Dumb question of the week

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lazy gardener, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    ~Dumb question of the week: I only have one girl laying every other day now, but this week am seeing a bit more red in some faces, and their molts are finished for the most part, so the eggs may start up. One of the EE had a habit of climbing in the box to cuddle with the other girl's egg(s). Today was the first day I've seen her do that since she stopped laying in Mid Nov. When I reached in to check for the egg, she was a bit testy with me. She's never done that before! Is there any possibility for a pullet/hen to go broody even though she has yet to start laying again? I know that even if she were to go broody, it would take a while to see how serious she is, but has any one had a chicken actually go broody who's not yet laying???? Even if she were to go broody, I doubt that I'd let her hatch in this nasty weather.
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    No question is dumb and actually this is an interesting question worth looking into.

    To answer your question, absolutely they can go broody right after a molt. I have one doing that right now. A 3 year old Australorp that was quick to molt, and started right in on the broodiness. She bit me today while sitting in the box and has been doing a lot of growling in the nest boxes. She has been going in and out of each box for about a week now and the broodiness is growing by the day.

    When the hormones turn on, and they can turn on during the dead of winter, nothing will stop their broody instincts. When your girl starts growling at you, well, you have a broody on your hands. :)
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Is your broody laying, or did she start laying after her molt? It's interesting. I've only had one girl laying all winter. Just in the last 2 - 3 days when she starts her repeated visitation of the nest boxes, every one else is jumping into the loft to "help" her. I know that people do successfully raise chicks with broodys in the dead of winter. This would not be my first choice as I am getting 3 Dom chicks later on this spring. (hopefully in april) and I don't want to be dealing with multiple age groups... but who am I to stand in the way of progress! I have at least one, and possibly 2 sources of fertile eggs if she decides that she is serious. If she does, and I give her some eggs to brood, would it be a logical decision to fire up the incubator at the same time and set a few more eggs, that way, if she fails, I could finish incubating, and if she succeeds, and proves herself to be a good mother, I could slip a few more chicks under her after hatch?
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    No, my broody went from a molt to being broody. No eggs. I find that my other girls that are still finishing up with their molts, have become very curious of her and also follow her into a box or watch her as she goes in and out of the boxes. I don't know why they are so fascinated with her laying or lack of, as I am sure they will be laying again soon too. LOL Nest box envy maybe. LOL I am hoping she is not going to get everybody else going broody as well. I am not in the mood for broodies just yet. LOL

    Oh, and she is temporarily out of the nest box. But she is clucky and growly. So I expect her to one of these days, go into a box and not come out. :)
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I find chicken behavior to be absolutely amusing, and a wicked stress buster! These girls were running in and out of the loft all morning, chasing the one layer around. Nosy little biddies!
     

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