Broody Chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by drelleng, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. drelleng

    drelleng Chirping

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    I have a 1 year old Wyandotte that has gone broody. I have her separated from the rest of the flock. She is in a wired cage that is 6 foot high and 10 x 20 feet, with food, water and lots of snacks. Is that too large of an area for containment? My other option is a large dog kennel. Also how do I know when she can be let back with the rest of the flock? Thank you for your help.
     
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  2. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    Is the cage up off the ground...where air can get under her?

    As long as there is no bedding in it, I'm guessing size doesn't matter. :hmm

    I bet @aart can give you better advice though.
     
  3. annaBsChick

    annaBsChick Songster

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    Why did you have to separate her in the first place? When my hens go broody I just let them be.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.

    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? Both for more chickens and she may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It's a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread


    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.

    My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

    I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(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. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.

    Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
    upload_2019-6-25_21-1-57.png
     
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  5. drelleng

    drelleng Chirping

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    Oh, OK - interesting. She insisted on laying in the most popular nest box and the other chickens had to go elsewhere which stressed them out. I have 2 other nest boxes available but the girls are in the habit of only using the one.
     
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  6. drelleng

    drelleng Chirping

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    I do have a kennel inside the large cage that does have bedding so I'm guessing I need to remove the bedding?
     
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  7. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    If you are trying to break her...yes.
     
  8. drelleng

    drelleng Chirping

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    OK Great, thank you - will give that program a try. Would rather not go the fertile egg route - not really set up to deal with chicks. Will let you know how it goes.
     
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  9. drelleng

    drelleng Chirping

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    Makes sense, thanks
     
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  10. drelleng

    drelleng Chirping

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    So let Maude out tonight, she hooked up with Mabel right away (her paired Wyandotte), they ate together, tootled around looking for bugs then both went up in the roosting area (Yeah!). So it took her 4 days of isolation. Apparently the larger cage was OK. Thank you to you both for your input. This was my first broody chicken and I appreciated the help!
     
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