broody epidemic

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lkm24, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. lkm24

    lkm24 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2008
    Hi all!

    At least four of my 12 Chantecler hens have gone broody on me. I've read many (very fine) posts here about breaking broody hens. Thanks to advice from you folks, we have a wire broody box, and we've used it a couple of times. It worked both times, but it's such a torture for the poor hen. Last time I used it the hen actually cut herself on the chicken wire trying to get out.

    I feel sorry for the ones who stay broody too. One hen has lost weight, and all four have completely naked chests and don't eat well.

    I'm wondering if anyone has experience with controlling mass broodiness besides the intensive hen-by-hen imprisonment system.

    Or... do some people just let multiple hens go broody and find that that's okay? One problem with that approach: I only have four nest boxes, and now the non-broodies have to fight to find a place to lay. They're doubling and tripling up in boxes.

    One more question: Is this seasonal? Are they sensing (accurately) that this is a good time to brood? I wish I wanted chicks, but we just don't have the time for that at the moment! These Chanteclers seem like natural moms!

    Thanks so much for your help!
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2008
    The broody streak is triggered more by the increasing light of the day than by tempature. However, I have two hens that will brood almost year 'round.
    Breaking up a broody hen is almost impossible without the wire bottom cage elivated off the ground. I have found no other successful approach other than buying hens that have had most of that trait breed out.

    Losing weight and bare chest is perfectly normal during the broody cycle. The bareness help warm the eggs to the correct tempature.
    As far as feeding goes I always remove broody hens from the nest in the morning when I feed to ensure the get to eat their fair share otherwise the rest of the little pigs [​IMG] eat it all and I do the same in the evening. The simply do not each as much as normal while broody and this is completly normal. They will not starve theirself.

    I just put up with the broodiness in my bantams, the standard breeds run them out of the nest box when they want to lay. I do break up my standards if they go broody but fortunately I don't have that issue too often.

    Hope this helps.
  3. Lucky Ducky

    Lucky Ducky Chillin' With My Peeps

    We've got 1 hen that just hatched out 8 babies, 1 more hen that should hatch out next weekend, and yet another hen that has decide to set in the last few days. Two more hens are laying eggs in hiding spots and both of those have been known to go broody at the drop if a hat. One of those two has hatched out 2 back to back sets of 10. You get rid of her babies when they're 3 or 4 months old and BAM she's setting again!!! [​IMG] Plus, I've got 12 eggs in the incubator! [​IMG] 25 chicks coming next week, 35 chicks coming the 1st week of April and 9 chicks and 5 ducklings after Easter!!! [​IMG] What am I going to do with all these extras the girls are hatching out, none are pure bred? [​IMG] Oh well, it's all good! [​IMG]
  4. riderbecky

    riderbecky Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    Ottawa Valley
    have you seen this site? The author of this article and many others on this site is am I. I can only hope to get a broody or two this year and I've also included partridge chanteclers and slikies in my order from the hatchery. Hopefully I'll have lots of mama chickens doing what they do best.
    So to answer your quesion...yes chanteclers go broody as do many heritage breeds.

    You don't elaborate why you don't want to allow your broodies to do their job. Is it because you don't have space for more chickens? or that you think a broody will be time consuming?

    I hope you read the above article and others on that site. I found it very informative and now I'm excited about the idea of having broodies with a their chicks ranging about the property.

    Please don't think that I'm criticising your choice as thats not my intention. I only want to give you and others who'll read this thread options.

    Good Luck
  5. flakey chick

    flakey chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2007
    You can get vinyl coated hardware cloth that is a bit easier on them. Also you could separate them and let them go broody. If you don't want to hatch more chicks, you could give them golf balls or wooden eggs.
  6. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Where do you live? I want chantecler hens!!!
  7. lilbreeches

    lilbreeches Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2009
    Delight, AR
    I want broodies!!!!!!!!!!!!! [​IMG]
  8. lkm24

    lkm24 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 10, 2008
    Thanks everyone - I always find the responses here really helpful!

    I do want these hens to be moms, but we don't have either the space or the time right now for a new batch. Plus we have more eggs than we need! But when we do need new chicks, maybe next year, we'll just let the mamas do their thing.

    I really like the Chanteclers. I live on a mountain in the Western Catskills where it is very cold and snowy, and these gals have been laying all winter. The minute there's a tiny break in the chill they go rushing outside and forage all day. Very happy birds!
    We have a very well-insulated but unheated coop, and they seem to have no problem, despite down to -20 and gale-force winds.
  9. abluechipstock

    abluechipstock Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 13, 2009
    fort ashby, wv
    i love broody hens, take advantage and start putting eggs under them, sell the chicks

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