Broody Orpington?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by eek620, Apr 4, 2017.

  1. eek620

    eek620 Just Hatched

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    Hi!

    I have a 1.5 year old buff orpington that is acting really strange tonight. From 5:00 she has been laying on the nest and not moving out of it. I was trying to collect the eggs for the day and she wouldn't get off the nest. I finally just pulled her off and quickly grabbed the eggs. She was frantically trying to get back on the nest to sit there. She is still on there now and it is about 8:30. Is she broody? If so, what do I do about it? She is still laying eggs though so I didn't think that she could be broody. I do have two ceramic eggs in the nest because we had an egg eater, but that seems to no longer be an issue; knock on wood. :) Thank you!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2017
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    A broody hen behaves much differently from normal hen behavior, and it involves more than just wanting to sit on a nest, eggs or no eggs. Some hens just enjoy sitting in a nest long after they've laid their egg, and it has nothing to do with being broody.

    If you spend time with your flock, you will start hearing an unusual "popping" instead of regular clucking. It's very soft, and I imagine a lot of folks don't even notice it. It happens up to a full week before a hen turns completely broody and glues herself to a nest.

    This "popping" increases in frequency and intensity as the week progresses. Soon, you can't help but notice this particular hen is acting fussy and irritable and is annoying the other chickens with her behavior, and they may peck at her out of frustration with her.

    You may also notice loose feathers in the nest where she's been. If you lift her up and examine her keel bone, she will be missing feathers all along that center part of her breast.

    She will continue to lay eggs during this period, and once she's laid her final egg, she will stick to the nest like glue. Any attempt to remove her will result in an angry scream and growling and rapid popping. She will puff up to an alarming size and may even bite you. There is no greater rath than that of an angry broody. You will have no doubt at all that you are dealing with a broody hen.
     
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  3. eek620

    eek620 Just Hatched

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    Thank you! This morning I actually heard a popping sound from her!! So if this continues, how to I break it?
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It does no good to try to break a broody until she's laid the final egg and is sticking to the nest.

    Once she reaches that stage, you can place her in an open mesh bottom cage, elevated at least a foot off the ground, and placed in the center of activity in the run.

    You want air circulating under the broody to cool down her body temp and to discourage the broody hormones. You need to leave her in this cage with food and water around the clock for around three days. If your run is secure, you can just throw a blanket over the cage at night. If you don't have a secure run, then you'll need to bring the broody and her cage into your garage or someplace secure during the night.

    You will see her begin to calm down after two days. By the third day, you can "test" her by letting her out of the cage and waiting to see if she returns to the nest. Do not make the mistake of thinking she can roost at night with the others. This only prolongs the broody spell.

    If she shows no interest in returning to the nest, she's broke. If she goes right back to the nest after being in the cage for three days, she needs another 24 hours in the cage. Then repeat the test.
     
  5. eek620

    eek620 Just Hatched

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    Jan 9, 2017
    Thank you again!
     
  6. TexasTransplant

    TexasTransplant Out Of The Brooder

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    I also have a broody Orpington, I don't have any roosters or fertile eggs (and I don't want anymore chickens atm) She has been broody going on for nearly 4 weeks now, I thought it would pass if I just waited it out. She won't even get off the nest to drink or eat, I have to take her off and she eventually drinks some water and eats a little before rushing back. I have tried the ice thing under her, but it is already hot here in Texas and they melt straight away, I tried a wire bottom cage but felt so sorry for her I let her out after 24 hours.

    Will it pass on its own? There are not going to be any fertile eggs, and my chickens are pets with eggs as a bonus so I don't mind her not laying, but I am worried for her health the longer it goes on.
     
  7. weirdlywired

    weirdlywired Out Of The Brooder

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    My Coop
    We too just went thru having a broody BO.
    I tried using ice packs under her, removed all eggs laid by the other girls, took away the fake eggs in the nest box and physically removed her and put her in the run in the late afternoon and would then block off the nest box. At that point she just hunkered down in the coop. Stubborn girl.
    As she was hogging up the nest box and angering the other ladies, I knew we had to break this, plus I worried for her health.
    I finally rigged a a cage like what Azygous mentioned. She was not happy but it worked perfectly!
    I did block off the nest box in the coop and she roosted with the others the first night. Had I found that she wasn't on the roosting bar, I would have put her back in the cage for the night. She was in the cage one more day, I tested her and she showed no interest in the nest boxes and she is now out chickening like the rest! YAY!

    Good luck with yours! I hope you can figure something out that works!
     
  8. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just had my first broody. I didn't have a wire cage handy so we rigged up a small enclosure using chicken wire (a use for it!) and an old utility cart (to give her something with a roof) inside the run, so she could still see the other birds and was safe, but unable to get to the nest box. We did test releases twice a day until she finally stopped turning into a biting pancake inside the nest box. It took about 3 days before we felt she was okay with access to the coop and run again.

    4 weeks is a long time to leave a bird broody if you're not letting her hatch anything. There's no point in feeling bad for locking her up - she's doing worse to herself sitting on a nest all day to no avail. I would just do it and get it over with so she can get back to being a normal, non-broody chicken.
     

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