Crazy Silver-Lace won't leave the nesting box?!?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by chickchickgirls, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. chickchickgirls

    chickchickgirls Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2010
    Oregon
    So I got a mini-flock of 17 last January (2010) when they were about 8 months old. No one has ever gone broody or even acted remotely broody. About a week ago, one of my Silver Lace Wyandottes was just sitting in the nesting box all afternoon. I was worried about her as we lost a hen to an egg-bound nightmare. I kept checking on her, she wouldn't even move when I picked her up, just made soft clucking noises, and felt extremely heavy. I had to go out of town a few days and left my husband to watch her, fully expecting a call that she had died. Got home last night and she is still in the same box, although she does change positions alot. My husband said she gets out to drink and eat occasionally and then hops right back into the nest. I'm guessing this is just broodiness and it will pass. I know some say to put ice under her, but if I don't do that, will she stop after the normal 21 day hatch cycle. I don't have a rooster, although some of my new batch from the end of March are boys. They shouldn't be old enough to "knock up" my hens though, not even crowing yet. (They're gone as soon as they do, so smart boys!)[​IMG] I guess I just want reassurance that this is what a broody hen does. Thanks!
     
  2. DancingHen

    DancingHen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2011
    Central Oregon Coast
    Yes, that sounds like a broody hen. If no chicks ever hatch she may not stop. Some give up, but others can be stubborn and stay broody for months. I have never used the ice trick, but I do find it often helps to just block her access to the nests for several hours at a time. You have to get her temperature to go down on her belly. That breaks the urge to set. If she is put in a wire bottom cage for awhile, or ice under her in the nest, that helps to cool her belly. But, I usually just lock them out of the coop for a few hours here and there in order to cool them and distract them at the same time.....it has worked for me so far.

    Good luck.
     
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    She likely won't quit on her own. You need to either let her hatch, slip chicks under her or break her. Search "breaking a broody" and you'll get lots of advise.
     
  4. chickchickgirls

    chickchickgirls Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 4, 2010
    Oregon
    Thank you for your help. I guess I foolishly thought "no roosters no broodies". Live and learn, right! There aren't even any eggs under her. She won't let anyone in "her" box to lay. I'll pull her out and let her free range outside the coop for a while. Thanks for the advice.
     

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