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Bird momma of 5

In the Brooder
Dec 5, 2017
Southern MD, on the Bay
I am not sure if this is the forum of choice, but with a Roo sick (most likely Marecks), red flags are up with all the hens. My BO - Fergie (a.k.a. Tubby) I believe has gone broody. My DH is a freak over checking her poo. She went from a good size to this green "stuff". Not slimy or anything. She will do whatever it takes to get to the nesting box (which I've closed off). She's not eating nearly as much as usual, in fact if she isn't "lock out" she wont eat. Here is the question, I opened the nesting box for my Plymoth Rocks (James Dean (yes she turned out to be a hen) and Shiest-er (also a hen - who has majored in escaping the run) to lay (FYI, by silkie (Zsa Zsa) will drop an egg anywhere) Fergie didn't even try to hijack the other hens egg, she simply would not move her big butt out of the nesting box until removed. Is this still broody? Will they "walk and complain"?
We are still in our 1st year of having chickens, every season comes with something new.
A broody on a nest will flatten out her posture like a pancake, and often screech or growl if you put your hand near. (Possibly even peck at you). Some will remain in this posture even when placed out of the nest and on the ground.

They will poo about 1-2 times a day, but it tends to be a big smelly pile, all at once, because they "hold it" most of the day.

Broody hens will mostly stay on their nest, but when they do leave, they will make a constant sound of short clucks, like a clock, ticking down the time she has to get back to the nest. Some may steal eggs and roll them into their clutch if it is nearby. Other times your non-setting hens will purposely lay in the broody clutch nest, or sometimes not. Some hens see it as an opportunity.

A broody will stay on the nest night and day, and really only leave very quickly to eat, drink, and poo, but at minimal time.

To break them(make them stop being broody) the owner can physically remove them from the nest frequently, or even place them in a wire cage with food and water, but no nest material. Some break easier than others. If they haven't been broody for long, the hormone levels haven't become high yet. Most only take a few days, but some take longer, especially if they've gone for a while.

It's up to you on what you want to do. If you have a place to separate her from the flock, that would be ideal. I've had Broody hens hatch chicks before, a few occasionally get killed by other hens in the flock. When I separated my broody, I had zero losses. Of course, sometimes moving them breaks their broody habits. But breaking her might be what you want to do.

Either way, I wish you good luck

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