I thought broody hens were supposed to...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    instinctively know to get off the nest once a day to eat, drink and poop?

    Not one of mine will come off the nest at all, unless I force them off! And I do force them off. I can't help it, I'm worried about their weight, being that they are very young and small to begin with.

    Two of them have food and water right in front of them, the other has it not far from her, but they don't eat or drink until I force them off.

    As much as I wanted these broodies, I don't want them to die either. [​IMG]
     
  2. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    My girl would come off to eat and drink, but when she needed to unload the broody poo, she's just hang her rear out the nest box and let her rip. [​IMG]
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:So do I keep forcing them off once a day or what? Doe (the SF) growls at me when I pick her up, but she doesn't bite or anything. Once I set her down outside her nest, she zooms out the door of the coop and does her thing. When I take Jethro and Ellie Mae (the silkies) off the nest, they just sit there, where I put them, like blobs. I finally give up and let them go back to their nests. [​IMG]
     
  4. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    I dunno. My broody experience is limited, but I wouldn't worry about them too much. I don't think they'd starve themselves to death. [​IMG]
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Thanks Happy [​IMG]
     
  6. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    Just think, after all this craziness, you'll be more "broody experienced" than me. [​IMG]
     
  7. NYREDS

    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

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    In 50 years of poultry keeping I've never had or heard of a broody hen starving herself to death let alone more than one of them doing so. Your assumption that they need to come off the nest every day may be flawed. They will come off when they need to.
     
  8. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My broody didn't want to go eat or drink. I put it all in the nest with her, no go. What I wound up doing is make a mash of layer and scrambled egg with some yogurt to make it sticky. Then I would pester her with a spoonful until she snapped at it and found it was yummy. Then she would consent to eat a tiny bowl full, as long as I put it right in front of her.

    As for the poo she would only get up enough to poop out the door of the broody coop. Out of the whole time she was setting, I think she came out to the run maybe 4 times.
     
  9. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

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    Quote:Agreed. I only have a couple years experience with broodies, but I've known over 8 broodies and none ever starved themselves. Often a broody hen will eat/drink when you don't notice it or just not feel the need to eat/drink very often. Some of my hens are practical world champions about getting it done as quick as possible.
     
  10. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Okay, it is quite possible that my thinking is flawed on this one, but...I read in Storey's Guide to Chickens that if a broody won't come off the nest, you might have to force them off.

    My problems are compounded by the fact that I have to lock them in their crates. The crates are plenty big enough for them to get away from their nest to poop or eat or whatever, but they do have to stay locked in when I'm not there to supervise. The reason for this is that I have some meatie pullets in that coop and if the broodies weren't protected on in their crates the meaties will tear the nests apart and crush the eggs.
     

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