First Broody Hen - what to do?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Crusty McPottydoodle, May 17, 2010.

  1. Crusty McPottydoodle

    Crusty McPottydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my Austrolorp went broody yesterday. I don't necessarily need to break her broodiness as I have 2 other layers, a load of eggs in the fridge and I don't sell. So, in her best interests (mental and physical health), should I just let her do her thing with no eggs, or should I try and hunt down a few fertile ones for her to sit on and let her do what is coming naturally?

    Right now, I have just been pushing her out of the nest box. Feller thought she was having problems laying as she had been in the nest box almost all day. It wasn't until he voiced his concern and I went to check that I realised what was happening.
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    It's really entirely up to you and whether you want chicks or not. My GLW did that, and I just let her sit for three weeks. At first I removed any eggs (hers or others...as they weren't fertilized...and even the wooden egg I keep there). But then I felt bad for her and replaced the wooden egg. I did not want chicks, and I could deal with the less eggs every week issue. Whatever you decide, do remove her from the nest at least once a day to encourage her to eat/drink and poop each day. I removed mine 2x a day and fed her treats frequently, and she still lost a lot of weight that month. If you want a few chicks, buy some fertilized eggs and stick them under her.
     
  3. Crusty McPottydoodle

    Crusty McPottydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't really want chicks, I just want to do what would be most healthy for my hen. I have been booting her out of the nest box everytime I go out to the coop at this point as I don't want her away from food and water and not even having anything to show for it.
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well...some "break" their broody by elevating a wire cage (rabbit hutch or dog kennel) and keeping the hen in there for a few days with only food and water (no bedding). The idea is that the cool air will circulate all around the bird (hence elevating and wire bottom) to cool her off, and no bedding to snuggle in. Many have been successful with this. I guess in a sense this might be healthier, as it might avoid so much weight loss (but would cause a lot of stress). I was only going to consider the cage thing if she stayed on the nest more than the three weeks I gave her, as I thought the mental stress was worse than the physical stress. In other words, I don't know WHICH is better for the bird in the end...lol.
     
  5. pongoid

    pongoid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2010
    Hello all,

    I am new. What does this all mean? My wife thinks a rooster needs to be around to stimulate the hens to start laying. If they are good layers, does that mean they never eat?
    When you take the eggs do you need to replace it with a wooden egg or golfball?
    Do layers need to take breaks?

    With this Broody Hen you speak of, they just snap in and out of that behavior or what?

    My pullets are only 6 weeks old and I know I have at least 2 more months until they are ready to lay but now you got me all nervous.
     
  6. Crusty McPottydoodle

    Crusty McPottydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:A rooster is not required for hens to lay. Broody means that they stop laying to sit on a batch of eggs. Some breeds are more likely to go broody than others. When they are laying, they only sit on the nest to lay their egg and then they continue life as normal - eating, drinking, scratching etc.
     
  7. pongoid

    pongoid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How often does one hen lay? Every 2 days, every 3? Seems like they'd need a lot of environmental and nutritional support to keep up that rate of production.
    I know this info is probably other places on this site but it such a large unwieldy site.
     
  8. Crusty McPottydoodle

    Crusty McPottydoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Frequency of laying depends on the breed.

    Check out this chart. It may answer many of your questions.

    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html

    Yes, BYC is a very large site, but the more one navigates it, the easier it becomes to find what one is looking for.
     
  9. pongoid

    pongoid Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks.
     

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