Mommy wanna be's

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by slfisher, Aug 3, 2013.

  1. slfisher

    slfisher New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    May 31, 2013
    One of my leghorns has been in her nesting box for nearly a week. I do not have roosters but I believe she thinks she has been bred because one of my mean Sussex hens got on her back and held her down. Ever since, she has been on the next. She is not injured and doesn't appear to be ill...just a wanna be mommy. I reach in and take out the eggs every day and once in a while take her out of the next and put her out in the yard with the other hens. Within minutes, she is back in the coop and her nest. I haven't seen her eat or drink in days, however, she doesn't feel any lighter than the other hens.

    A friend said that she will continue nesting until she hatches an egg or at least thinks she does and suggested I get a chick and slip it under her during the night. I really don't want to add to the flock, but will do so if it works.

    Any other suggestions???
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    35,989
    7,453
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    You have a few options here:

    1. Get some fertile eggs for her to hatch. She won't know or care that it's not her own eggs. Trust me, I have a broody sitting very happily on a fake egg at the moment. And I don't have any roosters. (I'm going to get her some eggs to hatch soon.)
    2. Let her sit on an egg or 2 for another 2 weeks and find some day-old chicks for her. Slip the chicks under her at night while she's sleepy and remove the eggs at the same time. She will (hopefully) think it's the eggs that hatched. This method works fairly well, though it's not 100% foolproof, by doing it at night she will be less likely to resist.
    3. Break her broodiness. One good way to do this is by placing her in a wire cage for a few days with only food and water, no nesting materials. A broody hen's body temperature is slightly higher than usual. When in the cage with the airflow it's hard for them to maintain that. After an average of 3 days in the cage broodies usually give up and "snap out of it".
     
  3. auburn

    auburn Out Of The Brooder

    85
    6
    33
    Jun 19, 2012
    West Michigan
    I just had a hen go broody despite being separated from our roosters for almost a month now. I think just their presence can cause broodiness, though it's worth noting this hen has been broody before, back when the roosters were kept in the coop with the hens.

    If you really don't want another chicken, you could always try and break her broodiness. You can also allow her to keep sitting on the nest until she gives up, which she eventually will, it just might take a while. :'D

    The eating and drinking thing worries me, are you sure she hasn't been? Also, is she still pooping? She might just be doing these things when you aren't around. It might be worth trying to hand feed her a treat or something just to make sure her appetite is still there. Otherwise I'd worry that she's not broody, but sick.
     
  4. slfisher

    slfisher New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    May 31, 2013
    She is still pooping so I figure she is sneaking out for food and water at some point. Hopefully she will 'get over it'. Poor little thing. She doesn't seem weak and in fact is fairly feisty
    -- lunging at my dog when he sticks his nose into her nest and pecking at me when I reach in for eggs. Thanks!
     
  5. slfisher

    slfisher New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    May 31, 2013
    PS - I have tried hand feeding her goodies (her favorite treats are spinach and cockroaches, not necessarily in that order) but she wasn't interested.
     
  6. slfisher

    slfisher New Egg

    6
    0
    7
    May 31, 2013
    Thanks for the advice! I take the eggs out from under her every day so she's just sitting. If there is an egg in another box, she'll go sit in it.

    I couldn't put her in a little cage...that would break my heart. But I could close the door from their yard into the coop to keep her out for the day at least. Again, thank you for the advice.

    Now...how to keep the dang girls from pooping on my patio.... [​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by