Broody, Isolated Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by The_Cat, May 17, 2018.

  1. The_Cat

    The_Cat Out Of The Brooder

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    So, I have 4 chickens about 2 years old: 2 Americaunas, an Australorp, and a Buff Orpington. The Australorp has been broody for close to 3 weeks now, and I have been unable to break her of the habit. I've locked her out of the nesting boxes, and I set up a new nesting box for the other chickens. Oddly enough, the other chickens have taken to the new nesting box except my broody Australorp. Since locking her out of her nesting boxes, she seems less broody, but she's still not laying eggs. She used to strut around all puffed up, and she doesn't do that anymore.

    I've also noticed that she has been getting pecked at and bullied by the Buff Orpington. She sleeps by herself on a small roost right outside her nesting box, and when I try to put her on the roost with the others, the Buff Orpington tries to push her off the roost! I have been spending every night moving the Australorp onto the roost with an Americauna between the Buff Orpington and the Australorp and monitoring the hens to make sure they don't fight. I find that if I am there until dark and they fall asleep, they don't fight. When I come home in the evening, they seem to all get along. Their coop/covered run are about 100sq ft altogether, and that is where they spend their nights. During the day they free range on my grassy lawn. They have plenty of room for 4 chickens. Additionally, neither the Buff Orpington or the Australorp have laid eggs in a few weeks. I am not sure what to do.

    My Americaunas seem oblivious to or uninterested in anything the other two chickens are doing.

    What else should I be doing? Should I let my Australorp sleep by herself? This is my first time dealing with a broody chicken and a bully!!
     
  2. redranger209

    redranger209 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Why not get some eggs for her? Easiest way out is to let her hatch.
     
  3. The_Cat

    The_Cat Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm not sure I am equipped to handle a freshly hatched baby chick. I work 40+hrs a week, so if extra attention is required, I won't be able to provide it.
     
  4. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

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    If she's been broody for 3wks, how's her weight? To break a broody the BEST way is wire dog crate, remove the tray and line the bottom with 1x2 wire, suspend off the ground so cool air circulates under the cage. Put food & water, no bedding, keep her in it & cage in the coop with the rest. The sooner you start, the less time she stays in the "broody breaker" ... I'd be concerned about her weight & health at this point.

    She could be having issues with the rest due to her health, if she's been broody 3wks, I'm sure she has lost alot of weight which will affect her health. Giving her egg at this point I would be concerned having her sit another 3wks.
     
    nminusyplusm and ronott1 like this.
  5. Elfer

    Elfer Out Of The Brooder

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    The wire cage worked for me last time I had a broody at unwanted time. I let the hen out for breaks, and when she quit acting broody, let out for good. Only took about 3 days, and she had been broody for quite awhile.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  6. The_Cat

    The_Cat Out Of The Brooder

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    Since I've locked her out of her nesting box a week ago, she's been walking around and eating. Her weight seems normal and healthy. I think she might be less broody now, but still isolated and bullied. Not sure if she's not laying eggs because she is still a little broody? or if it's because the buff orpington is now picking on her? I was thinking of opening up the nesting box this weekend, but I kinda wanted to wait until she laid an egg somewhere.
     
    ronott1 likes this.
  7. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

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    Where are you located? Is she molting? They won't lay when broody, you could try opening the nest box & see what happens. But it she goes & sits, she needs the wire cage.
     
    nminusyplusm and ronott1 like this.
  8. The_Cat

    The_Cat Out Of The Brooder

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    Did she lay before you let her out? How do you know she's done being broody?
     
  9. The_Cat

    The_Cat Out Of The Brooder

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    Rockford, MI. And she's not molting. Do you think she's getting picked on because she's broody, or could it be a separate issue?
     
  10. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

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    Not sure there, BO are usually really mellow chickens. You may want to repost in the Emergencies, Injury, Disease and Cures section, I'm wondering if Egg Bound but I'm guessing. Does she have any other symptoms? Squatting? Discharge from her vent? Puffy abdomen?
     

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