Broody hen hogging the nest

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3riverschick, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hi,
    I have 4 pullets and one hen in the egg flock. And a cockerel. The hen is always going broody. She is broody now and hogging the only nest box. One of the pullets is laying on the coop floor. I made a nest for her in the corner but she isn't using it. My question. The other pullets were laying but stopped when we had a sudden 3 day warming streak here last month in western PA, USA. Went from 30's to about 60.
    She is laying her own eggs but take them out every day over her protests.
    What about the other 3 pullets? Have they stopped laying because they can't get in the nest? There is room for 2 hens there because last year the hen sat eggs and her 1/2 sister kept her company during that time in the nest. Why aren't the other 3 pullets laying? Since it got cold again, they haven't laid at all in 3-4 weeks. They were bred to be winter layers ( hatched April 2012) from a winter layer strain from a cold climate. This weather shouldn't be bothering them. They get 22% crumble with granite grit and water.
    If you look at them, they look like they are laying bright eyes, red comb and etc. No one seems sick and they are eating well.
    Any ideas? If this a flock order thing... or?
    Thanks
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  2. maxpedley

    maxpedley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sometimes broodys can put of other hens from laying. The best thing to do is remove the broody whenever you get the chance and hope this gets through to her and eventually breaks the cycle.
     
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Nuts, all I have to do is walk out there day or night and there she is...sitting...sigh.
    I will have to put her in a cage in the coop or something.
    Thanks,
    Karen
     
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Some broodys can be pretty darn mean, and younger birds especially will be scared to try and lay in the same nest. Are you getting any other floor eggs, or is there any other place they could be hiding eggs or could they be eating them? Sounds like you need a broody breaker cage. Were the younger birds hatched in 2012 or 2013? Do you have added light?
     
  5. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hi Kelsie2290,
    Thanks for responding. Only getting the one floor egg from the one pullet. I check carefully every time I collect eggs.
    No eggs being hidden in coop or yard. The younger birds were all hatched at different times in April 2012. The broody
    hen was hatched in March 2012. She has always been extra broody. Last Spring in Feb./March she brooded and
    raised 3 chicks in this same coop. I collect the eggs the broody hen lays because she will lay four while brooding
    and then stop until they hatch. I don't want her doing that, so I collect them. I have the 60 watt light on 24/7
    to keep the cockerels comb from frostbite.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Did your younger girls molt in the fall and come back into lay then quit again? If they haven't yet, if your younger girls were hatched in 2012, @ 20 months they are at a prime age for molting, that could be part of the problem.
    Have you ever tried to break a broody with a cage or something? It usually goes a lot faster (and they come back into lay faster) than if you just try to wait them out ...
     

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