Broody, sick, or no hope?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Orpington Fan, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. Orpington Fan

    Orpington Fan New Egg

    Aug 15, 2011
    One of our orpingtons seems to have gone broody, but we're not sure. She has remained on an empty nest for the past 2 weeks. The other hens were getting in the nest with her to lay their eggs (we have 2 nests for 5 hens which has been adequate) but now they will not go near her, laying their eggs in the nest next door which is fine. We take her off the nest and put her outside in the yard to forage with the others every day for a couple hours at least, closing the door so she can't get right back in, and she eats and drinks like she's very, very hungry of course. We are feeding laying crumbles and corn, a flock block and the yummy bugs and whatever they find in the yard that delights them. "Cora" is starting to get thin. Her behind is clean, and she isn't pulling feathers out and the nest is not messy so she's not going to the potty in there. When she's in the yard, the rest of the flock either ignores her or pecks at her if she gets too close or she will stay away from them to go her own way. After a while she goes back and sits in front of the coop door waiting to be let back in. We've never had hens go broody before so we don't know what to expect. Is every hen different in their broodiness? We've tried taking all nesting material out, putting fake eggs and ice under her. We don't have a separate place to put her but we're wondering if we need to do that. We're beginnnig to think she has some problem which is why the other hens want to peck her, thinking she is weak or sick. We just came off a heat wave (southern Ohio) and flock egg production was down to 1 egg daily but has recovered somewhat with 3 eggs daily instead of 4 or 5 with the broody Cora not laying at all now. Is Cora broody or sick? Should a broody hen be separated out for her own safety and health?
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] She sounds as if she is broody. Broodiness causes behavioral differences that cause the rest of the flock to regard her as a stranger. That is why they are pecking at her. Broodiness takes a lot out of a hen so you should try to break her. Do a search on this site. There are several threads with recommendations on how to break broodiness. Personally I like to confine broody hens to an area with no nests until they stoop being 'clucky.'
  3. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    i think she is broody. I have a broody hen, and circumstances are identical to yours.
  4. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    She sounds just like my broody BO. It went on and on until, luckily, we were having chicks delivered. We slipped them underneath her and she raised them all by herself.


    They're 8-weeks-old now and thriving, although she wants very little to do with them at this point. Teenagers!!!
  5. Orpington Fan

    Orpington Fan New Egg

    Aug 15, 2011
    Such relief! I believe the broodiness for this go around at least, is over. She's off the nest and resumed her foraging with the other girls and roo. We don't have a place to separate her out, so we put milk jugs in our nests at night so she had to roost. In the morning we removed them so the others could get in the nests and she'd hop right into one and stay. We kept everyone in until they'd all laid their eggs for the day, around 2pm, and then let them out. We had to take her off of the nest, and she held on for dear life to stay, but once outside, she followed the others. Yesterday they all got along famously and last night when I put them up she roosted without trying to root out the jugs to get in a nest. This morning I went to the coop to take out the milk jugs and she was with the others having breakfast (layer crumbles and corn, yum yum). Went back a couple hours later to check and she was still on the ground. Checked again an hour later and still not in the nest. I cautiously pronouce this jag of broodiness over! 3 weeks. Thanks for all your suggestions and encouragement and reassuring answers! BackyardChickens rocks!
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011

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