Broody to the point of no return???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by toritori, Dec 4, 2011.

  1. toritori

    toritori Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My runt Silkie Ming-Ming (the first to lay and the most regular until a week or so ago) has gone broody (I think!?!). She just sits in the nesting box. My other two girls have started laying in other spots around the coup. I have been using an old milk crate (with solid sides) as a nesting box. It has gotten so bad that I can pick up the box, move it, feel under her or pick her up, and as soon as I put her down right back in she goes! The roos can't even make her budge. They are all about 6 months old, it has been pretty cold (teens and twenties alternating with fifties). What do I do??? She's not sitting on anything. Help!?!?
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This may not have been covered lately, Toritori. Here is something from this summer: Breaking a Broody (click)

    There are some (what I consider) drastic ways to break a broodie. Dunking them in cold water - try that a few times in sub-freezing weather and see how long before she catches a cold and dies [​IMG]!

    The technique that is in the linked thread is much kinder. However, the broody may make a real fuss, pretending that it is nearly killing her!

    You don't have to put the cage out in the yard. She can stay in the coop, just get her up off the floor in an open cage. Air needs to move UNDER your broody.

    Steve
     
  3. ChickenMack

    ChickenMack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please don't panic if you have a broody with no eggs, she will be fine. At the end of 21-25 days of it, she will come out of it, there will be no chicks under her and she will return to normal. It breaks my heart when I read about people wanting to break a broody hen- this is a natural, hormonal response for the reproduction of the species. Imagine if you wanted to have a child and your husband or partner threw you in cold water until you didn't want to any longer. Tragic.

    Broody hens don't lay eggs, therefore, they don't make money and that won't work so the big hatcheries are literally breeding broodiness out of the hens, especially the big utility breeds- also, if you have a broody hen, you won't buy hatchery chicks- think of it! Honor the Broody!!!!!( hey, that may just be my new mantra:lol:)

    So anyway, let her set, she will come out of it just fine- a little skinny but fine. If you have access to day old chicks, at day 21-23, before she breaks her broody mood, you can sneak out at night and put them under her and she should mother them just fine. So until then, move the nesting box to a secluded spot where the others won't peck at her, do you have another milk crate to put in it's place for the other hens? Make sure to put a bowl with food and a water that she can access, she won't eat much, but the water is essential. Keep her protected and all will be fine. If you have roosters, why not put a fertilized egg or two under her? And be proud of your little broody hen- she is doing a tough job.
     
  4. stoopid

    stoopid Chicken Fairy Godmother

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    Unfortunately, if there is any Silkie mixed with broody in the same sentence, there is a chance you may never break her.
    Give her one or two eggs, and let her have her way.
    Good luck!
     
  5. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    I had a broody hen for a week. I kept moving her out of the coop. Eventually she gave up. It did take her awhile to get the hint. I had golf balls in the nests for the new layers (none have started yet), so I had to remove them to keep her from setting on them. After I removed all the golf balls, it took a good 48 hours to break her.

    Just remove her a couple times a day to poop, eat and drink and she will either give up or not. You could also dunk her backside in cold water to bring down the temperature. I didn't go that far. [​IMG]
     
  6. toritori

    toritori Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you everybody! We got into the whole chicken thing for my daughter (age 4). She's mildly amused, but I have fallen in love with them. Eggs or no eggs, my peeps are my peeps! My friends think I'm crazy, but I just want them to be happy and healthy birds.

    Is there any problem with having chicks this time of year (December in very upstate NY, frequently the cold spot of the nation?)
     
  7. ChickenMack

    ChickenMack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, mama hen will keep them warm. Just provide a nice, dry and sheltered spot for them away from the rest of the flock until they are about 3 weeks old or so. Oh, provide them with chick starter and lots of fresh water, mom can eat the starter- she won't begin laying again until the chicks are 6 weeks or older or you can try to give her layer pellets, but she will just eat some and then present it to the chicks for their dinner.
     
  8. toritori

    toritori Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds doable! Thank you so much for your help. I think Ming-Ming would be a good Mom!
     

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