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Broody White Leghorn??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Miriahb, Sep 8, 2015.

  1. Miriahb

    Miriahb Out Of The Brooder

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    Okay wise chicken people who have much more experience than I do....I have a bit of a conundrum on my hands. I have ten hens and they all want to use the same nest box for laying (even though I supplied them with nice expensive extra nesting boxes full of nice fluffy dried grass). So, I went and got four ceramic eggs from the local co-op and put them in the nice nesting boxes to encourage them to use them. And it's worked for the most part.

    HOWEVER....For the past two weeks, I have a white leghorn hen who has taken over the fuzzy butts' favorite nesting box (and somehow the marked ceramic eggs have found their way into the favorite nest, don't ask me how) When I open the door to the nests, she flattens out and growls at me like a wet cat. When I stick my hand in, she leaves the nest, but shrieks like I have violated her. The next day, she's right back on the nest and growling again until I dare to attempt to touch her. Is this broody behavior? I thought leghorns didn't go broody?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Broodiness has pretty much been bred out of the white leghorns, but occasionally one will go broody. Sounds as if you have one of those 'one in a million'.
     
  3. tobit

    tobit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it sounds like she is broody - especially if this has persisted for 2 weeks. And yes, generally leghorns do not go broody, but there will be exceptions from time to time! I tend to think that broodier breeds make better broody mommas, so if you are toying with the idea to hatch some eggs under her keep in mind that she may react badly to them hatching and you may need to bring up any chicks yourself!
     
  4. Miriahb

    Miriahb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2015
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    Do you think it would help if I removed the ceramic eggs? The behavior didn't start until I put them in the nest boxes and the other hens are literally trying to squash her and lay their eggs on her because she won't move unless I try to touch her.
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    Once those hormones start flowing, it won't matter if there are eggs or not, she'll still try to brood. You can give her fertile eggs and have her hatch out chicks, if that's appropriate for you. Or you can break her from being broody. Best bet is putting her in a wire bottom cage suspended off the ground. Feed, water, no bedding at all. 3-5 days in the cage usually does it for most hens. The heat/warmth underneath her body is one thing that contributes to her being broody, this method cools off her underneath.
     
  6. Miriahb

    Miriahb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2015
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    Guess I'll make a broody box for her and see how it goes. All of our eggs are fertilized, and we usually have an abundance, so I'll see how she does.

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2015
  7. Miriahb

    Miriahb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2015
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    Well, she absolutely refused the broody box and when she came out, zinged right for her favorite nest. I gave up, gave her a couple of eggs and we'll see how it goes. She was on them this morning and seems to be dedicated to hatching them out. I'll give you guys updates. I may have to break out the brooder when/if they hatch, but that's fine too :)
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    What I did was put the broody in the broody pen with portable floor nest and some fake eggs, took almost a full day for her to settle in the nest.
    She was not happy at first, paced the wall and complained, but finally settled in.
    Then I gave her fresh fertile eggs, removing the fakes, and she hatched 'em out no problem,
    took down the broody pen wall after a week or so so she could integrate the chicks into the flock.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. Miriahb

    Miriahb Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2015
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    And now there are two.

    Broody leghorn eyes me with barely restrained violence and the phoenix pullet who is sitting disdains me completely. Broodiness IS apparently contagious.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. tobit

    tobit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes it is!! As soon as one of my bantams goes broody, they all start[​IMG] This is a reason why I like to break them early, or remove them during the incubation period.
     

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