is she broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by quichequeen, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. quichequeen

    quichequeen New Egg

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    I have an 9 mth old hen who has taken to staying in the nest box. she is not laying eggs right now, she squats immediately when I take her out of the box. I have been taking her out of the nest box 3-4 x a day and putting her back in the coop. she will eat and drink, move around a little bit, fluff up, and the other hens seem to pick on her, then she goes right back in the box???? None of them have hatched out chicks so there have never been any around, is it possible that she is broody?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Very possible. Any female bird sitting most of the day in the nest with or without eggs is likely a setter.

    Do you have fertile eggs and do you want chicks?
     
  3. quichequeen

    quichequeen New Egg

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    We have eggs but we do not want to hatch out anymore birds so she will have to get over it.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Then don't dillydally. The broody needs to go in a wire bottom cage immediately and her broodiness will be broken in a day or two.
    Delaying action, will delay breaking. Then they won't lay eggs for quite a while.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Ditto on the no Dilly-Dallying.

    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 few bricks right in the coop and I would feed her some watered down crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day 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.

    I don't have a pic but @krista74 has a great pic of her broody crate, which is the same type I used.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  6. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here it is! Along with naughty Red Bird, lol [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    The only things in the crate are feed, water, a brick to hold down the fine wire base and of course, Red Bird.

    Make sure you put it in a shady place with a roof over it (a sheet of tin will do, or an old bed sheet draped over it) to protect her from the elements.

    @aart is right too - the quicker you get her into the cage, the less time it will take to break her. My girls are as stubborn as all get-out and usually take 5 to 6 days, but that being said it is the middle of Summer here, and the idea behind raising the cage up onto blocks is that cool air can pass underneath the broody and cool her off. There are not many cool breezes here in Summer so I guess it takes a little longer to work!

    Good luck!

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  7. quichequeen

    quichequeen New Egg

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    It is the dead of winter here in Maine. We are at sub zero temps and our chicks won't go anywhere near the outside! Would you still put her in a cage in the coop? It will make it pretty cramped for the other 6 birds. Doesn't really matter if she isn't laying for a little bit. Will she come out of this on her own if we just leave her alone. I take her out of the box 2-3 x a day and make her go in the coop to eat, drink and hang out.
     
  8. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She might, but it's a question of after how long.

    I've tried it and found that the buster cage gets it all over and done with much quicker. I'd rather cage them and bust them in a few days than have them sit for 3 weeks on imaginary babies and not be eating properly for no valid reason.

    If their quarters are a bit cramped, you could put the buster cage in the garage or a shed. She doesn't have to be with the others while you break her - in fact, she probably wants to be left alone now anyway!

    The other option is to keep kicking her out of the nest each day, and once the others have all laid for the day, block off the nest boxes so she can't get in. It does mean you will have to get up early each morning to re-open the nest boxes for the layers again, but it might work. The fact that it's cold there is going to go in you favour. It's so much harder when it's 100F+ outside!

    - Krista
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    X2 on all that.

    In the cold like it is there, I bet it would only take 2 days at the most unless you wait too long.

    I have a friend that didn't try to break a broody turkey and just let her sit for months. Eventually the turkey got emaciated and couldn't walk. Tube feeding, physical therapy and $2000 of vet bills later, the turkey died.
     

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