Broody chicken! Need help!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RAPmom, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. RAPmom

    RAPmom Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 10, 2012
    Reno, nv
    One of my buff orphingtons decided to go broody. She has been in a nesting box for over 5 weeks. The other hens would squish in there with her and lay eggs practically on top of her rather than go to the other box! So, I had been taking the eggs away, throwing them away mostly. I decided to bring her in[​IMG] because I don't think she is going to stop till she succeeds. I think these eggs are only a day old, as I was taking them away. My question is this. It's chilly here, about 40 degrees, but I'm unsure how she will poop? I have her in my mud room, should I put her outside in her carrier during the day? The reason I didn't leave her in the nesting box is because its tilted, a couple of my chickens like to eat the eggs. So we have tilted nesting boxes with catches. She would snug up against the catch trying to keep eggs warm. I moved her into a flat box and she would just go back. So, to sum it up, how will she poop?
    Thank you?
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Wherever you keep her, you need to provide an area for her to leave her nest. It doesn't take a lot of room but it does take some.

    As long as you collect them daily after they have all laid you can eat the eggs she sits on, whether they are fertile or not. Fertile eggs won't develop enough during the day to cause any problems eating them. The heat from her sitting on them for one day is not going tocause any problems at all to any of them, fertile or not.

    If you decide to let her hatch eggs, she obviously can't do that with the flock since you have some egg eaters. You would need to provide a place she could be isolated from them yet be safe from predators. It doesn't have to be big, just enough room for a nest, her own food and water, and a place to poop. Many people use a dog crate, a cat carrier, or about anything else and fence in a small covered area. if your coop is big enough it can be in there.

    There is no telling how long she will remain broody if you just let her go. Here is a thread on breaking a broody. The only method I've ever used is the raised cage method. The idea is to put her in a small place that has nothing that looks like a nest and has a wire bottom. Keep her there for maybe three or four days an give her food and water. The wire bottom allows her bottom to cool off. Some broodies are harder to break than others but I've never had one go over four days in my broody buster.

    Break a Broody Thread
    1 person likes this.
  3. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    Ridgerunner has given you some excellent advice, but I figured I'd add my two cents anyway.
    My broodies do their business inside the coop with the flock. They ALWAYS start off in the nest box (the most popular nest box, I might add). I usually give them a few days to get settled on and attached to their eggs (depending upon how much havoc they're causing within the flock, some broodies are push overs, some are tough as nails!). Then, I move them to a large bird cage on the coop floor. The cage is something like 2ft wide x 3ft long, just enough room for a nest, food and water and a place to eliminate. I put a price of plywood on top to keep her from getting pooped on. After a few days in the cage, I take the door off so she can come and go as she pleases. The fact that the cage is on the floor deters other chickens from laying there (unless another goes broody, but that's another story). Occasionally they go in after the food, usually at this point I remove it since she can go to the feeder anyway. If she tries to get back to the old nest, just put the door back on. I've had some I couldn't leave the door off for, so I used a kitty litter scoop to sift the shavings everyday. No big deal, since they only go once a day anyway.
    I put the door back and food back in on day 18. That way the food is available when the chicks hatch and mom doesn't have other chickens pestering her over food while she's tending to new babies. About 3 or 4 days after hatch, the door comes back off again so everyone can mingle with the flock.
    I usually use this one specific cage, but in the case of multiple broodies I've used 5 gallon buckets turned on their side, milk crates and rubbermaid totes. I, personally, prefer to do it this way since I don't have the fuss of reintroducing the hen and chicks later on, which can be sketchy with small babies anyway.
    Good luck, my BOs were always great mothers!
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
  4. RAPmom

    RAPmom Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 10, 2012
    Reno, nv
    Ok, so maybe I should put her back in the coop? She is in a medium dog kennel, with a door.
    Thanks for the advice, she is one of those tough as nails, she is the first chicken I got, her and her sister, so I am excited. I am at compacity with chickens, so I have to find homes or expand (I want to expand).
    Thank you again!

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