Is my girl getting broody?

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
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103
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
My girls (Sapphire Gems) are only 17 weeks. Merisol has been fairly quiet up until about the last week, then over the past 3 days has been REALLY vocal. Making sounds I have never heard before. Low throaty grumbling / growling sounds, and this morning it almost sounded like she said "mama" repeatedly. Seriously!!! I went and grabbed my phone to record it but she stopped doing it. She doesn't seem grumpy or agitated... she just sounds like it :p I tried to upload the sounds but even after cropping most of the video it says it's too large and wont upload :tongue
 

Brenda Jones

Songster
Sep 9, 2020
96
111
103
Upper Eastern Peninsula of Michigan
Has she started laying yet? If not, this could be signs that she's maturing and getting ready to start soon.

Thank you rosemarythyme. She has not started laying yet. She sounds miserable, but continues to eat, drink and play with the other girls. She runs around like normal, but she started digging pretty deep holes and then they all jump in to dust bathe :rolleyes: she has not shown any aggression toward the other two girls or me. I have placed ceramic eggs into the nesting boxes so they could get used to them, but none of them have shown any interest. It's is an unusually warm winter for us so far, but we are going to get a cold snap this week... I really wasn't really expecting them to lay until spring.... we only have 8-9 daylight hours during the winter and I only use supplemental light so they can see to come and go from their roost area in the morning around 8 and at night from 5-7pm. My girls turn 18 weeks next Monday.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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So the only behavior you are talking about is the sounds. Chickens make a lot of different sounds. They mean something to the chickens but I can't often interpret them. If she is acting normally she is probably OK. With that hole digging and the others following her it sounds like she may be the dominant flock master, at least for now. That can change as they mature. My guess is that the queen is just talking to her subjects.

On the egg laying. I've had pullets start to lay this time of the year, day length was about 10 hour a day with no supplemental lights at all. You are supplementing light, just not for egg laying purposes. Yours may wait until spring or you might find an egg out there today. You just never know.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
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Thank you rosemarythyme. She has not started laying yet. She sounds miserable, but continues to eat, drink and play with the other girls.

Very unlikely to be thinking of brooding then, if laying hasn't started. So either she's maturing enough that laying is on the horizon, or perhaps she's going through a phase where her voice or vocalizations change (think human adolescence). As long as she's active and acts/looks like a healthy bird, I wouldn't worry about it.
 

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