Broody Bantam Cochin - How long?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by nancy1zak, Jun 25, 2010.

  1. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    Our Bantam Cochin has been sitting all day yesterday, and all night, and still sitting in the nest box. Yesterday we took the fake egg out from under her. She peeped at us, but didn't throw a fit. We have taken her out of the nest box to let her free range with the other chickens and she went right back into the next box. I am assuming that means she is broody? We don't have a rooster....so, she won't be a mama. How long does this go on? Are we supposed to just let her be until she decides to stop?
     
  2. shelleyb1969

    shelleyb1969 Star Bright Farm

    It can go on for weeks. They're very persistent when they go broody...they REALLY want to be mommas. [​IMG] If you really want to try and break her, you can put her in a wire cage for a few days...sometimes that works. But if you don't need her eggs for eating and she's really not bothering you, just leave her be. In time, she'll give up.
     
  3. crazy chook

    crazy chook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Langwarrin, Victoria
    You could always buy her some fertile eggs otherwise I would try locking her out of the nest, she could sit there for weeks if you don't break her broodyness. [​IMG]
     
  4. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    We took her real egg out from under her too...she is sitting on nothing but straw. What if I just leave her in there? Will she make a big poopy mess in the nest box? What if I got a fertilized egg and stuck it under her? Will she raise the chick? If I put her in a cage...how long will it take for her to break the broodiness? How long for an egg to hatch we we stick an egg under her? What if she decides half way thru she doesn't want to sit on the egg anymore and the chick hasn't hatched?
     
  5. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    It has been 3 days since our Bantam Cochin decided to sit in the nest box. The first day she laid an egg...no egg yesterday and no egg today. Is that normal? We keep taking her out of the nest box and putting her in the run with the other chickens. As soon as we turn away she slips back in the the coop and back into the nest box. Is no eggs normal behavior?
     
  6. OaklandChickens

    OaklandChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2009
    Now here's a problem I can relate to! We have a very sweet but VERY broody little bantam cochin (along with two other hens, and no rooster). The first time she went broody, at first we just let her be. It never mattered to her that she was sitting on nothing most of the time! Then after a week or so we started keeping her out of the coop all day if we were home and could let everyone range in the yard, but let her in at night - and she'd spend most of those days sitting on top of or near the coop, looking kind of depressed. This went on for weeks, but we still figured she'd snap out of it in time. Well, after 7+ weeks, I was getting pretty sure she was going to brood to death (which I've read of happening in this forum!), so finally we put together a little makeshift "broody-busting" cage out of stuff we had around - big enough for her to walk around and do a little wing flapping but not much else. Plenty of air-circulation. I've read of people using those metal dog-crates for this - they'd be perfect. We put a 3" thick branch on the floor for her to perch on. We made sure she always had food and water and gave her lots of greens and other special treats. After just a few days of this she was ready to rejoin the gang in "normal" chicken activities. But she was a wreck - over the 8 weeks she'd lost a lot of weight, her comb was all droopy and pale, feathers were missing - and that was with me giving her all sorts of special snacks (cooked millet, oatmeal) to keep her fed and hydrated. It was a couple weeks before she looked herself, and started laying eggs, again.

    So the next time she started showing signs (3 weeks after the first spell ended!!!), we immediately put her in the cage, and after just 2 or 3 days/nights of this she was completely "normal" again. She doesn't seem to mind the captivity at all after the first half hour or so. We keep her cage in the shade in the yard with the other chickens during the day, occasionally letting her out to run around and dust-bathe so long as she doesn't just make a bee-line to sit on top of the closed-up coop, and we put the cage in the basement of the house at night to protect from predators. We are really hoping she doesn't do this every three weeks for the rest of her life!!

    My advice would be to take charge of the situation sooner rather than later - it was a miserable couple of months just watching her being insane and wasting away. Wish we could let her have some fertile eggs, but we're pretty much maxed out at our three girls in our urban locale, plus we can't have roosters which we'd be bound to get at least one of!

    Good luck!
     
  7. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    So, it sounds like I should get a dog crate and leave her in there until she breaks her broodiness. Unfortunately, I can't free range because the tree in my neighbors yard has at least one that we know of, perhaps two hawks nests. It only takes a few minutes for our chickens to be out scratching around when the hawks start making a circle over our yard. If you look on my BYC page, in the pix of our coop, the tall leafy tree in the background is the one with the hawks. So, my chickens have to stay in the run. I can't lock them out of the coop because they need to go in and lay their eggs and we keep the food in there.

    I could put a dog crate in the run and she could stay in there. What about at night? Leave her in the dog crate all alone outside in the run? If they are broody will they not lay eggs?

    UPDATE: What do you think of the broody breaking box? I feel horrible sticking her in there. She is going peep, peep, peep...and looking for a way out. I hope she can get out of there soon. She has been up on the roost bar and she has food and water. When she lays an egg does it mean she is out of broodiness?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2010
  8. OaklandChickens

    OaklandChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Another tip people have said was to get the crate off the ground so more air circulates under her - I think there's something about a raised body temperature that goes along with brooding, and anything that cools them off is good - if you're trying to stop them. (which also may explain why dunking their bellies in a tub of cold water may do some good - didn't for me though) Check out her tummy if you can - ours plucks out her tummy feathers early on the process, which allows more body heat to reach her non-existent eggs more directly. It's yicky - but may help motivate you to keep her caged up! Also make sure she can't comfortably settle into brooding position. She'll get over her agitation pretty soon if the pattern our cochin has shown is the same for yours. Then she just hangs out and waits for treats to come her way. I don't feel guilty at all anymore when I put mine in her jail! If there's room in the run and you could set the crate up on some bricks she'll be fine there. At night I'd put it back in the coop so long as you can get it off the ground a little. Otherwise some other hawk- and raccoon-proof place. I don't love putting mine in the basement at night (with newspapers underneath to catch the droppings), but our coop is very tiny and she'd be vulnerable in the run so I have no choice.

    It seems to take about a week or so after the broody spell stops before the eggs start coming out again. The pattern with ours is to lay furiously for the week before she goes - like almost one a day - and she lays one last one just as the signs of craziness are starting. Then once she's back to her old self again, about a week later she starts with the eggs again. You'll only know she's recovered if you let her out and she just goes about normal life instead of running to the nest box, or doing that maniacal non-stop clucking, or puffing up and flapping and spinning around, or throwing grass and sticks on her back (?!), or any of the other bizarre behaviors that seem to go along with being broody.

    This is a chicken that was just meant to hatch eggs apparently. They're supposed to be excellent egg-hatchers and mothers. Wish I could let her. I believe chicken eggs take 21 days to hatch, so I thought that's how long the brooding would go if we just let her be, but whether it's because of the breed or just our particular chicken that sure wasn't the case.
     
  9. OaklandChickens

    OaklandChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    The crate looks perfect, btw, and that's a nice-looking coop. Did you build it yourselves?
     
  10. nancy1zak

    nancy1zak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 27, 2008
    Morris County, NJ
    I will set her out in the run tomorrow up on some bricks. I just didn't want to leave her there overnight. She wasn't doing any of the craziness you talked about. She was being really quiet. When we would go near her she would puff up her feathers and go peep,peep,peep. We were all trying to carry her around, but as soon as we put her back in the run she snuck off to the nest box again. Maybe I could put a bottle of frozen water in with her to cool her down? She is just so sweet...she'd make a great mama. I will see how she does on Monday with time out of jail. We did not make the coop. The Amish make them. Wish we were that handy. I am hoping my little chicken gets back to normal soon. Thx for all the great help!
     

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