Broody Orbington...Please Help!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 3cuteCHIX, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. 3cuteCHIX

    3cuteCHIX Hatching

    Jan 12, 2013
    Hey there, my Buff Orbington "Winnifred" has gone broody again. She went broody last spring/summer, but this year is much worse. Last season, we changed up the hens schedule and allowed them access to the nest box until the afternoon, then we closed up the doors to the house and engaged them in ranging. It took Winnie a few days to stop panicking and get back to doing the chicken things she normally does. This year she has been absolutely incessant with her broodiness. She will stay in her box for days, and from what I can tell, not eating or dinking. She feels much lighter and seems a bit lethargic. I tried the same tactic as last year but Winnie took it to a new level. When closed out she spends the whole day obsessively pacing around the house and run. She's also becoming a bit aggressive towards the other hens. One of them, Beatrice (silver-laced wyodatte) has stopped laying because of it. What else can I do? Give her fertilized eggs? Separate her? She's normally a real sweat heart full of energy and first out of the run to range.
  2. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Sigh, I can only sympathise with you. I wrote a question a few posts down asking for advice on this very same thing.

    My RIR hen has gone broody also, and has torn out every feather from her belly - she is completely naked underneath, and is absolutely miserable. She won't leave the nest now, has not pooped last night or today, and won't budge from her plastic eggs. It is so hard to even get her to eat! When I pick her up and put her on the ground, she just glues herself to the spot and flattens out like a pancake. Rhode Island Red, thy name is miserable! I suspect she may also be unwell, so that's another challenge to add to the nightmare!

    As a new chicken owner I thought the whole broody thing would be a delight - but it's nothing but worry! She is not nasty with me - she doesn't peck or growl. Rather, she seems to have lost all of her lust for life. She looks miserable, and allows me to touch and pat and look at her with no interest what-so-ever. Previously she was very flighty and I have never got to pat her before at all. It's like she has lost the will to live!

    So, as I said, I sympathise. It's painful to watch. I have separated my girl from the flock as she was being picked on relentlessly. I think they knew she was 'different', so I'd advise you do that too, for her own protection.

    I only have a few layers so I'm currently 'saving up' some fertilised eggs to give to her. I got 4 today and will hopefully get another 4 tomorrow, so I will give her 8 all in one go. To save up eggs, you just pick the best ones you can (even sized, good shells), and don't wash them. Just pop them in a cool room, and turn them over morning and night. You can save eggs for a few days and then give them to her in one go.

    Maybe, if you have access to some fertilised eggs, you could do this too? I also understand it's also a good idea to remove the hen from the nest at least once a day to offer her food and water, and let them poop and stretch their legs. If your girl is like mine she may not want to do any of those things, but we can only try!

    I don't really have any other advice for you. I'm hoping some experienced chicken owners can help us both! I hate the idea of 'breaking broodies' and would rather let nature take it's course, and let her have some chicks. All I keep thinking is that it's going to be a very long few weeks!

    Best of luck to you. I guess we are in the Broody Boat together!

    Keep me posted on how you go with her.

    - Krista

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