Broody i think? What to do now?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RedKell, Sep 25, 2016.

  1. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    Hi all.
    I have a mixed flock of 6 hens. 4 Isa Browns and 2 unidentifed white ones!
    One of the white ones, 'Fancy Pants' is a different breed, with lots of feathers that go all down her legs. The other hens have never liked her, she gets bullied a little, and is always apart from the flock.
    Lately she wont come out of the nest box. Everytime I go in the coop she is in there, and she gets very irate when I move her out! As soon as I do get her out the others chase her now [​IMG] The others must be bullying her into leaving sometimes though, as there are still eggs apperaing in there (it's their favorite box).
    I think she has gone broody, as she puffs up and gets cranky when I go near her, but I'm not sure. Never had a broody before.
    Do I try to break her (however I've been kicking her out a few times a day and it's not helping) or do I get her eggs? I'm tempted to get Fancy some eggs to hatch, but can't find any in my town. Also will having chicks help with her social standing, or make it worse?
    I just want what is best for her, so any advice would be great [​IMG]
     
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    a broody chicken is one that won't leave the nest box, and puffs up when you try to get eggs from under her.
    she is probably the lowest in the pecking order, which is why the others are bullying her.

    if you do want her to brood, move her into another run, or somewhere where there is shelter, food, water, and the other hens can't get in.
     
  3. rachcake

    rachcake New Egg

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    Jul 28, 2016
    United Kingdom
    I had a broody chicken this summer and it lasted for about 3 weeks, she had stopped laying (her eggs are completely different to our other chickens eggs) but was laying on everyone elses eggs warming them up!


    We kept lifting her out of the coop every time we went down to the run, especially to make sure she was eating and drinking enough. She wasn't too happy about it but one day she literally just snapped out of it. It took another couple of weeks before she started laying again,

    hope this helps :)
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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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? 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 a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    https://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 went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(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.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
  5. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    Thanks everyone. She is still broody, and despite looking I have been unable to find eggs for her to hatch in town. So I have put her in a separate 'broody buster' pen, we will see what happens. I noticed today that she seems to be missing a heap of feathers from her breast/belly. Also her crop is really swollen. I've not ever noticed it like this before. It's hanging down, probably the size of a baseball (but hanging, like it's in a sack). It is soft though, not hard, so I'm not sure if I need to be concerned or not. This poor girl gets all the problems :(
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    They pull feathers from breast and belly to expose skin to warm eggs...normal.
    Crop, not sure, some get a 'pendulous crop' and it will continue to function fine, or might develop 'sour crop' because it's not emptying properly.
    Having her caged in the buster gives you an opportunity to examine her crop at night.
    Then take all feed and water away until you examine crop again in the morning, as well as her droppings.
     
  7. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    OK, so I took all her food away last night. Crop is still huge and hanging this morning. Poop seems normal, and she seems happy enough? What next?
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I've had a few with pendulous crop...as long as they are eating and drinking and pooping OK I never did anything about it.
    Do a search on it, lots of options.
     
  9. RedKell

    RedKell Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 24, 2014
    North Western Australia
    Ok, thanks :)
    I don't think it's 'sour' as she seems fine and happy, so I will just keep an eye on her and see how she goes. I think she might normally have quite a big crop, but I've not really checked it before (she is the lowest in the pecking order, and doesn't like people much. She's not keen on being picked up)
    It doesn't seem to be bothering her any
     

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