Breaking Broody advice please!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by krista74, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a super broody RIR who will not get off the nest. Long story short, she has been this way for a good week, I have removed her from the nest a million times and it's not helping. I have a dog crate I can use as a broody buster, but just need some advice before I lock her up:-

    1. Is it ok that the bottom of the wire cage has big gaps in it? The 'holes' in the caging are about 4cm wide by 10cm long. Will this hurt her feet to stand on if I raise it off the ground?

    2. How cold at night is too cold to keep her cage outside? I would ideally like to keep it in the run so she can see the other birds, but it will be about 7 degrees celcius overnight (44F) and although the cage has a tin roof over it, there is no protection from the wind on the sides. I don't want her to get sick from the cold.

    I would appreciate any advice. I'm at my wit's ends with her - she just doesn't give up! Incidentally, there are no eggs I the nest.....

    - Krista
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    I would probably put a tarp on the windward side to cut down on the wind, and lay another piece of wire mesh or similar obver the holes in the floor. It sounds like she could injure herself on what is there. Or maybe you could lay some boards over the bottom, with spaces between them. It sounds like the floor wll stay plenty cold enough to keep her belly cool.

    I don''t think that will bee too cold as long as the wind and rain are not blowing directly on her. She could probably even tolerate that, but surel would be uncomfortable.

    If you're really uncomfortable with this, perhaps you have a shed, carport or garage that would give her a little shelter. I do think inside the house might well be too warm.

    Hopefully, the cage will do its job within a week, or even less. Good luck!
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, she spent last night in her nest again, so now she is now locked away in the broody box.

    She was in there from 6.30am to 5pm today, and when I got home from work I let her out to roam with the others and stretch her legs a bit. We had to guide her out of the coop, but then she ran off to be with them. Ten minutes later, she was back - 'bok-bok-boking' at me to let her in the coop! I left the coop door firmly shut and eventually she wandered off in a huff, but she came and went in short bursts all evening, checking to see if I'd opened the door!

    At dusk I opened the coop up to let everyone into bed and she ran straight for the nest. I picked her up and put her in the broody buster cage again. I decided to leave the cage flat on the dirt outside in the run - it will be cool enough anyway just being outside so I didn't see the need to lift it off the ground. We are expecting 46F degrees overnight but no rain, and it is not particularly windy either. I've put a tin roof on the cage just in case, and there is a doubled up bed-sheet over the top of the whole cage to block what wind there is.

    I feel guilty as hell that she is outside, in the dark, all alone. But as hubby says, at the moment she kind of wants to be alone anyway. I hope that this one night in isolation will help her over the broodiness.

    - Krista
     
  4. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's been my experience that you'll need to leave her in it around the clock. It's usually takes me 3-4 days to break my broodies this way if I catch them within 1-2 days. The breaker should be uncomfortable with a wire bottom to cool her breast. I usually separate mine from the flock in the barn. During the day I leave the light in since broodies prefer dark.
     
  5. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, she's still in the box. I let her out this morning and she ran back to the nest, so I scooped her back out and put her back in the cage straight away. I have to tell you, the guilt I am feeling is immense! I just want to see her back to her old self. She is getting madder and madder while she is in here, and when I go to the coop now she is squawking at me like a banshee! I worry that she might need to lay an egg - will she just lay it in the cage if she needs to, or is there a risk that she will 'hold it in' and cause herself some internal problems? Looks like it's going to be a long three or four days....

    - Krista
     
  6. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're doing the right thing for her. Not breaking her can lead to some serious health issues and even death. She's mad now, but once she breaks she'll be back to her old self, just keep telling yourself that. I know it totally stinks to have to do it though. Her hormones have shut down her reproductive system, so she shouldn't be producing any eggs. And since she's been broody for a week, she's already laid her last egg until she'd broken. Keep at it, you're doing great!
     
  7. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for the support. I've been secretly feeling like someone is going to dob me into Animal Welfare for doing this to her, ha ha!

    I have made some changes to her broody box and am attaching a new picture...


    [​IMG]

    The cage now has a proper wire bottom in it, and it is raised off the ground about 4 inches so the air can get under her.

    I do have a question though - at night it cools down to about 44f (8c) degrees but in the day we are around the 100f (34c) degree mark. Will the broody buster still work in hot weather?

    I am looking after her in the heat too - she has a roof over her, and the box is under a tree. As you can see, she does have food and lots of cool water.

    And a tomato. I was trying to make peace!

    I let her out briefly while I was organising her cage, and she attacked me! Flew right at my face, screeching! This is very unusual behaviour for her - indeed, none of my flock have ever attacked me.

    Would this be due to her hormones too?

    - Krista
     
  8. SunkenRoadFarms

    SunkenRoadFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That looks great. The higher day temps might prolong the process so if by day 4 you aren't noticing a change you might consider bringing her inside. I've also heard of people using cooler freezer packs, but have never done so myself. She definitely attacked because of the hormones and being really mad about her setup, which is good because it means she's uncomfortable.
     
  9. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Victoria, Australia.
    Wow....

    So I might actually have a chance of winning the stand-off!

    Poor girl. I do feel sorry for her, out there on her own. Apparently in 2 days time we are expecting a cool change so that might speed things along for her.

    Thanks for your comments.

    - Krista
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a few bricks right in the coop and I would feed her some watered down crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
     

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