Broody hen out too long?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by 4Kids 8Chicks, Aug 4, 2014.

  1. 4Kids 8Chicks

    4Kids 8Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2013
    St. Paul, MN
    We had a Buff Orpington constantly going broody on us since the beginning of spring. Finally I quarantined her into a rabbit cage, gave her food and water and have been waiting for her to lay an egg to know she's "broken".... Well no egg after 10 days! I looked out today and the yard looks like it snowed, her feathers are EVERYWHERE!! I took her out and put her back with the other girls and they brutally attacked her. Could she have been out too long? Not sure what to make of all of this. Any help would be appreciated!! I have her in the coop now alone and the others in a separated run. I'm a little afraid of what it may look like when I put them all back together. [​IMG]
     
  2. hxgumdrop

    hxgumdrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Bristol, England
    sounds like she had her molt. to break her you need to put her in a wire bottom box so that its cold on her bottom and then she will start laying again, depending on the hen depends how long this will take. When ever iv put my seperated hens back into the coop iv done so at night time, chickens never forget a face but when a chicken leaves and returns they need to redo their pecking order but the extent is lowered when they go in at night as the chickens forget the hen wasnt there when they went to bed. make sure there is places she can get away from bullying hens like up higher and pleanty of feeders and waterers
     
  3. 4Kids 8Chicks

    4Kids 8Chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 7, 2013
    St. Paul, MN
    Thanks so much. I'll try taking her out and then putting her in at night. Do you mean while they molt they don't lay too? These are last years chicks so I haven't gone through a molt yet. Also could she have started molting early because of stress in the broody pen?
     
  4. hxgumdrop

    hxgumdrop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Bristol, England
    Sometimes molting dows stop them laying as well again every hen is different so it just depends on her she will bounce back, it could be stress but it is that time of year...although mine are now a yeah and a half and still havent had their molt which is strange! my chicks are loosing their baby feathers though so there are pleanty of feathers floating about!
     
  5. sbhkma

    sbhkma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Actually, in my experience waiting until they start laying again from being broody is too long. If you put them in a broody cage right next to where the other chickens are (in my case, next to the AC units & sage bushes since they free range and that's there favorite hangout) then she stays "with" the flock yet can't sit on the nest. Usually after about 4 days of this, the hen gets "over it". But she won't start laying eggs again for another couple weeks or longer, so that's really too long. After 4 days, put her back with the flock. If she hauls butt to the nest and sits, she's not broken yet. Give her a couple more days in the broody cage and try again.
    In your case, it sounds like on top of being broody she's moulting. BUT is she naked all over or just her breast/belly area? One of my cuckoo marans pulled every single feather from her breast / belly. She looked awful! I'd put her in a cage right next to the coop/run, give it about 4 days and try to introduce her. Again, watch to see if she's running to the nest or if the other pick on her. Being right next to them so they can see, smell and hear each other will help with the reintroduction.
     

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