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Is it normal for pullets to go broody so often?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Coopmom56, Nov 4, 2015.

  1. Coopmom56

    Coopmom56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello all,

    I have four pullets of uncertain heritage (in other words, they're mutts) who began laying in August of this year. The two who took the longest to start laying have taken turns going broody about every other week - so about 3-4 weeks from the last time Alice went broody, there she goes again. I took advice from the forums and put her in a wire cage for 3-4 days, and that seems to do the trick. She goes a week or 10 days without laying and as soon as she does, Edith goes broody. The same thing happens and just as Edith begins to lay again, off goes Alice. This has happened twice now with each hen, in the space of about 6 weeks time.

    Is this normal? Will this go on this way for the rest of their laying lives? My other two hens haven't been broody at all. It's making me a little crazy!
     
  2. lindalouly

    lindalouly Grd Ctrl 2 Major Tom Premium Member

    Are you sure they are going broody. Could they be fighting over the same nest box and laying else where or are they staying in the nest box for four weeks at a time without coming out....
     
  3. Coopmom56

    Coopmom56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I think they're broody...want to stay in the nest all the time, feathers puffed out and tail spread like a turkey when I go to check the nesting boxes, sqealing at me the whole time. No pecking, though, thank goodness! And being in the wire crate seems to break them of the habit after a couple of days. They don't free range while we're working, and by the time they do, in the evening, egg laying seems to be over for the day.

    So, yeah, it seems to me they're broody rather than fighting over the nest boxes and laying elsewhere. Our place doesn't have many places to hide, where they range.
     
  4. lindalouly

    lindalouly Grd Ctrl 2 Major Tom Premium Member

    Some people have all the luck. Been hoping for a broody hen for a long time.
    Sounds like you have it all under control.
     
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I had a lot of broodys this past season, same problem as you, I have bantams that are always broody, those I don't mind but my laying hens I don't need them broody, certain breeds seem to spend their first laying season going broody repeatedly, the second season they seem to be less broody, so it's normal for some, but annoying if you want eggs.
     
  6. Coopmom56

    Coopmom56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wanna trade? I'm sure one of my girls would love to hatch for you!


    Well it's good to know that it's semi-normal. Hopefully next year they'll be over it... I'm not experienced enough yet to feel like I want to take on raising chicks. At this point we're learning and we're all about the eggs!
     
  7. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Broody will cluck nonstop and feathers ruffle... maybe they are sometimes having a long time to get egg out.. so they sit in nest awhile
     
  8. Coopmom56

    Coopmom56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, clucking constantly and ruffled, puffed up feathers. From everything I've read on BYC, they're broody! They're not laying at all, but gather everybody else's eggs up under them, along with all the golf balls I have in the 3 nesting boxes. [​IMG]. Thanks for the input! I'll know what to watch for in the future.
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

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    I'd swap you for a non-broody layer! I love broody hens, but I can sure understand why it's upsetting when you're looking for eggs.

    Take the golf balls out of the nests. It's not a proven thing, but my personal feeling is the feel of a "clutch" underneath them can help trigger the hormones that make them broody. Collect eggs as often as you can. Not saying it will cure them, but it can't hurt.

    You might also do a bedtime check. A broody will be sleeping on the nest. Boot her out to a roost. The cool air underneath her may help reset those hormones without resorting to putting her in the cage.
     
    2 people like this.
  10. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a vicious cycle. You want eggs, right? Well, your birds will quit laying next fall to molt. So...........obviously, you need new birds to start laying when the others quit. This happens every year, and explains chicken math in detail. It's how you go from 7 chickens to over 50. [​IMG] Breeding is even worse, because you have to hatch a bunch of birds to get a few good ones.
     

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