Oh dear... could she be broody?!?!?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SeaChick, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Our Australorp pullet, Olympia (not even 9 months old!) has been taking a long time on the nest box. Yesterday and today, when we opened the door to see if she was done, she puffed all her feathers up, opened her mouth REALLY wide, and made the most horrendous growling skwawk!!

    She has NEVER done that before. She's always been sweet-tempered and let us feel around under her for eggs if, for instance, we knew that another hen had just laid in there...

    But, isn't she a little young? Isn't it early in the year (it snowed again last night!) for this climate? And aren't Australorps NOT supposed to be broody?!?

    Any advice appreciated.

    (Our flock is all hens, no roo...)

    Stacey & Olivia
  2. Frozen Feathers

    Frozen Feathers Songster

    May 4, 2007
    My Aussie went broody 3 times last year. It does sound like she's broody. It should only be temporary. If you keep taking the eggs away, she should give up trying to hatch any.

    Good Luck!
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks Angie-
    I just went to check her again and she was off the nest and had laid her egg. So maybe she was just irritated that I checked on her? Or maybe broody? In any case I took the fake eggs out of both nest boxes, so she won't be able to sit on those, just in case..., and we check for eggs 3 or 4 times a day. So theoretically if she has nothing to sit on it won't last, even if it IS broodinesss, right?

  4. karmical

    karmical Songster

    Aug 3, 2007
    Honeoye Falls, NY
    Hi Stacey and Olivia!

    Of my mix of birds (all about 8 months old), my Australorps tend to take the most time laying. One likes to sit on her egg for about an hour after she's laid it, and will puff up a bit if the other birds come near while she's in there.

    I just had another (not Australorps) go broody on me (and thought I'd add that I don't have a roo either) and boy was it a WHOLE other ball of wax. She'd stay in a nest box ALL DAY and on into the night...whether or not there were eggs underneath her. It's apparently hormonal...if their bodies are determined to go broody, they don't seem to care if there are eggs available or not. I started just taking her right off the nest (she had stopped laying at this point, which I understand is normal once they've gone deep into it)...she'd be all limp when I put her down on the floor and in this sort of mental fog for a few minutes, and then snap out of it a bit...eat a lot...poop...maybe have a quick dust bath...and then wanted to get right back into the nest....there are some great threads about broodiness if you're curious to read more about it. It was actually kind of sweet to see one of my girls want to be a momma....but SUCH bad timing! February!!

    Anyways...there you have some more of the signs to look for that might mean they're "going broody"... hope it helps!
  5. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks Tracy-
    I think you're right. She did not get on the nest at all yesterday (her day off laying, she'd laid for 9 days straight before that!) so I am not too worried now. I think she just must have been ticked at me for interrupting her!

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