BROODY BIDDY? Please advise me! Pretty please?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Astrid, Jul 13, 2008.

  1. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've got four hens, 2 barred rocks and 2 buff orpingtons. No roosters. They're more pets than anything, but do produce eggs for us and are so much fun to have! We've had them for a year, since they were pullets, and I ADORE them!

    So for the last couple of days one of my buffs is exhibiting weird behavior. She hangs out in the nesting box, feathers all puffed out, squawking and clucking. When I take her out, she doesn't stand right away, just kind of plops down where I put her. Then she stands up, shakes out her feathers, walks around, drinks, eats, and goes outside in the run with the other girls hoping for a treat. When she's around the others, most of the time she puffs herself out like a big Tom Turkey, wings out and down, feathers standing up, tail fanned out. She'll charge them, too, on occasion, which is new-- they all got along perfectly well before the last week. She's not laying, and she's not sitting on anything. In fact, production is down among the whole flock, which is odd because they were laying like crazy a week or so ago. She constantly clucks, and will run back to the nesting box and climb right back in. Oh, and she is doing a LOT of grooming, suddenly. In fact, she seems to have pulled a lot of the soft downy feathers out of her lower abdomen, like right where she'd sit on the eggs.

    I'm not that worried because she's eating and drinking and her color is fine. But if it is broodiness, how can I stop it? Or should I stop it? I really don't want this to go on for months!
     
  2. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

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    I don't know how to stop it,, but what if you gave her a couple of eggs to sit on for awhile?
     
  3. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

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    I've heard of a couple of different methods to break a broody (haven't had to yet with my pre-laying girls):

    1 - Give her ice cubes to "hatch".
    2 - Make her next box off limits (if practical for the other chickens).
    3 - Take her out of the next box and hold her. Walk around the yard/property with her for 10-15 mins, as often as you can.

    Good luck!
     
  4. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    If she's truly gone broody the solution that seems to work best (according to people here) is to put her in a wire cage (like a dog crate that's made of wire) with NO nesting materials -only food and water. It seems to take a few days but will usually break them of being broody.

    Your girl doesn't sound like she's totally in a broody mode yet since she isn't sitting tight on the nest. But? Maybe that is because you have continued to remover her? Some people have been able to break a broody by going in continually and removing her from the nest but that doesn't seem to work as often as the above.
     
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 3 hens broody at the same time a couple of weeks ago. What a pain! (Bless their hearts) I think broodiness is contagious!

    All of the above ideas are good ones. If you try the ice cubes, put them in a ziploc baggie. I've also heard that you can dip them in a pail of cold water to lower their body temperature. I tried that. It didn't work for mine, but it didn't hurt anything either, and they seemed to enjoy it. It's very hot here!

    What I do mostly is keep removing them from the nest, and get them doing something else. Scratching for birdseed with the other girls, dustbathing, etc.

    Additionally, make sure that she is blocked out of the nestbox at night. Don't let her sleep in there. Put her on the roost. Repeatedly, if necessary.

    Even if you try all these things, it may still take a while to break her of the broodiness. It took me at least a week to get all of my hens back to normal.

    Good Luck!
     
  6. Astrid

    Astrid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, if I use a wire dog crate, do I put her right on the wire slats, or do I use the pan that goes in the bottom? I don't see how she could stand up on the wire slats, and even so, the wood shavings would just come up through the slats so she'd think she was sitting on the shavings that are on the floor of the coop.

    So do I use the pan or not?
     
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Astrid asked:
    So do I use the pan or not?

    That's a good question. I've never heard anyone talking about it. I do know that it's hard on chickens feet to be on wire so if it were me I'd probably keep the pan in there.

    I hope someone who's done this with success will chime in here - I'd like to hear from them also.​
     

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