Broodies In Blizzards?!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by VyInRI, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. VyInRI

    VyInRI Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2014
    So, this is fun. One of my Silkie girls is broody. After losing a hen to broody stress, we decided it would be best to handle Banjo's broodiness differently. We've been locking the girls out of the coop during the daylight (they have food and water in their predator-proof run), and Banjo has been doing her chicken thing. She gets mad every once in a while that she can't get to her nest, but for the most part, she runs around and eats and poops everywhere, which is great.

    However, we got blasted by the blizzard this week, and the girls stayed in the coop yesterday - by my choice. We just opened up the coop door, but today they seem to be perfectly content staying inside too. Is this a big deal for broody Banjo? I hate to force them outside since it is colder than usual. I figured I'd leave them the option today and hopefully the weather will rise back up to the 30s and we can start kicking them out again.

    I know it's not great for her to sit inside all day, but she does have food and water within a couple of steps, and she is still dropping those big, nasty broody poops. Is it really so bad to give her the option to go outside for one more day? It looks like tomorrow should be back in the 30s, but we do have some cold temperatures coming up, so I hate to lock them out into the cold, but I also don't want Banjo to stop eating and drinking because she's too busy sitting on invisible eggs.

    Our run IS covered with a clear tarp, so the wind is mostly blocked, except for one back side under the coop, which we forgot about (so there is SOME snow back behind the coop base legs), but it's pretty darn calm in there.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    If you're not going to let your broody hatch eggs for you, it will be kinder to break her as soon as possible. The method that worked best for me was putting the hen in a wire cage for a few days with only food and water (no nesting materials), but removing and keeping her from the nest could work too, unless she's really stubborn. If the weather permits I would put her in the run with the rest of the flock and see if she snaps out of it, weather not permitting, I'd put her in a cage in the coop.

    Broodies have the worst timing, don't they?
     
  3. VyInRI

    VyInRI Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 19, 2014
    They do! That was how we handled the last girl's broodiness, and she set to death. This one is funny because I usually move her to the doorway of the coop so I can take her flock mate's egg from her, and she typically gets up on her own within the minute and heads outside to play - and she exhibits normal behavior once she's unable to get back into the coop. Yesterday, after I shoveled out from the snow, I went to check on her, and one of her flock mates decided to go out in the run after all, but she had laid an egg first - and Banjo (the broody) hadn't gotten up on to sit on it. So she did end up going outside.

    Anyway, after losing my alpha hen to broody stress from being removed from her flock and put in a wire cage, I just can't take that route again. At least this way I know she's "being a chicken" during the day, and she's not just sitting and stewing.
     
  4. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Honestly, a broody Silkie in the winter is a perfect excuse to bring her in the house and make her a house chicken. That way you can watch her and make sure she is truly broody and not incubating a disease.

    At least that is what I tell my husband.
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I think I love theoldchick's advice [​IMG]

    So sorry to hear about your loss! I have thankfully (touch wood) not had any problems with my broody hens and half my hens are walking, clucking, incubators. I have two at the moment that wants nothing to do but raise chicks, over and over and over…

    It sounds a bit like your hen is undecided/uncommitted to sitting? That would make it easier to change her mind.
     

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