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Another question on broodiness

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tcbosco1, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. tcbosco1

    tcbosco1 In the Brooder

    I highly suspect that my 7 month old silkie has gone, or is going broody. Although she did lay an egg yesterday, she spent the entire day (and night) in the nest box.

    She attempted to settle in for today as well, but I wouldn't let her. I physically removed her from the nest box and barred her from returning.

    This worked great for today, but it presented a probem with the others who may have wanted to lay an egg up there!

    I am planning on converting a pet kennel into a temporary "broody breaker", but I do have some questions.

    1. The "broody breaker" is in the house (I have no plans to move it outside - not weather proof). Is it a good or bad idea to return the silkie to the coop at night to sleep with her friends? I have blocked off the nesting area at night. (I have concerns about the cold weather and don't want her to "adjust" to the warm kitchen only to be shocked by the temp outside.)

    2. Is it ok to let her run around outside when the other ladies are out (supervised by me)?

    3. Any ideas on how long this "breaking" process takes? I think I'm nipping it in the bud, but still...

    4. Is it ever ok to just let them be broody (no roos)? Do they ever just "get over it" themselves?

    And finally,

    5. On a slightly different note, I have no intention of artificially providing light. I understand that this will result in few to no eggs at all during the winter season. Does anyone know what I can expect by NOT lighting? I have seen many posts about how great it is to light, but nothing on not lighting. Is broodiness affected by the shorter daylight hours?

    Thanks for any info!!

  2. 1. I have read people who let them do their broody thing with fake eggs. Or giving them fertile eggs to hatch. These would probably be what I would do.

    Others put them in broody time out or broody jail as some call it. Separate from the other girls.

    It seems that either option is acceptable. Others might come on and suggest other alternatives also.

    2. I don't see why not.

    3. Depends on the broody. Some are easily broken, others are more determined.

    4. Yes, they can get over it. I've seen my grandmother's birds go through their broody period and come around. Sort of like estrus. It's natural, they'll be fine. I have only had MY OWN birds a short while.

    5...I dunno, I imagine it can't hurt, as daylight and lack thereof is nature's thing. It would give their little selves time to rest from egg laying and such.

    of course, I am no expert, just my observations...
  3. Nugget

    Nugget Songster

    Sep 2, 2007
    The first couple of times my hens went broody I tried to stop them. It didn't work for me. I then figured that since I'm getting more than enough eggs anyway, and since it's natural hormonal cycles and the hen seems to enjoy cozying down in a nest I now let them go through it on their own. They will sit whether there's an egg-like object or not, and when the mood passes they go back to normal activity and start laying again.

    No reason to worry about having her free range with the other hens broody or otherwise. What's funny though is when you take the trance-like hen out of the box and set her on the grass how she'll eventually realize she's not where she thought she was (it's like they wake up) and burst out in a flurry of feathers and "Gobbleygobble" clucking.

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