Broody pullet? What should I do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by bobbieschicks, Jan 26, 2012.

  1. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    I'm wondering if my 24 week old EE Smokey is trying to go broody on me. For the past several days when I tried to gather her eggs she would still be on the nest and growl at me as I stuck my hand under there and took her eggs. She stayed in the nest for about an hour and then hopped down. I'm wondering if I should leave the eggs there and she'd hatch them? We're trying to hatch her eggs in an incubator - but if she can do it - I'd rather she do it. She's out there sitting again! What's the best thing to do this time of year? How can I be sure she's going broody?

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    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Usually if you remove her and she returns and spends the night in there(especially if there are eggs) she's probably broody. I wait a couple days to be sure.
     
  3. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    She growled at me again around 11 a.m. so I just left her alone. Then a few minutes ago the kids said she was out running around in the run - so I rushed out there and swiped her egg from the nest. I really don't want her to be hatching chicks until spring. Our weather is dropping to 20-30F at night with it up in the 40-60F during the day. So until spring gets here I think I will keep stealing her eggs and discouraging her broody behaviors.
     
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    My "test" for broodiness is when a hen stays in the nest box overnight for two nights in a row (not on the roost), chittering at me when I check on her, and flattening her body in the nest box, daring me to try to remove her. She'll get out once, maybe twice, to eat and drink and poop - and broody poop is HUGE and smelly!

    What to do? Decide how many eggs you're going to let her try to hatch and MARK them with a pencil or Sharpie. Just an X will do. Check each day and remove any new eggs, because other hens will lay in her nest when she's off it, and she will also steal other hens' eggs to add to her clutch. After her first week, I start giving her special, high protein treats.

    When she hatches chicks, I make sure she and the chicks have a low waterer close by, and their own food, if possible, so she can keep them close until she wants to bring them out to teach them chickeny things.

    Some people segregate a broody hen, or a momma hen with chicks, so she can raise them for a while without stress or being bothered by the rest of the flock.

    It sounds like your gal isn't really broody, yet. Some gals just like to play house and stay in the nest box for a couple of hours, or go back a few times a day. It's not until they are committed to staying in it nearly 24/7 that they're really broody.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  5. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Thank you everyone for the advice. I have mixed feelings about her broodiness. I'm both glad she isn't broody and sad she isn't. I will encourage her to go broody in the spring, but I think it's too big of a risk right now. So if she tries again, I will do my best to break her of it. I would hate to lose her, I just lost her hatchmate. And the only reason for letting her hatch would be to try and get another green egg layer. She does appear to like to hang out in the nest box, but for now I think you are right in calling her not broody.
     
  6. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    I agree with the other posters; they gave great advice. Staying in the nest box instead of roosting at night is always the first indicator, but it could also mean a hen isn't feel well too. I always make sure my suspected broodies get off the nest and eat and drink at least once a day. At the same time, I also give them a good going over to make sure it isn't something else keeping them in the box besides broody hormones. After a few days, if I pull her out off the nest and she talks like a broody, then I know for sure she is serious about wanting to be a mama hen. A Broody hen often goes around talking softly ..."bok, bok, bok, bok,.." They do it constantly for the first few minutes off the nest. Then they want to be back in there after 10 to 20 minutes, tops.

    Best Wishes!
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2012
  7. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    She is sitting on freshly laid eggs again today and hasn't moved off the nest this moring - the WLs egg and her own. I tried to gather the eggs and this was her response.

     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    She looks broody in the video, but I don't have any sound :p

    I had a pullet go broody, and she wouldn't leave the nest unless I moved her. She plucked her belly feathers out and slept there during the night. She would not poop in the nest. Your girl could just be getting ready to go broody.
     
  9. bobbieschicks

    bobbieschicks Chicken Tender

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    Yeah she's driving me crazy with this. I am tempted to let her go broody - but winter is still here - although with it being 68F today it's difficult to tell. If she doesn't get down soon - I'm going out there to lift her out and get the eggs. She'll be upset - but I only have two egg layers right now and she's one of them.
     
  10. devora

    devora Chillin' With My Peeps

    The sound she is making isn't always an indicator of broodiness. It can merely be a "Leave me the heck alone I'm trying to lay something bigger than my head!"

    She's broody if she stays on the nest. You haven't indicated that she's sleeping there. Is she?
     

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