Picked on Hen Now Broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BASmith07, May 26, 2016.

  1. BASmith07

    BASmith07 New Egg

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    May 26, 2016
    Austin, TX
    I have the sweetest Buff Orp who's been relentlessly picked on for the past week or so by her Barred Rock sisters - like mean, peck in the face, chase her constantly type of bullying. Up until now, there's never been an issue, and they've all happily coexisted.

    But Now my Buff won't leave her nest and I can't tell if it's because she's scared, broody or both. Can being picked on make a hen go broody? I feel so bad for her and I don't know how to help. :(

    Thanks for any and all advice ... I don't know what to do!
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC!

    Can't make them go broody but can make them hide in nest all day. Is she pending the nights in nest too?
    Being/getting ready to go broody may have spurred the harassment tho...change in behaviors with hormones flowing.
    It's also spring...again, hormones flowing can make for some cranky behaviors.

    More info may help us help you.
    3 birds total...how old....and how long have they lived together in peace?
    How big (in feet by feet) is coop and run?
    What is your climate? Putting your location in your profile can help folks give better answers/suggestions.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    Being picked on won't make a hen broody, but acting broody can get a hen picked on [​IMG].

    A lot of times a broody hen acts different before she commits to set on the nest, and her flock mates pick up on that.

    To tell if she's really broody---does she fluff out on the nest like a pancake? make grumpy/growly noises at you when you disturb her? Sleep on the nest at night? those are all classic broody signs.

    If she's broody, you need to decide if you want to let her hatch eggs, or break her from being broody. There are multiple threads here on both topics, you can do a search and read a lot of good info.
     
  4. BASmith07

    BASmith07 New Egg

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    May 26, 2016
    Austin, TX
    I have four chickens - two buffs, two barred, and all have been together for the past two years since they were chicks.

    Location is Austin, Texas (will add to profile - thanks for the tip!) - so it's muggy, high of 90 if it gets that hot. Humid and it's been very rainy, lately. The mosquitos are impossible.

    Chicken coop dimensions are 6 ft. long x 2.5 feet wide. Two bars for roosting, two nesting boxes. All chickens have been and continue to lay prolifically.

    I dropped some seed into the broody (?) hen's nesting box because I'm not sure if she's eating. It just makes me so sad that she's not free ranging, which she more than all the others combined, loves to do.

    What do you think? And thank you!
     
  5. BASmith07

    BASmith07 New Egg

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    May 26, 2016
    Austin, TX
    I think she is fluffed down ... and I cannot get her to budge, even when I'm looking beneath her for eggs. She will not move.

    I'll read up on all the broody stuff (there is a lot!). I just didn't know if the extreme bullying factored into this at all or if it just happens to be that kind of timing.

    I don't know if I want her to hatch anything. Pretty sure if there were chicks running around they'd be eaten or killed, and I'm not looking to raise more layers right now. Perhaps this decision isn't ultimately mine to make, depending on whether or not I can break her of the behavior, however. ;)

    Thanks so much for your thoughts!
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Don't feed in the nest..... they will get out and eat, drink, stretch, poop, dust bathe, once a day.
    You might have to prompt her to get out and eat and drink..I actually dipped my broodies beak in water a few times before she would drink, then she snapped out of her daze and made the rounds of essentials before heading back to nest.

    Your space is a bit tight for 4 hens...hopefully it is well shaded and ventilated in your climate.

    It is absolutely your decision whether to let her hatch out chicks.

    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2016

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