Possibly Broody or something else?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by councilwoods, Dec 29, 2014.

  1. councilwoods

    councilwoods New Egg

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    Dec 29, 2014
    We are new to the chicken world and only have had our hens since February of this year. So new to some of their behaviors. I hope I am putting this in the right spot for this post.

    I have a chicken that is laying in her nesting box and refusing to leave. Not being mean just squawking when you get close. I checked to see if she was egg bound but she isn't as far as I can tell. I have had one that was egg bound before and learned how to deal with that. However, her comb is a little darker and starting to droop but not significantly. I did notice a while back extra feathers laying in a box and she is missing some on her breast area.

    I think she is broody but since this is my first hen acting this way, I am not quite sure what to do. I have read about people separating her from rest of the flock. The only problem is it's winter and cold. I don't want to put her in a separate area of our coop because it will be too cold. Would it hurt anything just to leave her alone and let her do this behavior for a while? Or should I be picking her up and moving her off of the nest routinely? I have been gathering the eggs underneath her because the other hens lay in the same box with her.

    Ideas, help for a newbie?? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like a classic broody. She will not lay as long as she is acting like this. If that's fine with you, just leave her alone. If you need her to get back to laying, than you will need to remove her from the nest. Just putting her in a dog crate in the coop might be all you need to do to break her.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I use a cage to break broodies too. It takes two to three days and is worth it. Being broody takes a lot out of a bird. If your not hatching it's best to break them. She'll still take a week or two to start back laying depending how long she's been broody.
     
  4. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Are your eggs fertile?
     
  5. councilwoods

    councilwoods New Egg

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    No our eggs are not fertile and with our other hens, I am not needing her to lay right now. However, if it will be healthier for her then I definitely will try and break her of it.
     
  6. councilwoods

    councilwoods New Egg

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    If I put her in a cage, does it need to be small? I have a second area of our coop that is meant for chicks, actually about the size of many of the small backyard chicken coops. Or I have kennels, I could use. What would be best?
     
  7. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What's best is a stark uninviting area. Someplace she can't get comfy and sit. A bare floor or wire floor is best. I use a 2x3 wire dog crate with just a perch and a bowl of water and feed.
     
  8. councilwoods

    councilwoods New Egg

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    Thankyou! I will do that. I have a wire cage that would be perfect for it.
     
  9. XxMingirlxX

    XxMingirlxX Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you can try and break her, less determined broodies can be broken by just removing them from the nest repeatedly until they get the point. That will likely be enough considering it is her first time brooding. More determined ones will need the dog crate method.

    Try to break her if you can but it isn't essential. However it's probably for the best to break her especially at this time of year because it does take a lot out of the bird. They sit they all day not exercising like they usually would; they pluck out their stomach feathers to make a nest, they barely eat or drink apart from when they hurriedly get up drink and then sit in the nest for another eight hours.
     

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