Broody Bantam in Nesting box with a TWIST

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by arizonachickie, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. arizonachickie

    arizonachickie Hatching

    Aug 20, 2016
    Our Molly, a 1 year old brahma bantam has just gone broody a second time in past 4 months. The past week, the chick, May, the only chick she hatched and raised as a surrogate mom has suddenly decided she wants to nest with her...they are inseparable right now in the nesting box but I do know this is May, who is the attached one. Molly is just doing her thing and May is bugging. Normally May is running around outside enjoying herself. She's only 4 months old...I've been doing my best to keep them both out of the coop during the day, because we don't want chicks right now, but just checked this evening and they are both in the nesting box, laying on zero eggs when usually they roost with the others. Any advice? I don't see any reason why this would happen as the other 2 hens and bantam rooster are not being vicious and there's plenty of room to roam. Thanks!
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    Pull the older chick / juvenile out and break its bond with the broody mother. That young bird may prove to be a mortal threat to chicks when they hatch and the mother will do nothing to stop attacks against the hatchlings. Problem is young bird is not going through broody process that promotes imprinting with new brood. The imprinting process also shuts down aggression towards chicks. If you can prevent complications for a couple days post hatch then you might be able to have older juvenile hang with brood although it will not facilitate chicks finding food and might compete with them for space under hen.

    i have seen this most frequently when previous brood has only one chick. For some reason the hen sometimes does not break bond with chicks when she commits to brooding subsequent clutch. I think the oddness of the arrange is a function of the chick rather than the mother.
  3. arizonachickie

    arizonachickie Hatching

    Aug 20, 2016
    Thanks so much for your reply! :) Guess I didn't explain too well that May is not really a chick anymore, 4 month old pullet and she's the same size as mom, Molly and squeezed in the nesting box together...don't want more chicks at this time so we are collecting eggs each day. I'm trying to force the two out in the run as much as possible because they will both stay in the nesting box all day like it's all just dandy!
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I think centrarchid did understand that the younger bird/chick was 4mo.

    If you don't want the broody to hatch eggs, I'd break her broodiness using a broody crate.
    That may also help break the bond with her 4mo and 'force' that 4mo to merge more with the flock.

    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 couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) 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.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.

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