Cranky Hen won't get out of nesting box nor let others lay - thoughts before isolating her or tradin

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheBlueMax, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. TheBlueMax

    TheBlueMax Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2012
    We have 6 hens that we raised from day olds last May 2012. 2 Barred Rocks, 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes and a Black & Gold Sex Link. They all get along fine and have been laying 6-8 eggs a day since they were two months old & they're happy hens. The coop is clean, we use a deep nesting method of pine shavings & D.E., they have a heat lamp and she just won't get off those eggs and is getting very aggressive when we attempt to retrieve them. ***The Wyondotte is the problem here - 1 not the other.***

    One of the Gold Laced Wyandottes has become "In Charge Marge" and has taken over the nesting boxes. She pushes all the eggs into one corner, that she and others lay, and sits there all day long, rarely ever getting out of the box. The other 5 get out and free range our 1.5 acres but she has decided to stay cooped up sitting on any or all eggs that area laid.

    She is growley, won't get off the eggs, fluffs out, gets truly Peeed Offfff, attacks your hands, stick or tool to get her to move and she'd becoming a real pill. My kids love our chickie babies but I am about to isolate her into her own small coop and or trade her out unless she starts letting the others lay eggs AND allows us to go in after them without getting pecked. She is so obstanant, I am afraid she is going to get hurt as we try moving her to get eggs.

    We've let her sit on some for 3-4 days and give her space and it hasn't helped.

    Ideas fellow chicken lovers?

    We're out of eggs and our two neighbors will also go elsewhere if we don't get production back. :/
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  2. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh simple this hen just wants to be a mom. She's broody. Once she isn't broody she will start laying and become her old self again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
    2 people like this.
  3. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's sounds like she is broody. You will need to take the eggs daily preferably more than once a day if you don't want her to set. There are many ways that people use to "break up" broodies. I'd search for that.
     
  4. TheBlueMax

    TheBlueMax Out Of The Brooder

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    Super, thanks. How long does her being 'broody' usually last? When I grew up and had chickens....they all just laid.
     
  5. TheBlueMax

    TheBlueMax Out Of The Brooder

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    Will search for it, thank you. Is there a guesstimate how long a Hen stays 'broody'? She his a real handful to move but no problem.
     
  6. brahmabreeder

    brahmabreeder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Being broody can take forever depending on the bird if you just leave them. How ever most are generally easy to break. Just be for warned she may go back to being broody depending on how strong being broody is in her genes. Only birds I had go back to being broody were silkie.
     
  7. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I, personally, dislike the idea of "breaking" a broody hen. She is responding to hormones and genetics and is is driven by them. Generally, she can stay broody until she hatches and raises some chicks..... Three weeks to hatch, anywhere from three to eight weeks to raise the chicks and return to laying.

    My suggestion is to remove the eggs from beneath her and replace them with either fertile eggs or golf balls or wooden eggs. Right around two weeks, you might be able to remove the fake eggs and replace them with day old chicks, and she may be very happy. If you give her fertile eggs, she will need 21 - 23 days to incubate them.

    But that's just me.
     
  8. TheBlueMax

    TheBlueMax Out Of The Brooder

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    I agree in I would love to just let her be and appreciate the faux egg idea. The challenge is she is really bitchy, won't let the other 5 hens into lay and goes after them some when she is out and about.

    How about some Chicken Prozac? lol
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Oh, the other thing I wanted to mention - IF you give her fertile eggs to hatch, mark them with an X or something. Don't use pencil as it wears off. Sharpies are fine. You still need to remove the eggs she's stolen or that other hens lay in the nest when she is up taking her constitutional. Just leave her the X'd eggs.

    When I am dealing with broody hens, I always move more slowly and keep talking softly to them. They get so they'll still puff up and chitter at me, but they allow me to count eggs. If there are more than I know about, I take out eggs just far enough to check for an X. Those she gets to keep.

    I've got a big grin on my face because I know that "bitchy" walk they do... Almost hear 'em saying, "Stupid feeder is too far away from the nest and there's too many chickens around her, especially YOU, you little good for nothing pullet, can't even lay eggs yet, what good are you. I sit on eggs day after day for, what?! To put up with this crap. Get out of my way. You too. Who's this in my favorite dusting spot? I don't care if you're the danged rooster, get out of my way. This stuff isn't as good as it was before. You can have it. Has the Person filled the waterer yet or is it that old water from yesterday? Humph."
     
  10. PSJ

    PSJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you let her have eggs, it would be easier to separate her from the other hens. That way, you don't have the problem of the others not being able to use the nest box. She will need her own food and water source near her. It will be easier if you move her at night.
     

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