Broody or eggbound?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Jadnils, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Jadnils

    Jadnils Chillin' With My Peeps

    196
    10
    108
    Apr 30, 2012
    My 8 month old hen, Lucy, started laying 5-7 eggs a week about a month and a half ago or so. About 4 days ago I noticed she did not come out of the coop when I opened the door, she had spent the night in the nesting box and stayed there. I went to work and she was still there when I got home. I took her out, no egg, and she drank, ate a little and went right back in. So...now 4 days later she is still doing the same thing. No eggs but acting broody so...I took her to my chicken friend who did not seem to feel there was a egg stuck in there and told me to lock her out of the coop during the day and see if that helps. She hasn't eaten much the last 4 days. Is this normal? Why would she go broody and stop producing eggs? I kind of thought the opposite would happen, she would lay and want to actually sit on the eggs....that is why I am confused and wondering if she could be eggbound. When she is out, she walks just fine which is a good sign, right?
     
  2. Jadnils

    Jadnils Chillin' With My Peeps

    196
    10
    108
    Apr 30, 2012
    Today I locked her out for 2 hrs but our other hen wanted to go in and lay an egg and was complaining rather loudly that the door was shut so I went and opened it, Sylvia went in, layed her egg, came out and Lucy went in with her and is refusing to come out again...so...how do I keep them together ( I only have 2 hens) and keep them from complaining that the door is locked shut? If one has to lay an egg, can she " hold it" or is that a bad idea?
     
  3. little farmer

    little farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like Lucy is broody. I've had a broody many times, and they're not all that fun unless chicks will actually come out of it. You'll want to keep her out of the laying area for a least a day, but Sylvia will most likely want in there. Make a make-shift nesting box, and put golf balls in there (chickens think golf balls are eggs) and Sylvia will (hopefully) think to lay in there because of the balls. And actually when broodies brood, they stop producing eggs because they are hatching eggs. Or at least they think they are if there isn't a rooster around. Broodies will either brood on their own eggs or still someone else's. It should wear off if she stays out of the laying area for about a day. Hope that helps!! :)
     
  4. Jadnils

    Jadnils Chillin' With My Peeps

    196
    10
    108
    Apr 30, 2012
    I can take the nest boxes out of the coop for the day and put them back in at night I guess...or should I leave them out all together until Lucy is over it? What if Lucy decided to "hatch" the golf balls? LOL
     
  5. little farmer

    little farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Actually, that is a very good point about hatching the golf balls. Even though it seems ridiculous chickens sometimes can even go broody on a gumball. XD Anyways, Lucy might actually try to go in the nestboxes, so a big piece of square or rectangular cardboard would do and put some shavings in it. If Lucy goes and broods in that. Ditch the nestboxes completely. Sometimes hens will lay their eggs out in their run if the nestbox is closed off, but the egg might get stepped on, so if you're okay with losing a day's worth of eggs, then I think she could lay it in the run. But, you can save the egg if you get out there quick enough. This might sound mean, but try to make Lucy as uncomfortable as she can be. Which blocking off the nesting boxes should do the trick.
     
  6. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,242
    208
    208
    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    She will still be broody even if there are no eggs and no golf balls. My broody will just brood on an empty nest. To break her, you need to put her in a wire bottom cage so she can not nest at all. You can search the threads for tips. Otherwise she will keep at it. Mine usually is broody for a month. She will lose weight so if it is cold where you are this could be a health concern.
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012
  7. Jadnils

    Jadnils Chillin' With My Peeps

    196
    10
    108
    Apr 30, 2012
    Yes, right now there are no eggs or anything in the nesting boxes, just hay. No wonder they call them "bird brained" ! I'll try closing off the coop again now that Sylvia is done laying for today...geeesh....I hope this doesn't go on for a month ! They free range all day in the yard so, will that be ok...to just lock them out and then shut them in the coop at night? They do complain loudly when that coop door is shut...don't want the neighbors to get mad....
     
  8. little farmer

    little farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think that they'll be okay free ranging. Just check to make sure that they don't complain too much. ;)
     
  9. Jadnils

    Jadnils Chillin' With My Peeps

    196
    10
    108
    Apr 30, 2012
    It took Sylvia a couple of days to stop complaining loudly that Lucy was not out and about with her...she did not like that one little bit but now she's kind of used to being by herself....I need another pullet ! Going to see if I can get one more....meanwhile Lucy has to be on "lock-out" LOL
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by