Not quite sure...broody, maybe?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickaroo!, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2007
    I have 4 hens total. One of them, Ruby, is about 1 or 1 1/2 yrs. old. She's recently stopped laying but goes into the nesting box alot. When I let all the chickens out in the moring, she does come out, but only for a few minutes. She also has been sleeping in the box. When I reach in to pet her, she doesn't fluff up or try to peck me. She mostly acts like she's scared and trys to huddle up in the corner further. Other than that, she acts "normal". As for another hen, Oreo (about the same age) she hasn't been laying either, but doesn't visit the nesting box (as far as I can tell) but she eats and drinks very well and seems to be acting normal.
    The other two seem to have no problems and lay everyday. Anyone have any guesses as to what's going on? [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. SillyChick

    SillyChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2007
    Hmmm........possible. Did she just finished molting? Try to put a fake egg(a golf ball or an egg-like rock) in the nest box. If she decides to sit on it, she's likely broody. After the molt, the broody usually does not develop feathers on her breast in order to warm the egg. Here are some symptoms of a broody hen:

    - Stops laying
    - Sits on the eggs
    - Spends most of her time with the eggs and only leaves the nest once a day for about 30 minutes to eat, drink, explore and poop
    - Her poop is big and smelly, usually known as "broody poop"
    - Clucking to herself
    - Sometimes puffs up and growls and gives that "step back or I will kill you" to anyone who approaches her
    - Aggressively protects her egg(s) from others. Broody hens peck pretty good, so be careful.
    - Broodiness usually happens after molting
    - Not sure about this method: Carry the hen, then drop her to the ground. If she lands on the floor like a beanbag, it may be broody.

    Broody hens are quite fun and, well, kinda funny. The hens are like they're in a trance. Hatching eggs with a broody hen is very fun and rewarding, but can be quite difficult. There are ways to snap them out of the broody spell and to get them laying again, but sometimes might not work. Here are ways:

    - Put her in a pen with no nest and keeping her there for 4 days
    - Put her in a wire-bottomed cage to cool her undersides and might make her give up
    - Put a bag of ice under her

    Hope this helps. Good luck and hope you find out soon! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2008
  3. Chickaroo!

    Chickaroo! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 27, 2007
    Thanks SillyChick. I guess I'll just have to keep an eye on her. And I think I will try to put a fake egg in the box to see if she trys to sit on it.
    Have A Good Day![​IMG]
     

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