First time with a broody BO

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MamaHen510, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. MamaHen510

    MamaHen510 New Egg

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    I adopted 4 chickens last October 2 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Barred Plymouth rocks. These girls are now 4 years old as of this spring.

    Luna, my sweetest BO, started growling or crowing about a week ago. At first it was when then other girls came into the coop and she was in the nesting box; then she was doing it while free ranging in the yard. Shes made a bunch of noise when she got kicked out of the box a few times too this past week.

    Today she's been puffing up and did not leave the nest box for hours so I kicked her out after i had confirmed she was done laying her egg... she usually announces when she's done but I didn't hear anything today except when Ethel must have booted her out to lay HER egg. Anyway Luna was not happy i removed her but i had to clean the nestbox and her feathers out since there was more feathers today than yesterday. When I closed the coop tonight I caught her in there again so I put her on the perch and took out the nest box till tomorrow morning.

    I feel like I should close off the coop/nest box to her during the day... I have a large dog kennel I could put her in if it comes to that. Ive done some research througn the forums here at BYC and it looks like an average of 3 days but I'm not sure when she's gonna stop laying and I'd like to try to avoid that if I can. This is a first time for me and these girls are really a joy to have. She's maybe 3rd out of 4th of the pecking order and the easiest to handle. Would handling her more make a difference? She's never pecked at me... None of them have... I'm unsure as time goes by if she's going to or not. Any other suggestions?
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    If you crate her and she lays for another couple of days, its ok as long as you remove the eggs. These days, because I have the set-up, i put my broody in a run, with a coop that has a wire base but i leave the coop door open (the coop is no bigger than a large dog crate) and put the food and water at ground level. It seems to work but seems to take a day longer to break her broodiness.

    Regardless of how friendly a hen is, when its broody time, she's a hater. She may peck you, but there's a difference between an aggressive peck and "hey, get outta my space" kind of peck. It's unlikely to hurt. Handling her more will not make too much of a difference in my experience. Moving slowly and talking to her gently is likely to result in a lower chance of a good pecking.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If she's still laying, she's not well and truly broody-----yet. Sounds like she's practicing or gearing up for it, though. If you nip it in the bud, you may be able to keep egg production uninterrupted. I'd go ahead and either block off the nest, or put her in a cage. The idea of a cage is being able to elevate the bottom, and get airflow to her underside. The warmth of setting on a nest helps trigger the broody hormones, so the cool air is like an anti-broody. Some folks direct a fan there, or put an ice pack. Myself, I just use a wire bottom cage, with no bedding. 2-3 days there will break the vast majority of broody hens, especially if she's not fully dedicated yet.
     
  4. MamaHen510

    MamaHen510 New Egg

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    Nov 1, 2016
    Thank you for the advise CTken & donrae

    It just started storming today (I'm in northern California in the central valley.) It's supposed to clear on sunday. Would it hurt if I maybe wait a couple days for it to clear before I put her in the broody breaker in the run? I only have one coop. From what ive observed of her behavior and read in some forums, it seems that broodiness can be a bit progressive in the beginning, but maybe thats just my luna.

    I have a "table" in the run that would likely keep her dry from up top but it's been super windy too and I'm concerned she will be too exposed to the elements right now. During the evening I can put something over the cage for better rain/ wind protection, but during the day its my understanding its better if shes in an indirect sunny area to help cease the broodiness. what do you think? Im guessing she might become more broody over a few more days but I won't have to try to reintroduce her to the flock if I keep her in the run. Plus once the weather clears I can elevate the cage to cool her underside.

    Of course i havent been spending as much time with the girls (this week) as normal because this event just so happens to coincide with our little kitty healing from a lanced abcess, he has his tube removed tomorrow and I have had to keep a close eye on him. (He's not a big fan of the cone of shame)
     

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