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Penelope the Terrible.... has gone broody. S.O.S.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PlaidBattleAxe, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. PlaidBattleAxe

    PlaidBattleAxe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Penelope the Terrible has taken her reign of terror to a whoooooole new level. She's big, she hates people, and she loves to peck whatever unsuspecting and unoffending piece of person flesh might be within view. Just plain MEAN. Why do you keep her, you ask? Well, she is a prolific layer. She will lay 2 eggs a day at times, and always at least 1 every day. Lots of eggs and, as she is a rooster groupie, lots of (I'm assuming) fertilized eggs should I want to hatch them.

    I went to collect the eggs yesterday, same as always, from my 6 ladies....and I hadn't even opened the coop door when I heard a low growling noise. It sounded demonic. Straight up out of the Exorcist. Sounds like that come out of chickens??? Shaking in my barn boots, I open the door a crack and peek in, ready for something straight out of my nightmares to come flying at my face. When my face remained intact, I looked down into the nesting box closest to the door and saw the Broody from Hell glaring up at me, her hackle/back feathers raised up around her head like a lion's mane. I chickened out and closed the door. I'll just give her a little privacy and more time to lay her eggs, I said to myself. RIGHT... 4 hours later, she was still out there. Folks, I'm not ready to have any more little peeps running around this close to fall and winter. I want my beautiful orange-yolked eggs for eating, and eventually for hatching.

    Anyway, I digress. So, it is almost 6:00 last night, and she was still there, growling with a huge feathery frill around her neck. I gingerly took a hand (stupid, I know) and tried to nudge her from the box from the rear. She struck out with cobra speed and with intent. That wasn't the spiteful-I-don't-like-people-so-get-out-of-my-run-peck that she normally administers. It was like a hammer drill. I took what was left of my courage and removed my flip flop. I figured I could use it to scoop her out (kind of how I am like many times bigger than her and using the space invasion to my advantage). WRONG. She laid that flip flop wide open. I didn't keep it in there to antagonize her by attempting to encourage her to move, the poor shoe was only there for a handful of seconds and it is tattered.

    I gave up. Told DH over dinner, my dilemma. He of course, scoffed and rolled his eyes, and said I just had to "be the boss." Uh huh... I politely told him that he could demonstrate for my learning benefit.. (I knew he was going to get his knickers handed to him). He marched over to that coop and flung open the door. Penelope the Terrible sounded like a dragon, screeching and roaring at his intrusion. He took one look at her and WHOOMP! he stuck his calloused mitt into the nesting box and dumped her out. It took a couple tries, but he got her out. Apparently those pecks don't hurt when you're The Boss [​IMG]

    DH scooped up the 8 eggs and strode back inside the house like nothing had happened. PtT immediately regained the nesting box.

    Fast forward to today. Went to let the chickens out and only counted 6 birds. 1 was missing and it wasn't the rooster. I knew right away who it was. PtT is still in the nesting box and as rabid as ever.

    If I keep hijacking the eggs will she loose the broody business and go back to her normal level of mean?

    S.O.S.!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  2. birdlady79

    birdlady79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can't help you but I'm dying laughing at this story!! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  3. PlaidBattleAxe

    PlaidBattleAxe Chillin' With My Peeps

    She terrifies me! I go peek, she growls, the rooster hops in to see what the commotion is (in "his" coop)---realizes just WHO is growling, and then he backs his way out the door. So much for macho.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Your story was wonderful!! Such a fine vocabulary and way with those words, good job!!
    Had me grinning from ear to ear with delight.

    So break your broody.....put her in a wire crate off the ground, with food water but no nesting material. Let the breeze cool her red hot, vicious little butt for a day or two.

    Best to do this within the coop and/or run so you don't have to reintegrate her back into the flock.
    Let her out after a day or two, if she beelines back to her broody lair nest, put her back into the crate for another couple days.

    I've never actually done this but have read a ton about it, this seems to be the easiest most efficient technique.
    This search will help you peruse other options and learn from others experiences.
    advanced search>titles only>breaking a broody
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. PlaidBattleAxe

    PlaidBattleAxe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you for both the compliment and the advice. I am envisioning myself trying to pluck her from her den to get her into the crate and the carnage that will most likely be inflicted upon my sorry hide---it makes my blood run a few degrees colder! But on the other hand... if I wait for The Boss to come home from work to do it for me, I'll never hear the end of it. However... he may be able to scoot her out of the box and snag the eggs, but can he oust her from her stronghold and then manage to get her INTO the crate. Perhaps I may wait after all.... [​IMG]
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Move her into the crate well after sunset when it's good and dark, they are much more docile when they can't see.
    I use a headlight to free my hands and try not to shine it near their faces.
    Grasp her on the sides to hold her wings down as you pick her up, don't let go if (when) she starts to struggle and squawk.
    Wear tight fitting gloves(the stretchy ones with rubber palms work great) and long sleeves to minimize any biting or scratching wounds.
     
  7. birdlady79

    birdlady79 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let us know how it goes!! I'm still [​IMG]
     
  8. PlaidBattleAxe

    PlaidBattleAxe Chillin' With My Peeps

    PtT is still the resident Broody Gone Bad.. she's battered the other hens away from the nesting area to the point where they've held their eggs in today. I got 2 eggs today out of 6 hens, and 3 yesterday. Not copasetic. I tried to explain the cage idea to DH, but The Boss pulled the "grow a pair" card on me again today, saying she was "just an animal" and I just had to assert myself. Uh huh... That opinion officially changed after he attempted to collect the eggs this evening. He is now volunteering to bring home a small wire dog kennel from a co-worker tomorrow.

    Tomorrow commence operation Hell Hen Sequester.
    ...Wish me luck.
     
  9. mortie

    mortie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your story is hilarious. I feel like we need to see a picture of the hell hen in question to really get the full effect...
     
    2 people like this.
  10. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    :lau

    Your story was just fantastic! I laugh because I've been there. A few of my broody hens have required the use of heavy gloves. Good luck with breaking her!

    PS- I'd love to see her as well!
     

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