Help... Hen has stopped laying and won't come out of the nesting box

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by jodoherty1, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. jodoherty1

    jodoherty1 New Egg

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    I must begin by saying I am VERY new to chicken keeping. I have 4 hens all about 26-30 weeks. My beautiful hen who is about 30 weeks old and is my only hen laying so far has been giving us a small (46grams) egg every 3 out of 4 days for about a month now. The last three days she has not laid an egg and will not come out of the nesting box unless I forcibly remove her. There is no sign of fighting in the hen house and when I do remove her to free range she is eating and drinking ok and getting on with the other hens, however will return asap to the nesting box. When I approach the nesting box she puffs up and her belly feels warm. She is not roosting at night with the other three ladies. Her feathers look healthy and there are no signs of sickness. Please help me..........is she egg bound?? is she brooding?? would she brood and stop laying?? I am a complete novice.
     
  2. abluechipstock

    abluechipstock Chillin' With My Peeps

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    sounds like broody to me
     
  3. jodoherty1

    jodoherty1 New Egg

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    How to I stop her brooding without having to purchase any chicks......my hen house is full!
     
  4. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    Quote:From what I've heard, put her in a cage with a wire bottom, and limited bedding to discourage nest building, and keep her in there 'til she comes to her senses. [​IMG] Or, you could buy fertile eggs to put under her and start watching the calender, then just sell the chicks. [​IMG]
     
  5. jodoherty1

    jodoherty1 New Egg

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    If I leave her with no eggs underneath her - how long should she brood for?
     
  6. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    she'll stay broody for 3 days or a week after your patience wears out, whichever is more convenient for her. I've tried the "keep the belly cold" method of breaking, and they seem to just go right back to being broody a week or 2 later. In your case, i suppose I'd just leave her a couple eggs until she gets bored and quits. I hope you have 2 nest boxes, so the others don't get trained to lay in the yard because they cant get in the box.
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I had a Buff Orp go broody after only laying about 2 months. Luckily I have 4 nest boxes but I wanted her to get back to laying so I locked her out of the coop all day for a couple of days and all went back to normal.
     
  8. jodoherty1

    jodoherty1 New Egg

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    Thank you for your help.
    I think I will try locking her out of the hen house during the day for a couple of days. She has only just started laying.....and is still quite young....hope this isn't going to become a regular thing.....my nervs couldn't take it..........she is not sitting on any eggs...so perhaps this will help get through it quickly. I have two nesting boxes for 4 hens and the others haven't started laying yet, so access to laying isn't an issue.....only no eggs for the family as she is the only laying hen so far. any other tips for helping her to get over it quickly..... I live in Australia and it's summer so the ice under the bum would only melt!
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    What breeds are they? The others should kick in soon at that age. Do they have good light in the coop? Like big windows or do they get out early in the day. At 22 weeks I had not gotten any eggs and it was moving into fall so I added light and cut bigger windows. Within a week I had the first egg. By 24 weeks I had seven and by 25 weeks I got my first 10 for 10. I started at about 14 hours light and holding steady at 12 now.
    Being summer there light shouldn't be a problem unless they're cooped up too much or they're slow developing breeds.
    When I was young my uncle had about 50 hens and he kept a couple wooden cages about 2' X 3' hanging from the cieling to put broody hens in with just a little bit of straw. Apparently even in summer it keeps their bottom as cool as the rest of them.

    I also put ice cubes in her favorite nest and they all left that one alone for a long time.
     
  10. dmccann

    dmccann Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I know your pain!
     

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