Broody hen - giving up or normal??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    My first broody hen (not counting the meatie, which was just weird) is on day 18 - 10 days on eggs that weren't any good for some reason, & 8 days on her second batch.

    She is in a large dog crate. She has plenty of room to move around in the crate and food and water right in front of her. She has to be locked in her crate when I'm not out there to supervise, because the other birds in the coop, being young like her will go in her nest and tear things apart otherwise. Especially the meaties, who are totally clueless.

    Every day for the past 18 days I've had to force the broody off the nest and then keep an eye on things. At first she fought me tooth and nail, but then she got to where she just squawked a bit, but after a few minutes would run out of the coop and take care of business before heading back to her nest. I observed that she would stay off the nest longer on warmer days, less time on cold days.

    This past week it was unusually cold, with snow. Today all of a sudden, the snow has melted and the thermometer on the porch reads 65 degrees.

    When I went to the coop to let the broody out for her daily constitutional, I was surprised (and a little worried) to see her anxious to get out. She climbed off her nest and started pacing at the door. She stayed off the nest longer than ever before, approx. 35 minutes, she took a dustbath, ate and drank multiple times. She also did a new behavior - scratching at the ground and clucking the way a rooster clucks when he has something good for the girls to eat. She still refused to have anything to do with the rooster and she made that quite clear to him.

    So, is she giving up? Or is she finally acting like a "normal" broody?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Sounds to me like she's being a combination of a broody and a mama, clucking to show her babies where the food is. I used to have a broody who always did her daily thing when I went out to the coop in the morning, so I got to observe this regularly. It wasn't unusual for her to stay gone half an hour (I didn't have a watch, though) and I wondered if the eggs would hatch. They did, right on time, at least all the non-rotten ones.
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Thanks Dawn. [​IMG]

    I did think that her scratching and clucking behavior was practice for showing her chicks where the food is.

    You've made me feel better.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My broody BO spent as much as an hour off the nest when she was brooding, but that WAS in summer when I think the danged weather could have incubated eggs.... But she would take advantage of the time for a nice long dust bath in addition to the eating/pooping/drinking bit.

    I think it's perfectly normal behavior for a broody when the weather is nice.
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Thanks Linda [​IMG]
     
  6. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    I'm assuming 65 is fahrenheit? LOL I read in celsius [​IMG] My broody silkie got off the nest for about 45 minutes every day until today (they are due today!!!!) as it is SO hot here....the equivalent to about 86 fahrenheit (using google---tell me if i'm wrong) and i just candled they all seem fine [​IMG] You should have nothing to worry about!
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Thanks [​IMG] Yes, farenheit. I went to school during the era when they tried teaching us metric. It didn't go over well and I never did learn it. [​IMG]
     
  8. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    Aaah, but you live in America! The last time I went to America some guy tried to convince me to eat at an unnamed buffet close to the Disneyland resort. [​IMG] To use your own words:

    "It didn't go over well" [​IMG]
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:[​IMG]

    My other favorite saying...it went over like a lead balloon? [​IMG]
     
  10. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    Oh, much MUCH worse. [​IMG] For one thing, which you may be at a liability to read, the restaurant had a serve it yourself icecream machine... ... ... you get the idea.
    And another "America" memory is being in a hotel spa and watching kids playing in the pool. Suddenly they all rushed out like fleas when you bomb them. I didn't realise why until my sister pulled me out and rushed me back to our room. Apparently, some kid barfed in the water, explaining why I was the last and only one there [​IMG]
     

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