Is this true?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ClareScifi, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 30, 2011
    I just read something scary. It said Broody Hens are quite stubborn, and they will sit on their eggs until they hatch. It said if your broody hen is sitting on unfertilized eggs, she will likely die, because those eggs won't hatch, but she'll stay on them until she starves to death or uses up all her energy.
     
  2. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Then I found another posting that says the chicken who sits on unfertilized eggs can die of constipation.
     
  3. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Stop reading right there! [​IMG]

    Just isolate your broody from the flock but where she can see and hear them. Provide food and water but nowhere to nest or no nesting material. This will cool her jets and make her forget her broodiness. Been keeping chickens a long, long time but never had a broody die.....relax and enjoy your chickens! [​IMG]
     
  4. Shannon33

    Shannon33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't know if it's true or not but I do know they can be VERY determined. I have one brooding now and I take her off once a day and makes sure she eats/drinks and poops. I would hope no one would let their chicken sit so long to the point she kills herself. I have seen threads about breaking hens out of being broody. I don't know why someone would let a hen have unfertilized eggs so long anyway, although I suppose ones that free range might go off somewhere and do it.
     
  5. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, she's under the neighbor's house where I can't get to her. I shone a flashlight under there and finally spotted her when it was pitch black out a few minutes ago. I had looked and called all day, but she had been silent and nowhere to be found.

    I didn't know she had laid all those eggs under their house until recently. I had bought materials for fencing around their porch so she couldn't get under there, but my S.O. says the neighbor didn't want it done when he had the time to do it. He says later the neighbor said he could, but then my S.O. said he didn't have the time to do it anymore. The neighbor, by the way, gave us the chickens as a gift. If only they had done as I wanted and fenced it off this would not be a concern, and now I am stuck with the worry and work, and there is no way to get to her. My only hope is to get her to come out for food, and she has never been a good eater, unlike her nonbroody sister.

    The neighbor is away on vacation until June 15. I'd like to take a saw and cut out a piece under his house so I can pull the hen out, but I guess that wouldn't be kosher, and I'm not sure I could get in there with a saw, even. My S.O. says the steps are built onto the porch and are not removable. If I could take them off, I could get under there, but he says it isn't possible. And I don't think I have anything long enough to get the eggs out from under her with. What an infuriating mess!
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    A good broody will not leave that nest for food and water every day.....all the time she is off the nest, the heat and humidity is lost to those eggs. That is why you find huge, black broody poops once or twice during a brooding session....that is the only time she is getting off the nest, to eliminate waste and possible drink or grab a nibble. I wouldn't force a broody off a nest of fertilized eggs if I wanted them to hatch.
     
  7. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tried to break this hen of her broodiness many times. I have isolated her with no nesting material for 4 days at a time (I read that was sufficient), but she goes right back to being broody after a few days. I didn't realize all those eggs that I can't get to were under the neighbor's house. That must have been the attraction. She must have laid them last fall when I thought she and her sister had stopped laying due to the cooler and shorter autumn days.

    Also, during the past several weeks she would sleep in the coop stacked atop her sister at night, because she has such a strong broody instinct. Her sister underneath kept her breast warm, I guess. The sister chicken was good not to protest this behavior, but put up with it without complaint.

    My S.O. doesn't care for the chickens. I'll bet he'd be happy to see her go. This makes me so mad.
     
  8. Shannon33

    Shannon33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh no! Sorry to hear that! Is there anyway to flush her out, like maybe squirt her with a water bottle or something?
     
  9. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I've broken broodies with cool water before but most folks on here feel that is "cruel". If you don't want a broody and you have one that is persistent, you may rehome her to someone who wants a broody but doesn't have one. Swap with someone when you finally get her out from under the house. Broodies are real handy when you are ordering day old chicks or getting chicks from the feed store and don't want to brood them.
     
  10. ngamtnman

    ngamtnman Out Of The Brooder

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    They can be very stubborn. My bantam hen went broody back in March before I got the new coop finished. So other hens were climbing into the nest box with her and laying their eggs (even though there were 3 other boxes for them to lay in). She ended up with about 8 or 9 eggs in there with her. She couldn't cover them all but I hoped the two or three right under her would hatch something since she seemed to stay on them all the time.

    Three weeks came and went and by day 25 I gave up hope but she didn't. She seemed to be doing great, she was coming off the nest once a day and eating and drinking and leaving a nice big pile of broody poo (I didn't know a bantam could hold that much poo! lol). So, by that time I had he new coop finished with new nest boxes so I decided to let her try again since she would be completely alone and in peace in the old coop. I gave her two more eggs and she did great until about day 10, I found her off her eggs and setting in the next box next to her with no eggs and the two I had given her were uncovered and cold.

    After that I decided to break her of her broodies. I put her back with the flock in the new coop. She didn't try to sit on any eggs in the new nest boxes but about a week afterwards I was in the old coop doing some work turning it into half storage and half brooder pen for the chicks I was about to receive when I heard her coming up behind me clucking. I stepped back out of her way and she went straight to the nest box she originally went broody in and climbed right in and spread herself out like she was setting on eggs.

    I went and got one and put it in front of her just to see what she would do and she did her surprised, happy cluck and quickly rolled the egg underneath her. I chuckled and told her she couldn't have any more for now and picked her up and set her back in the new coop.

    She finally broke out of her broodiness about 3 weeks later and started laying again. I'm just waiting for her to go broody again. I hope she doesn't, lol. [​IMG]
     

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