ode to the broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by math ace, May 31, 2010.

  1. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    I do believe my SLW has gone broody. She started setting on the nest almost a week ago. [​IMG]

    UNFORTUNATELY, we went away for the HOLIDAY and had somebody collecting our eggs while we were gone. I had my suspicions right before we left.
    I figured - - oh well - - we will see if she is still in the mood when we get back.
    TODAY - - our first day back - - she wasn't on the nest. Later, I went back to check on everybody AND she was on the nest.
    I just thought she was taking a LATE turn at laying her egg for the day. I went back a while later and she was still on the nest, BUT no egg.
    TONIGHT, I went back to see if she delivered my egg yet. It is dark and everybody is on the roost EXCEPT her. She is still sitting on the nest. [​IMG]

    OK, so I think she is still broody. It has been about a week since I first suspected that she was going broody.

    Now, WHAT DO I DO?
    Do I give her some eggs to sit on?
    Do I need to move her or do I wait and see if she will sit on some eggs ?
    Do I just ignore her because a week has already gone by ? ? ?
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    The extra week won't affect her if she's really broody. Now that you're home & have time to observe her, watch & see what she does for the next day or two. If she stays on that nest all night & almost all day, she may still be broody. If she fluffs up & growls at you when you reach into the nest, she may still be broody.

    It will be ideal if she can complete her set separated somehow from her flock, whether you put her in a separate pen or barricade her nest box from the others. Make the move/changes well after dark. If she stays after the move/change then you can put the eggs you want for her to hatch under her, then mark the calendar for 20-21 days.
     
  3. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:That IS EXACTLY what she did tonight when I went out there to check on her. [​IMG]

    If she is still there tomorrow, I will assume she is still broody and good to go.
    HOW do I separate her box from the others ? We have a row of 5 and they walk a plank to get to them. She has chosen the third one for her box.

    I have my broody / bitty cage that I planned on keeping my broody hens in - - - - BUT I just bought some young chicks that will need to go in it in another week on so. The chicks are about 2 weeks old now. So, I can not move her into it. [​IMG]

    I am so excited. This is my ALHPA hen and I hoped she would be the one to go broody because she should be a
    GREAT moma judging by the way she controls everybody else. [​IMG]
     
  4. verlaj

    verlaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    math ace - I bought an extra large dog kennel for my broody last year. We covered the openings with 1/4" hardware cloth to keep snakes out. Worked out great. Could take the top half off to clean the bedding if needed.
     
  5. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Did you keep it in the chicken run / coop area or did you separate it totally from the existing flock ? ?

    Did the she just stay in the dog house the whole time or was she able to exit it ? ? ?
     
  6. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    The main reason for separating/isolating a broody is so other hens won't interrupt her by pushing her off the nest & laying their eggs there and/or the broody gets misdirected coming back to the nest after her coffee break and goes to set on a different nest, leaving her developing eggs to grow cold.

    Hens don't like to think & prefer to follow popular fashion. They like to lay their eggs where another hen has already laid, figuring if it was a safe place for another then it will work for them too. They seem especially attracted to nests where a broody hen is setting, figuring "wow, that place is so fine she plans to raise her kids there, I have got to lay my egg there too!" Sometimes eggs get broken if there's a tussle, also if too many new eggs are laid the developing ones may not get enough warmth & moisture.

    You *can* just mark the set eggs & remove the new ones each day, but it's easier & more optimal if Broody has her own apartment, with her own food/water and room to poop. Some hens do fine kept separated in their own coop, others prefer to be isolated away from their flock-mates.

    Just be sure to make any moves/changes well after dark for best results.
     
  7. verlaj

    verlaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did you keep it in the chicken run / coop area or did you separate it totally from the existing flock ? ?

    Did the she just stay in the dog house the whole time or was she able to exit it ? ? ?

    I kept the kennel in the coop, which is open-air, but roofed. When I let the others out, I would close them out of the coop and let the broody come out if she wanted (poop, dust bath, etc.) In the meantime, I did what cleaning needed to be done, and freshened feed and water. When she went back in, I closed her up again.

    One of my big concerns is snakes - we have lots of them, and they eat eggs (and chicks). I made sure that no snake was getting in the nest by fortifying with 1/4" hardware cloth. The dog kennel was easy to secure. Had my broody in our big, cantilevered nesting box this year, and lost 1 GCM egg to a big rat snake. Caught the snake in the act the next night. Spent a great deal of time fortifying the big nesting box against snakes. Next time I have a broody on a nest, I will relocate her and the nest to the snake proof box in the beginning.​
     
  8. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    My poor little broody hen. I came home today and she was still sitting in the same nest. I looked underneath her and sure enough she was still gaurding the same ole GOLF BALL [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    So, I feel sorry for her. She has spent all week gaurding the same ole GOLF BALL. TONIGHT, I decided she is really serious about this mothering thing so I gave her a EE egg to sit on. I didn't want to upset her too bad, so I left her with the ole GOLF BALL too. [​IMG] [​IMG]

    TOMORROW, If she is still being a good little mommy, I will give her another EE egg to sit on.

    This weekend, I will work on the snake proofing and private space thing. She is my Alpha hen - - - I really don't think anyone will try to kick her off her nest. She chose the third box. Almost everybody uses the first two boxes. [​IMG]
     
  9. verlaj

    verlaj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are a little sad when they really want to hatch some eggs and they don't have any.....that's why I broke down last year and got eggs (from halo) for her. Now I think a broody is the way to go! Plus, I got the most fabulous hens from the clutch of halo eggs.
     
  10. NewEnglandChick

    NewEnglandChick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 13, 2009
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    Good luck!!

    I had a hen go broody about 12 days ago. It took a little time, but I got her some eggs to sit on because I figured I might as well use her to my advantage!! (I don't have a rooster, so I had to find the eggs, set up pick up times, go get them, etc.)

    Anyway...3 days after I got her the eggs (and she was very excited about them) a skunk got into the coop (my fault for getting home later than normal and not having someone close up the coop earlier), scared her off the nest, out of the coop, and out into the woods. He stole a few eggs and I didn't see her until the next morning. Even though she has gone back to sitting on the remaining eggs she's more distractable now and doesn't sit on them 24/7 like she was before that incident.

    I was planning on building her a broody pad to keep her seperate, but apparently got around to it too late! [​IMG] Now I'm just waiting to see if she goes back to her 24/7 broody attitude or if she's over it. I was really looking forward to seeing her hatch those little eggs though.


    So again I say, good luck...I've got my fingers crossed that yours works out! [​IMG]
     

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