Need help, first time we have had a broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by marilyn15, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. marilyn15

    marilyn15 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2010
    Shiloh, IL
    Hello,
    Wanted some advice. We have had chickens for a little over a year now, the flock we have now includes......5 month old Plymouth Barred Rock and Rhode Island Reds (4 each and all hens). One rooster a year and a half old. Two Easter Eggers and year and a half old, and 3 Cochin....not sure on their age. But one of our Buff Cochin I will call Mamma is broody. Wanted to know if you think we should separate her from the flock? We have a large Coop with a large run and we let them free range about every other day....The coop has 2 roosts one high and one low. We have 5 nesting boxes but she has never used them our cochin always lay inside the coop on the ground. Wanted to know if you think we should move her to our other coop? It is smaller with two nesting boxes and is not being used now. We keep it in case we need it. The reason why I am asking is because she is on the floor in the coop and at night when they other chickens roost they are pooping on her and she will not move.....What do you think? We have always called her the old one because she looks to be older then our other Cochin. Any advice?
     
  2. marilyn15

    marilyn15 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2010
    Shiloh, IL
    I forgot, we also have 2 1/2 month old Polish, D'Uccle, and Seabright, believe they are all roo's.
    And wanted to know, maybe we should just add a ramp to the nesting box?


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  3. silkeysandra

    silkeysandra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes, I'd add a ramp to the nesting box, BUT
    If you want to get her over her broody state, you will need to make her roost. Just pick her up and place her on a roost, maybe same level as her chickey friend. If you watch, you will see who sleeps by who and who pecks who.
    What I do for my broodies is make them leave the coop and go join the group. If not, when they return, they are on bottom pecking order and I'm sure not pleasant for hen. I have even had to close the coop so she can't return. Pretty mean. Lots of folks mention putting broody hen in like a rabbit cage with wire bottom for a while. They don't like the 'clear' bottom and soon leave. I have two broodies now and I have to go out several times a day and remove them from the coop and take them to the others. I'm retired, so it is easy for me. If you work, your day is not with the hens and you may just have to let it run its course.
    let us know if anything helps.
     
  4. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    I'm dealing with a repeat offender broody.
    The first time I tried to just let her go through it naturally.
    After 3 weeks I finally had to break her by putting her in our smaller pen with a dog house to sleep in, no bedding.
    She's back at it again so I have intervened at the start. She is on day 4 of it now.
    My small pen is full of young chicks so I have put Matilda into a wire dog cage (lots of room) with food and water during the day and let her out at dusk to go into the coop
    but I block the nest boxes until after dark so she won't just go back in them.
    I would suggest that you separate her to help break the broodiness because they don't eat or drink properly and can lose a lot of weight if they're left to go through it.
    Just don't give her any bedding to snuggle up in.
     
  5. christineavatar

    christineavatar Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2011
    Bolinas, CA
    As I understand it their temperature go up and it is that which makes them broody. So the trick is to put them in something (that wire dog cage sounded good) that lets air flow on their underside to bring their temperature down. At present, I have a broody hen hung up in two milk crate boxes (one on top and one on the bottom) with food and water in the box (which she hasn't touched yet). She is in her second day and has just started to move around. I have left her in the coop and am hoping that I will be able to take her out Friday.
     
  6. marilyn15

    marilyn15 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2010
    Shiloh, IL
    Thanks so much for the help and advice. Will let you know. I do not work but at home with a two year old so only get out in morning, afternoon and night.

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  7. marilyn15

    marilyn15 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2010
    Shiloh, IL
    WE do not mind if she wants to lay on the eggs but definitely do not want her health at risk. Maybe we will go ahead and build her a ramp. And the strange thing is my husband just cleaned out the coop and they do not have bedding right now except in the nesting boxes because we are getting ready to replace it. And she is laying on a bare floor.....

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  8. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    I have always let mine brood in the same coop as everyone else and I was very nervous with the very first one because I didn't know what the other chickens would do! Do you have eggs under your broody now to hatch? It seemed so much better for me to allow mom to do this and introduce the chicks off of the nest when she was ready. None of the other chickens have ever bothered the chicks this way because mom would protect them. Now each flock is different and maybe this won't work for you depending if you have any aggressive ones in your flock. Even my roos help keep an eye on the chicks.
    As far as moving her, 9 chances out of 10 she will go right back to where she originally laid and let the eggs sit but it can be done with alot of persistence. I recently moved one to a nest because she was way back in this corner of the coop and it really wasn't a good place to hatch the chicks. But as far as moving to a different coop, each flock is different but it was so much better for me to allow mom to remain within the flock and the chicks were immediately accepted by the others when she felt it was time.
     
  9. marilyn15

    marilyn15 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2010
    Shiloh, IL
    Since I am totally learning on all of this, if she is laying on eggs and I just build a ramp and make sure she has access to food and water would she be okay staying there where all the other hens and one rooster are? We hatched eggs last april (incubator) and it takes 21 days? So is that the same for her?
     
  10. NewToFarming

    NewToFarming Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 28, 2010
    Millersburg, PA
    Yep, it will be the same for her. The only drawback to letting her in there with the others is sometimes other hens sneak in the nest with the broodies and lay eggs. So, I would mark the original ones she started with and remove any newly laid eggs.
    My girls use either covered kitty litter pans for their nest and even cages and crates. The covered kitty litter pans are a big hit here! LOL How high is the nest? Mine are on the floor of the coop. If the nest is high, I would worry about the chicks falling out of it but if there is no chance the chicks could do that, it should be fine. I would make sure food and water is close by and she should get off the nest to eat, drink and poop at the least once a day maybe twice.
    If you think your flock will be ok with the new chicks, I say go for it. I was very nervous with my first girl doing it this way but it all ended up to be perfect. She will let everyone know not to mess with her and her chicks even if they weren't doing anything! Just keep a close eye on things to be sure all is OK and let nature take it's course!! [​IMG]
     

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