Help! Has she gone broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chicky1981, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. Chicky1981

    Chicky1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    I think my Silkie cross has gone broody, how can I tell for sure?

    She came out of the coop fine this morning with the other 2 hens. I came home from work this afternoon and went to check for eggs and I found my little silkie named Honey sitting in the net box. I just thought she was laying an egg so I left her to it and came back about 2 hours later to check on her and she was still sitting. I have shut the girls in for the night now and she is still in the nest box.

    If she has gone broody please advise the best way to deal with this. These are my 1st chickens and the 1st time I have had to deal with a broody one. I just want the best for her so any help and advice is appreciated.
     
  2. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can't understand why being broody has this reputation for being some sort of emergency... it isn't!

    Being broody simply means that your hen wants to hatch eggs. That's all it means.

    Your hen may be broody if she is unwilling to leave the nest, if she becomes irritated with you when you try to move her or collect eggs from underneath her.

    What if anything you do about it is up to you. Please understand that you are dealing with a chicken and being broody is instinctive behavior. Your hen does NOT have emotions that other sentient beings have. You are NOT going to hurt her feelings if you don't let her hatch eggs.

    To try to "break" her broodiness you can search here for tips.
     
  3. Chicky1981

    Chicky1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    I don't think it is an emergency and I know it is natural behavior. I just want to make sure I am doing the right thing by my chickens and for me that means asking for help and advice. Am I wrong to? Once I have a bit more experience I will be ok but I am new to keeping chickens and this is my 1st broody hen.
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    When I don't want them to hatch chicks (or don't have fertile eggs,) I take them off the nest once or twice a day and prod them til they move around, eat and drink, hopefully scratch around some, preen, etc. They go back in a few minutes, but I feel better knowing they've probably gotten a little more to eat and drink and a little more exercise. You probably know they usually get off the nest once a day to eat, poop, etc. But they do tend to lose weight anyway, and occasionally one won't get up at all, and dies. I've tried a couple of times to break one, but finally decided I wasn't comfortable with that, so I do this instead. If you decide to just leave her on the nest, do check to be sure she's not pooping there, as this might indicate she is not getting up at all. Even if they are hatching eggs, I keep food and water in their usual place or at least not right by the broody, so she has to get up and move to get them.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  5. Chicky1981

    Chicky1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    Do you give them fake eggs or leave them with nothing?
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Nothing. Just in case the eggs will encourage them to stay broody, or prolong it, they get none. I promise you, they will try to hatch nothing at all when their hormones tell them to.
     
  7. Chicky1981

    Chicky1981 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for giving me some good advice. I will try getting her up and off the nest in the morning and when I come home from work in the afternoon. Sorry if I seem a bit stupid. Now I know what to do I feel better.
     
  8. beach livin'

    beach livin' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    i had to break my broody girl also. what i ended up doing was taking her out of the nest after i got home from work on thursday and put her in my dogs old crate. i gave her food and water. i left her over night in it, and the entire next day as well. i let her rejoin the other girls when i got home from work. she still hasnt layed yet, so im assuming it takes a little while for her system to switch back over. i didnt mind her being broody, but we really had no reason for her to be. we have no roo, so there would be no babies. her broody was also starting to affect the laying of the other girls. they go to where they wouldnt go to the nest anymore to lay. so the egg production slacked off. good luck!
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Please don't feel this way. It's called being new, not stupid. We all were at one time! Besides, I've had chickens in the yard off and on for over 60 years, but I've learned a tremendous amount on BYC.

    If I still worked I'd probably never manage the morning one, often it was still dark anyway, but just the afternoon one is so much better than nothing, IMO.
     
  10. StarLover21

    StarLover21 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2! Everybody has to learn. I remember the time I put 2 1/2 week old chicks outside in 60 degree weather with no heat lamp...
    [​IMG]
     

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