Broody X 2.....I think I have an idea but need advice

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ChickenHawk12, Apr 4, 2016.

  1. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted yesterday that I've got 2 BOs that have gone broody in the past 2 days (I have 4 BOs altogether). I can't believe the stench! It smells like I've got 40 chickens, 3 cows and a goat out there :-( I have no crates, and it's going to take me days to build a separate pen, and I've got no cash in the budget for buying wood and don't have enough scraps....but I came up with an idea this morning! Can someone tell me if this should work?

    I have a bunch of metal stakes, the kind you use for snow fencing and such. I have plenty of extra vinyl (plastic?) hardware cloth. I thought I could just block off a small area with the stakes and hardware cloth and put some food and water in there in the run for the broodys, and let them back into the coop at dark.

    Might this work? Also, I need to keep the 2 broodys separate from each other as well, right? So I need 2 pens?
     
  2. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It depends on how well the broodies interact on whether you should separate them. Some people you, some people don't, it's entirely up to you.

    If you don't have money for wood, there are plenty of places that you can get scrap lumber for free.

    Do you want them to hatch eggs or do you want to break them?
     
  3. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I want to break them. We've got no eggs and no rooster. They seem to be ignoring each other right now in the coop, but when I picked them up and carried them back into the run yesterday and closed the door to the coop, they were both standing at the coop door pecking at each other. I should probably separate them then, right?
     
  4. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they aren't going to raise chicks then you can have them in together.

    I recommend that you read this thread on breaking broody hens :
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/181289/how-to-break-a-broody-hen
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had two hens go broody at the same time, and they did just fine in the broody cage together, getting along peacefully. Then last summer, I had two go broody that did not get along at all. The minute I placed the second one in the wire cage, the first one took great offense, and there was a close confinement skirmish. I solved it by getting a scrap of plastic tarp and making a curtain to separate the two hens. I had to secure it at all four corners, though, as they figured out quickly how to duck under the loose curtain to resume their battle.

    Luckily, one was broke in just a day, so the hard case had the cage to herself for the duration.

    Broodies are a pain in the butt, but two broodies at once who want to tear each others throats out is beyond my threshold of endurance.

    I wish you luck and offer my sympathy.
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If you don't have broody breaker crates to use, your plan might work....if it's all you have, you might as well try it.
     
  7. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How are the broody breaker crates different?

    I found chicken wire, so I basically made a 2X5 foot pen in the run and stuck them in there with food and water. I let them in the coop at dark, and then went out after dark and put them on a roost. I don't know if they stayed on there or not. Then I got them in the morning and put them back in the pen.
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    I assume since you only have four hens you don’t have a very big coop so you don’t have any real flexibility to do something in there where it might be more predator proof. I don’t know how secure your run is.

    A typical broody buster is elevated and has a wire floor. Some people use a dog cage with a wire floor, not the dog crates with a solid floor. The cool air under them seems to help break them from being broody. You can feed and water them but don’t give them anything that looks like a nest. Typically I put a broody in mine for three days and don’t let her out until that time is up. On rare occasions the hen heads back to the nest so I do it again but usually three days is enough.

    You have to work with what you have. If you can’t elevate them above a wire floor, just try to disrupt them as much as you can. It can take a while if one is stubborn about it. I don’t know how dark your coop is, if they can see at all there is a good chance hey headed for a nest instead of staying on the roost. You might want to block off the nests at night but then they will probably just make a nest on the floor.

    I understand limited budget and limited time but at some point you might want to invest in a proper predator proof broody buster with those BO’s. It could come in handy if you ever need to isolate a hen too.

    That thread XxMingirlxX gave you offers other ideas that you can try but I’ve never tried them. The broody buster is the way Dad did it many decades ago. It’s a tried and true method that works.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. ChickenHawk12

    ChickenHawk12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, I get it now. My coop is 4 feet by 8 feet so I'd have to leave it outside. It's still awfully cold, it went below freezing last night here. My run is quite secure, and the pen I made inside the run has chicken wire on top as well (and is much shorter than the 7-foot walls of the run). I can't leave them out there all night though, right? That's why I let them back inside the coop at dark. I think they are secure from predators, but it's cold and I don't know that it will make a difference. It's the cool air under them, not the separation from the nest, right? All they've got in the pen is a bowl of water, a bowl of food, and a dirt floor.
     

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