My first broody - I need help. . .

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Wizbop, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. Wizbop

    Wizbop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We've got a small coop (tractor style) and three hens. Miss Lena is acting odd as of last night. She stays in one nesting box. Went to bed there (was sitting on three eggs) and when we woke up she was still there. Puffs up big when I open the hatch to check for eggs. When I get her out, she lays on the ground in a puffed out egg sitting position. She's mad at the world. Is she broody? She's a RIR and I thought they less likely to get broody. What am I supposed to do about this? Our other two girls are a RIR and a Black Star. We've got two laying boxes and Lena gets on top of their eggs as soon as she can. I got her butt out of the coop this evening and she's just having a FIT to get back in there right now (I knew nobody would have to lay this evening) and thought I would make her take a break. She's pacing like crazy. I'm mean, I know. Advice, please.
     
  2. MaineChick

    MaineChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Sounds like a normal broody to me. Are you going to let her set and hatch the eggs? If so, I'd leave her be. Keep an eye out to make sure she's getting off the nest to poop and stretch her legs, but she may only do this for a few minutes each day. Use it as an excuse to pamper her with treats - after all, broody hens need to keep their strength up! Chopped cooked chicken, cheese, yogurt, and scrambled or hardboiled eggs are some of my girls' favorites. Blueberries, too. Protein's best as they tend not to eat much when they are brooding.

    Have fun!
     
  3. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She sounds broody alright!! My suggestion would be to put her in a dog crate and keep the other hens from getting into the nest with her. They'll be fine laying in your other nesting box. If you allow them to be in with her, they can tend to sneak eggs into her clutch. It's just more trouble. My broodies didn't really take much time to run around when they were setting. They got up to eat and drink and poop a monster poop and that was IT. They didn't need a lot of room.
     
  4. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm turning my greenhouse into a chicken run for my Broody Girl. My chickens are free-range, and the broody one goes under the house. She didn't come out for 5 days when she recently went broody, and I was so worried. One morning at 8 a.m. she came out, and I nabbed her and put her in the coop. She made lots of throaty noises and has looked depressed ever since. I felt bad about it, but I can't get under the house and was worried about roost mites. More broodies die from roost mites than anything else.

    I tried to put a bowl where she could reach it under the house, with food and water, but she didn't eat much. Now that she's in the coop I've been giving her fresh greens, since I don't dare let her free range again, because she'll go right back under the house. Today she charged me, trying to get out the door of the coop, but I got it shut fast.

    She didn't look like she'd lost much weight, but she's still a picky eater. She did eat some plain yogurt yesterday and enjoyed it, as well as arugula and spinach from the garden. Strawberries aren't making as big a hit as previously, and neither is watermelon.

    I should have her new greenhouse chicken run done tomorrow, so she can get more exercise and fresh air, and I won't have to worry about her going to inaccessible places to brood. Her sister is a layer, and if Broody Girl wants to sit on some of the eggs, that's okay with me, even though they are unfertilized and won't hatch. As long as she eats and drinks and poops and gets exercise off the nest, where I can see her.

    I read a post that said breaking them of their broodiness could be hard on their reproductive cycles, that maybe you should just let them go broody, whether the eggs are fertilized or not. So I wonder about that. She does seem depressed at not being able to get back to her nest, so maybe I will let her brood on her sis's eggs, if she'd like. I don't think I want to bring a rooster in and deal with chicks, since we have cats.
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    She doesn't need eggs under her to be broody, she will stay in her nest anyway, til the broodiness runs its course. There are ways to break a broody but I've never had any luck at it. I just take them off the nest every time I'm in the coop so they hopefully get a little more food and exercise. I have one sitting on air now.

    All about broodies, including a section on breaking them: http://www.themodernhomestead.us/article/Broody-Hens-1.html
     
  6. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My broody doesn't sit on a nest in the coop. She walks around, naps, paces, but she doesn't keep her breast next to a warm nest, which is odd to me, since she was full-fledged broody under the house a few days ago.

    She seems to only go broody when she sees the big clutch of old eggs under the house. Out of sight, out of mind. I think she remembers the eggs are there. I wonder how long it will take her to forget about the nest under the house? When she is confined in the greenhouse with her sister, I'll bet she'll start sitting on those eggs.
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Generally RIRs are less broody. I have had some of mine go broody when I didn't have a Roo and they did the exact same thing as yours. I put them in a cage for a few days and when I let them out they joined the rest of the flock no problems. Good luck... [​IMG]
     
  8. Wizbop

    Wizbop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How long does this last? We have NO rooster.
    Do I need to let her sit on eggs so she feels she's being productive?
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    No saying exactly how long she will stay broody. But probably the better part of a month. I wouldn't let her sit on infertile eggs. I would make her get off of the nest. If you want her to let her be broody, put some fake eggs under her and let her sit away on them.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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