Egg bound or Broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Poliwag, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Poliwag

    Poliwag Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    0
    119
    Nov 19, 2008
    Australia
    One of my newly egg laying hens has been spending a lot of time in a nesting box.
    She was in there for the last of the day yesterday and into the night but I ended up moving her to the roost.
    First thing this morning I found her in there again. She is still in there now and it is now evening.
    I have picked her up and moved her around to see if there are eggs (there were none) and she made some noises but didn't peck me.

    She is one of my first hens to get to the egg laying stage and I have never seen a broody hen before so I don't know what to look for.
    She is a Silkie Bantam and 35 weeks (8 months) old.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,113
    3,318
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Typical broody behavior is to stay on the nest day and night, leaving only long enough to quickly eat, drink, and poop. This can take as little as 10 minutes or as long as an hour. Some will fluff up their feathers to look bigger and meaner, some will cluck at you or even peck you, but all stay on the nest overnight if they are really broody. And silkies are known for going broody.
     
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,833
    21
    181
    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    It sounds likely that she is broody. Ridgerunner gave you a lot of the signs. My hens also make bizarre noises, growls, screeches, it's really hilarious. If you know that they are broody...

    Another thing to be prepared for. She may pluck out the feathers on her belly and chest. It's nothing to be alarmed about. They do it for better egg contact.

    Now you have to decide whether to break her of her broodiness or give her eggs to hatch.
     
  4. Poliwag

    Poliwag Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    0
    119
    Nov 19, 2008
    Australia
    Quote:How do I break her of her Broodiness? We don't have a rooster... but I did have one a couple of weeks ago. I have eggs I got from when he was around in an incubator but I cannot put those down with her... we have a really bad rat problem >.<
     
  5. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,833
    21
    181
    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    The best way to break a hen of broodiness is to put her in a wire bottomed cage, preferably off the ground and in a well lighted place. With no bedding materials at all. Nothing that she can make a nest out of. Mine have roosts in them, but that's probably not absolutely necessary. Give her food and water in the cage, and keep her in there for a few days. Maybe longer if she is really determined. You'll know she's over her broodiness when she no longer puffs up and makes the puck-puck-pucking sound when you walk by. Most of the time. Sometimes she's only tricking you and will run right back to her nest. Then she goes back to the cage.

    I had to build 3 such cages, because I'm overrun with wannabe mommas. If you don't have anything like that, you can try some other methods. Take her off the nest repeatedly. Close her chosen nest box off. Separate her to a new and different area. Try to put her on the roost at night, after it's already dark. I can't really think of any more ideas right off hand. I've been using my broody jails for too long... They really do work the best! [​IMG]

    Good luck! Broody hens are truly a blessing when you want chicks, and a pain in the neck when you don't.
     
  6. Poliwag

    Poliwag Chillin' With My Peeps

    168
    0
    119
    Nov 19, 2008
    Australia
    Quote:I don't have any "jail cells" but I'll figure something out. Thanks for the advice.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by