I need help!

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by sappora, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. sappora

    sappora Out Of The Brooder

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    We have three hens, all was fine, we were getting three eggs daily. One chicken is now wanting to sit in her nest box (which happens to be the same best box all of the chickens want to use). She sits there whether there are eggs in the nest or not. Problem is now, we are only getting one egg a day instead of 3 since she won't let them use the popular nest box. What can I do???
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Either give her fertile eggs to hatch and move her to new quarters or break her from being broody.
    After being broken, the setter will resume laying in about a month or so.

    The tried and true method of breaking broodiness is to put the bird in an elevated wire bottom cage to get cool air to her underside which breaks the hormone cycle.
    As long as she can keep her butt warm, she'll stay broody.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  3. sappora

    sappora Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your quick reply. Is it normal for my other girls, the ones not broody, to pick at and ostracize this broody girl? Seems like they don't want her in their pack anymore.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    It's always normal for a bird separated from the flock for any reason to get into squabbles.
    A bird that has been away from the others is seen as a threat to the health of the flock.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  5. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    It may have to do with where she sat in the pecking order. If she is towards the bottom then it can cause some temporary problems like this. When they go broody they tend to get protective and cranky and if you are at the bottom of the pecking order this looks an awful lot like getting to big for your boots to those above her so they will peck at her to try and remind her of her place. My silkie is at the very bottom and knows her place running from everybody at the slightest glance but when she is broody she puffs up and clucks and ignores everybody and the big girls hate that and peck at her to try and remind her she isn't supposed to be that brave. Good news is this all goes away when her broodiness does and she stops acting cranky round them.

    If you are not planning to hatch eggs there is no point letting her sit on the nest, she will do so for months causing squabbles and not laying. She also won't eat much during this time so will loose condition so unless she's hatching chicks there's no reason to put her body through that.

    To stop her being broody you have to follow one golden rule. Keep her off the nest 24 hrs, day and night for around 3-4 days and in the worst case about a week. How you do that really doesn't matter but if she can get on the nest to sleep or on and off again during the day it won't work. I just put up a bit of temporary plastic wire at one end of our run and confine them with food and water down there during the day and lock their nest box up so they can't use it from about 4:30pm and let her back in with everybody else for the afternoon and evening. Never fails to work and things get back to normal again.

    Traditional wisdom says everything from locking them in small cages, dunking them and even putting ice under them. I've never found the need as long as you follow that zero access 24 hrs a day rule.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2016
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    Just a thought but is your hen definitely broody or could she be sick and/or taking refuge in the nest box because the others are picking on her?
     
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  7. sappora

    sappora Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2012
    Thank you for your reply. I am going to try what you suggested and keep her locked away from her nesting box. I did it starting last night, she seemed very unhappy but oh well. The other two hens didn't lay eggs from yesterday morning and nothing today yet. Not sure why. We usually at least get an egg a day from each.
     
  8. sappora

    sappora Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2012
    I don't think she is sick, she looks and acts normal except that she puffs herself up and clucks when the other girls come around her.
     
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, yes that sounds like she is broody. Just wanted to be sure there wasn't something more seriously wrong.
     

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