Chaos in the Coop! Help!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by tekoedog, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. tekoedog

    tekoedog New Egg

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    Hello new chicken friends,

    I have a problem I hope someone out there can help me with. My free-roaming backyard girls are two Barred Rocks and five golden Buff Orpingtons. They have lived together in harmony for over a year.


    A short time ago one of the Golden Girls went broody and every time she comes out of the nest box to eat (all puffed up going pluck, pluck, pluck, pluck) her sisters attack her. Over the course of a few days, things have escalated to the point that Sharon (the Queen B. Barred Rock) has gone positively psychotic. She is chasing Golden Broody all over the yard and pecking her with serious intent to harm. (There is no blood yet but there are Golden Broody feathers everywhere).

    The situation is getting worse and expanding. Now Sharon has recruited Solita (her sister Barred) and last night they did their best to prevent ANY of the Golden Girls from entering the coop. It took a half hour for everyone to finally get settled. The girls are stressed, egg production is down, someone’s having diarrhea. Chaos!

    Does anyone out there know why my girls have suddenly gone bonkers? Any suggestions?
    Farmer T in Denver
     
  2. dustcover

    dustcover Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds to me like Golden Girls have settled on Donald, and Sharon and Solita are definitely backing Hillary.

    Maybe a 'wall' is called for! [​IMG]
     
  3. SueT

    SueT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC! Yes broodiness in one often upsets everyone and disrupts egg laying. Our free range girls actually found themselves a new nest place in a shed due to a broody hen in their house. You might want to look around for a hidden nest. Do you want your broody to hatch eggs? If not, there are ways to break a broody cycle, search the forums for " how to break a broody hen," there is a wealth of good advice on every aspect of the process.
    @dustcover ha--I did have to build a wall myself, the top hen, a RIR, is still bonkers at roost time, so she gets put in a fenced off corner of the coop each night.... my peaceful fluffy chicken world has turned into a veritable soap opera.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto the either give her eggs or break her.
    How big is your coop(feet by feet)?
    How many nests....is broody in the favorite nest?
     
  5. tekoedog

    tekoedog New Egg

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    Jul 2, 2016
    Hi SueT,

    Thank you for the information. It is good to know that my girls are not unique in their craziness. I would love my Broody to hatch babies but unfortunately the city does not appreciate the early morning racket that roosters make and has made them illegal. I did an egg hunt in the yard and can find no hidden nests so I guess they have just shut down egg production due to the stress. I will take your advice and go learn how to unbrood my broody.
    Thanks again….
     
  6. tekoedog

    tekoedog New Egg

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    Hi dustcover,
    What a great sense of humor you have! I am still laughing. Thank you for brightening my day.
    Is there a story behind the ‘dustcover’ or is that the name your mother gave you? Tekoejack (my email address) is Tekoe who was once my very good dog who my father (Jack) turned into a very, very bad dog who in her old age kept trying to kill me. Nasty bites from the vicious dog aside, I loved my father who loved Tekoe so now I am tekoejack. I’m sure Freud would have fun with that.


    tj
     
  7. tekoedog

    tekoedog New Egg

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    The coop is about nine feet by four feet. There are three nest boxes and the chickens don't like the middle one but leave eggs in the two others. Broody girl has staked out one of the preferred boxes. The chickens are free-roaming in a big yard from early morning until they go in to roost at night. The city won't let me give Broody a rooster so I'm off to learn how to un-brood her. Thanks for the response.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. tekoedog

    tekoedog New Egg

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    Thanks to everybody for all your suggestions. I have de-brooded the broodie!
    First, I built a 3 x 3 foot jail and put some food and water in it. Then I put the puffed up, pluck-pluck-pluck broodie in it from morning until dusk. Every evening I sneaked her into the coop before the others came in for the night and every morning I whisked her off to jail when her sisters were out roaming elsewhere. When I went out to open the coop door on the fifth morning, Broodie had been cured and was right there waiting to be let out with all of her sisters. And that was that! Peace reigns and eggs are dropping once again.
    Thanks again for helping me through this traumatic adventure! It amazes me that chickens can be engaged in all-out warfare one day and forget all about it the next.
    T. Farmer of Denver
     
    1 person likes this.

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