Hen brooding in middle of coop floor

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Falj, Aug 22, 2016.

  1. Falj

    Falj In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2016
    My 5 month old buff Orpington just went broody a couple of days ago. She strangely keeps rolling her eggs out of the nest box and into the middle of the coop to sit on them. She keeps chasing the rest of the flock out of the cook so I worry they aren't getting the food and water they need because of her nasty attitude. Is this normal? How do I correct it? First time chicken owner and first hen to go broody!
  2. carlf

    carlf Chirping

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    Not sure there is much you can do other than maybe block her in the nest box, let her out (supervised) once/twice a day to get food and water.
    She will just keep moving the eggs to where SHE wants them!
    Can you move the food & water for the other birds? Is she letting them into roost?
  3. Falj

    Falj In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2016
    She won't let them into the roost at all, they go in the door and one by one they come running out squawking. Thankfully they are free range so have lots of space to forge and most of them help themselves to the dogs water bowl, so they aren't completely starved.

    I noticed when I went to check on her that 4 of her eggs were scattered on the floor and she was only sitting on 2? Is this normal?

    I'm going to have my husband rig up a maternity ward for her so she will stop bothering the rest of the flock.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    First, do you want her to hatch chicks? And do you have fertile eggs? If yes and yes, I'd advise to set up a separate area like you're talking about. Mark the two eggs she's setting on now and use them as bait when you move her. Moving a broody can cause them to stop brooding, or it can throw them off for a few days before they decide to commit to setting. Using those eggs as bait will provide an anchor for her to continue brooding. Then, once she's committed and tight to the nest, you can replace them with the eggs you want her to hatch.

    If you don't want her to hatch chicks, break her broodiness. This usually involves confining the hen to a wire bottom cage for 3-5 days with no nesting material. Elevated is best.

    Letting her brood with no resulting chicks is not only hard on her body, it puts a good hen out of production for weeks.
    1 person likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Donrae covered it well....but will post my blurb anyway and pic of broody breaker crate.

    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.

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