Brooding Buff Orph,

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dianalhanson, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. dianalhanson

    dianalhanson Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 25, 2013
    My Buff is about 1 1/2 yrs old and so pretty. She is brooding and just wants to sit in the
    laying nest. I have a wonderful Avian Vet so she told me to take her out of the nest and
    see if she eats. She did as if she was starving, but then back up in the nest. I only have
    4 chickens, all lay every day, but now only getting 1 to 2 eggs as I believe my broody hen
    is taking over the nests. Not sure what to do, if I keep her out then I think she will lay some-
    where else in my yard. She is usually the first in the coop at night, and up on a roost. Now
    just up in the laying nest. Will she get over this or how long will it last? I am afraid to get
    baby chicks for her as they may pick them. I have only had backyard chickens now for
    about 8 months and I just love them. Also, I would be afraid to get baby chicks this time
    of year as Fall is now approaching. I sure could use some advice.
    Thanks!
    D Hanson
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Broody hens almost never lay eggs -- actually I've never heard of one who did. What is normal for them is to set for 3 weeks, then the chicks hatch and they care for them. If she is on the nest 24/7 except for an outing once a day to eat, drink and poop, she's broody. They generally leave the nest once a day for a few minutes to eat, drink and poop, until a few days before the hatch when they tend to stay on the nest. They usually lose weight. Occasionally one won't get up at all and they can actually die.

    Probably the easiest way to break a broody is give her some day old chicks, and slip them under her after dark. By morning she will think they hatched under her. It doesn't even matter whether there were eggs under her. It's probably not a problem to start chicks this time of year; they will be ready for colder weather soon er if raised by a mama outdoors than if raised in a brooder, and they only need to be 6 or 8 weeks old at most for winter.

    Or you can try the cage method. use a wire cage like a dog crate and prop it up on blocks or something so that air circulates underneath. Put her in there with food and water but NO nesting material at all. Usually around the third day, they will get restless, maybe even lay an egg to ignal they are no longer broody. It may take longer -- or it may not work.

    Or you can get her off the nest once or twice a day and prod her til she eats, drinks and gets a little exercise, to counteract the weight loss at least somewhat.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I have a broody hatching right now. Last I looked she had four with four eggs left. I don’t know where you are located but the hen has a built in warmer. She never has a power outage. Don’t worry about Fall and cool weather approaching. The hen can handle that.

    Hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. You are dealing with living animals so, yes, it is possible bad things can happen. But hens have been raising chicks with the flock for thousands of years. Bad things usually don’t happen.

    A broody hen normally leaves the nest once a day to eat, drink, and poop. It’s usually a big stinky mess since she’s been holding it all day. She builds up a fat reservoir, mostly around the vent area, so she can handle not eating a lot while she is broody. Hens have been hatching eggs and raising chicks for thousands of years. They can handle it. They are made that way.

    When a hen goes broody, she stops laying. Since she is not eating a lot and depending on that fat pad, she does not have the nutrition and energy to spare to make an egg. Besides, if she laid an egg after starting sitting on eggs, it would not have time to hatch before the others hatched and she abandoned the nest. So one of the hens that has stopped laying is the broody. I don’t know why the other one stopped. There are many possible reasons but it is not because of the broody.

    I think you are worrying about the wrong things. My concern would be what would you do with the chicks, especially any males, if she hatched some. Do you have room?

    I personally think you should break her from being broody if you are not giving her fertile eggs or chicks. This thread may help you with that.

    Break a Broody Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2176186#p2176186

    Good luck!
     

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