran screaming out of the coop. My rooster gave chase, so I caught him and put him on the screened porch. My broody stayed off the nest for about 30 minutes, but her eggs are snug in the hay and it's warm here today, so I'm not too worried about them. She ate, drank and pooped. She went and scratched around for a bit with the rest of her flock. She was confused about going back to her nest because some of my adult birds were in her coop, snitching food. I chased them out and she went back to her nest. She's now locked back in her crate.

    Once the broody was outside I realized I couldn't tell her from her two twins when they are all out together. I'm thinking I may have to attach a ziptie to her leg tonight.

    This seems like a big hassle to go through for the next 17 days or so. But am I overcomplicating it? Should I just open her door once a day, put my rooster on the porched and hope for the best? I'm worried about others getting on her nest, her being afraid to go back to her nest because of the big birds, of locking the wrong pullet back on the nest, etc. [​IMG]
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I could really use some reassurances here. [​IMG]
     
  3. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think you definitely need to relax. It sounds like she's just really dedicated. Personally, i would keep food and water with her in the kennel and look for broody poop every day (to clean it out), and that would be it. She'll eat and drink. In my personal opinion, if she really won't eat and drink at all for an extended period of time, i would not let her brood. That's just me.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I think my being away from home for ten hours every day saved me and my broody hens quite a bit of .... Anxiety. They each brooded at separate times, and they just did it. Once a day checked on the eggs and made sure there was food/water there, close at hand. Spent some few minutes admiring them, taking pictures. On the weekends, I bothered them a little more, but not much.

    But you just might zip-tie Jethro so you can tell which one she is. [​IMG]. It IS Jethro, right?
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:No, Jethro is my silkie that seems to be thinking about going broody - plucking breast feathers and lining a nest.

    The pullet that is broody is a SF, Doe. Usually standing alone and before she developed broody behavior, I could tell her from her two SF sisters, but not now.

    My main worry is that I have to lock her in the kennel for her own good, to keep others out; but then I worry that she may want to get out and can't. That's why I have been opening the door of the kennel once a day.
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:This is probably what I'd do, along with the ziptie, if it will stay put. Or else I'd just move her nest into the regular coop and mark the eggs.

    Ya gotta do what ya gotta do, though.
     
  7. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I would try letting her out maybe once a week. I have rarely had broodies that were very interested in getting out every day if they had food and water close by .... and enough room to poop someplace that isn't on the eggs.
     
  8. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    Ct.
    oh my what a busy world in the world of a broody!! you are not overcomplicating matters, your being a grandparent! [​IMG] waiting for the birth of grandchicks. [​IMG]
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Mine went broody in July, when it was very hot! I will admit, that I would carry water to them so that they could drink and remain on the nest. I had two go, and I only saw one get off the nest one time. However, mine were not locked up, they were on their chosen nest, and supposedly could get out and about to eat and drink, they just were not real interested.

    Sometimes they would drink when I brought it down, but mostly they wanted me (and the world) to leave them alone.

    The time she got off the nest, she had had an egg stuck to her, another egg had broke and my whole clutch was sticky and gross, so I washed them off with a warm wet wash rag, not real clean, but got the worst off, quickly pulled the hay out, replaced with fresh hay, all the eggs, and by that time she was back on them.

    I think that every two -three days would be often enough to chase her off the nest. otherwise, if she has feed and water available, leave her be!

    Interestingly enough, the egg that stuck to her, hatched!

    MrsK
     
  10. happymorrows

    happymorrows Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have only had one broody to date. She brooded in the "favorite" nestbox, about 18in off the ground. There was food and water available in the coop. When I let them out in the morning I would drop a little food in front of her in the nest. Other than that she would jump down every once in a while, fill up on food and water, and then hop back on. The other chickens would harass her a little bit because they wanted to lay in the favorite box, and I had to take the new eggs out from under her every day, but she took care of herself. She was 8 mo old at the time. Once the chicks hatched I moved her out of the nest box and into a little dog crate on the floor, with the door open. She and the chicks get along great with the flock.

    I am historically very anxious and broody myself when it comes to my chickens. But I have been letting nature do it's thing and it has been working for me. I have a pretty laid back flock though, and a really great BO broody mama.
     

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