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Buff Orpington hen brooding

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mt19, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    There are a lot of different signs that a hen might be broody. I’ve had hens show all of them but it was false. She never did go all the way into full broody mode. The way I tell if a hen is broody enough to be trusted with hatching eggs is that she has to spend two consecutive nights on the nest instead of in her normal rooting place. That test, two consecutive nights, has always worked for me.

    If you have a broody hen, you have a few options. You can do nothing. The hen has built up a fat reserve to live on while being broody. That’s why they don’t have to eat and drink a lot. They will lose a lot of weight while broody, but that is pretty much just excess fat stored for that reason. But some hens will remain broody after that reserve is used up. Personally I would never go this route. I either break them or give them eggs or chicks. They are also not laying eggs while they are broody.

    Another option is to get fertile eggs for her to hatch. If you want to go this route, we can give you some suggestions on how to find fertile eggs. Or you can get very young chicks for her to raise and give them to her.

    Another option is to break her from being broody. I use a cage with a wire floor, just leave her in there with food and water and no nest for a few days. That’s always worked for me. Here’s a thread about breaking a broody that might help.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2176186#p2176186

    I don’t know what is going on with your Buff. I assume you have checked under the other hen to see if there are any eggs there. Some broodies won’t allow other hens to lay in their nest, though most are willing to share. It’s possible the Buff is hiding a nest somewhere. If it has just been a day or two, it may just be a cycle she’s going through. It’s also possible something is getting the eggs. If that hen is truly broody, that may have upset the dynamics of their little flock to throw her off laying for a few days. There are just so many different possibilities it’s hard to say.

    Good luck.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. cmerk

    cmerk Out Of The Brooder

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    This is the second time one of our Buff's decided to brood. She is in a nesting box about 2 feet off the floor. We know the chicks will not survive the drop to the floor, so what do we do?
    The first time she went broody we tried to move the hen and her nest of eggs. She got off one night when temp was near freezing, All the eggs felt like they came out of the refrig. so we took them. My husband was curious so he opened them all. One was black and most of the rest had some stage/type of forming chick. We also wondered how chickens who lay an egg a day get 12 or 13 eggs in a nest in about a week?
     
  3. cmerk

    cmerk Out Of The Brooder

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    Another issue: Two or three of our chickens including Big Bad John have lost feathers. Absolutely no lice here. One of the hens even lost part of her red crown. Someone in our coop is eating feathers. We got ground pork meal and feed a little of that everyday. Can we butcher and eat one of the Buff's that we have been putting blue coat on??? What can we do to stop this behavior??
     
  4. chynasparks

    chynasparks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Buff Orp starting staying on the nest just this last Friday. I thought she was going broody because she stayed there all weekend. I put water near her. All of a sudden about an hour ago there she was out running around the pen. I've read that she will come off for food water and a stretch. This is my first experience with this. I don't want to take the eggs away. Question is, how long can she stay off the nest before eggs "die". I didn't want chicks but she's gotten me excited about the idea. She's a year old. I have a Roo and 3 hens. So, is there such a thing as false broody? Should I remove the eggs?
     
  5. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They can sometimes go through a trial broodiness, where they sit for a few days then break brood. That is one reason most let them sit for a period before giving them eggs. Since you let her sit for the weekend before letting her brood I think that can be ruled out in her case. How long they can stay off the nest depends on the temperature. I had a broody in January who never seemed to leave the nest. When she went broody this spring she was off more often. Have one now who is off the nest every other time I look in on her. In the summer it does take a while for the eggs to cool in ninety degree heat.
     
  6. chynasparks

    chynasparks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the info. I went back out and checked. The other buff was on the nest. Then shortly after, another check she's back on the nest. Almost like shift work. LOL. anyway I'm glad she came down for food and a stretch. I'll just watch and see.
     
  7. Jsisso

    Jsisso New Egg

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    My Buff has been brooding for a few weeks and we tried everything. Then I read an article that said put her in a cage with food and water anf light. Over night till the afternoon and it worked! She's out playing and not going in brooding.
     
  8. htownmike

    htownmike Just Hatched

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    One of our buffs has been brooding for about 9 days. We free range our chickens, if we get a chick or two should we not let them out for a while? Or just let nature take its course.
     
  9. Jsisso

    Jsisso New Egg

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    Aug 20, 2014
    I read the same article and your right it worked! But why do chickens brood?
     
  10. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I leave mine out with the flock from day one. Watching a broody with her chicks, showing them around, is one of the pleasures of keeping chickens. Put a box with bedding on the floor of the coop for her and the chicks for the first few weeks.
     

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