Broody Breaker questions

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Thechickymama, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. Thechickymama

    Thechickymama Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2014
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    I am a new chicken Momma with my oldest girls being 40 weeks. I have 2 silkies that are 30 weeks old. Last week, I noticed my Silkie Ruby spending all her time in the nesting box. Being new to all of this it took several days for me to figure out that she was broody and a few more to figure out that removing her 50 times a day was not going to break her. [​IMG]

    I set up a cage and got her in and all was going well until her sister, Fluff, went broody the next day. I plopped her in the cage with Ruby as soon as I noticed her behavior. I have tried reading but haven't been able to find the answer to my question:

    Can 2 broody hens be placed in the same broody breaker?


    And a second question- Can they be let out into the yard to free range if they do not have access to the nesting boxes or should they strictly be in the cage?


    Thanks in advance for the help. I always learn so much here.[​IMG]
     
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi there!

    Yes, two broody hens can go in the same cage, and they will still be broken over a period of a few days. Apparently, misery loves company!

    I usually keep my broody in the cage for an initial 48 hours without letting her out. After that, each morning and evening I let her out for a walk to stretch her legs and dust bathe for half an hour, but I block access to the coop (and the nest boxes) while she is doing it.

    Gradually, each day I let her out for a little longer, providing she steers clear of the nesting boxes. I have had some girls broken in 4 days, but in super-hot weather it takes a lot longer.

    My current broody has been in the buster cage for 7 days and nights. Interestingly, she now puts herself to bed in the buster cage after her walk in the evening! It was suggested to me that she might no longer be broody, but every time I let her out of the cage she runs for the nest, jumps in, puffs up, growls and pecks at me. I think she just feels safe in the cage, and it gives her alone time.

    Here is a picture of our set-up:-

    [​IMG]

    Good luck with your girl!

    - Krista
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I used a wire crate very similar to kristas.

    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 few bricks right in the coop and I would feed her some watered down crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day 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.
     
  4. Thechickymama

    Thechickymama Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2014
    Los Angeles, California
    Thank you for your replies.
    Prior to the cage, if we took Ruby out of the nest box she would rush to the food and water, eat, drink, poop and head directly back to the nest. Now that she has food and water available in the cage, she goes directly to the nesting boxes within seconds of being let out.
    If she is put out of the run she puffs up for a few minutes and clucks and tweets. Once she settles down she has a good time free ranging and acts like all is ok. Even for several hours. The second the run door is open she heads for the nests. She will not be easy to break.

    I have my cage set up very much like the picture so I think I am headed in the right direction.


    An interesting thing that we have noticed, Our dog has never minded the chickens. They free range and she lounges in the yard like they are all friends. Ever since the girls have gone broody, our dog is going nuts! She is standing at the run fence barking, jumping and prancing around. And if they are doing the twirly tweet noises it drives her crazy. And only the 2 broodies. Anyone else notice this?

    Thanks!
     
  5. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Some girls take longer to break than others. Most of mine took only a few days, but this latest one - 9 days in the cage all up. Tonight she tried to go for the nests, but I had blocked them off in advance. Reluctantly, she went up to roost. This is progress! If I block the nests overnight for the next few days we should get her back to normal.

    Unfortunately I now have to get up at the crack of dawn to re-open the nests for the others, and keep an eye on her to make sure she doesn't make a run for them! At some point she will resume laying again and I will have to trust her to use the nest boxes responsibly, ha ha!

    I don't have a dog so I can't comment on the effect of the broody hen on them. I do know that broody hens are fierce creatures and even my rooster George steers clear of the broody hens! A broody hen has no friends, other than the nest box and her imaginary babies, lol.

    - Krista
     
  6. Thechickymama

    Thechickymama Out Of The Brooder

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    May 23, 2014
    Los Angeles, California
    We had success last night with both girls going to roost. They might have gone the night before but we weren't home to make sure so we left them in the cage to be safe. Thanks for all the help and advice.
     
  7. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had 2 girls go broody on me this fall. I had success breaking them quickly and easily by merely excluding them from the nest area/coop altogether. It only took about 3 days each. Every morning I would grab them off the nest and put them onside the coop/run with the rest of the girls and close the door. Without a cozy nest to go back to, they were forced to wander around with the flock. Every evening I put them on the roost and made sure they stayed there. At first light they would go back to the nest, but I'd grab them as soon as I got up to eject them and it only took a few days for them to get the message.

    I was glad I didn't end up needed to crate them as I've seen other people do. I don't really have anything I could use for that and wasn't looking forward to building anything so it was great that they broke quickly and easily for me.

    Good luck with yours!
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    @mortie Where did the rest of your flock lay of the nests were inaccessible?
     
  9. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, I excluded the offenders and kept the rest inside until they had laid their eggs (about noon) and then locked them all out for the rest of the day. I didn't have any problems with anyone getting into any bad laying habits over the 3-4 days it took to break the broodies.
     

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