Problem with a broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Mountain Peeps, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,339
    4,264
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Hi all!

    My speckled sussex pullet, Rosie is broody. First of all, I didn't think chickens went broody when they were still pullets? She has been in the nest for three days now and has only gotten out to eat and drink when I take her out. I blocked the nests off last night but she broke them down. Should I take the fake eggs out if my four other hens are still laying? How else can I snap Rosie from her broodiness if I don't want to take drastic actions?


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    17,028
    5,328
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    I take it by "drastic action" you are referring to the process of breaking a broody?
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,339
    4,264
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Well I'm ok with breaking her but just not using the isolating and all that other stuff.
     
  4. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,576
    165
    158
    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    It's ok to take the eggs away (both real and plastic) and keep removing her from the nest and denying her access to it, but I have found that once they really settle into going broody there is only one reliable way to get her out of it - a broody buster cage.

    I know it sounds cruel, and I was always vehemently against it - until I had a girl that just sat and sat and sat. It was hard on both of us, but by far the better alternative to letting her starve, sitting there on her empty nest.

    I would recommend you get yourself a good dog or rabbit cage with a fine wire base to it. Position it so that it gets a decent breeze under it! Put it up onto blocks so the air can flow freely underneath it, and put in a water bowl and a feeder, but no bedding. Make sure the cage is protected from the elements - so a roof over it (a sheet of tin will do) if it's raining or hot out, and protection on the sides from the wind if it's really cold.

    Then put her into the cage and leave her there for 48 hours. Don't worry about her being lonely - if she is truly broody she will want to be 'alone' anyway. She might pace back and forth for an hour or so, and may even squawk a little bit, but I promise you she will settle down and accept the cage. You just need to walk away and let her be for a bit. After 48 hours take her out and let her stretch her legs, but if she so much as looks in the direction of her nest - back into the cage she goes.

    My girl was super-broody! I used the cage in heat of 100F over Spring, so it took a little longer than it normally would to cool her down! All up she was in there for about 6 days, and after the first 4 she would go out free-ranging for a few hours before heading back to the nest. That's how I knew it was working.

    After 6 days in there she went back to normal. Happy, healthy hen. She started laying within a couple of days after that.

    Honestly, it was so much better than leaving her in the nest with no hopes of hatching chicks.

    Good luck to you!

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2014
    3 people like this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,849
    7,004
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Better to 'break' her than wait it out.
    You need to isolate her from the nest but not totally from the flock, hopefully you have a small wire cage and room to put it right in the coop.
    Not sure if you can spend time during the day to let her out a few times......but that helps, I think.
    She won't like being confined but.... too bad, it won't hurt her.

    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 few bricks right in the coop and I would feed her some watered down 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.
     
    2 people like this.
  6. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,576
    165
    158
    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Yes, I agree.

    I used to set up my Broody Buster cage under a big tree in the run. The rest of the flock used to dust-bathe and nap there during the day, so she still had the opportunity to socialise each day, albeit from 'behind bars!'

    The cage was also within 2 metres of the coop where everyone went to roost, so at night she could still hear the evening negotiations about who was going to sleep where. She actually settled into the cage quite well, and once it was dark I would cover it up with a bed sheet and off to sleep she went.

    I also agree that she should be let out at least once a day if possible. My cage was quite big, plenty of room for her to walk back and forth a little, but I liked to let my girl out to flap her wings and dust-bathe at least once a day. It was also a good opportunity to see how she was progressing in the broody stakes each day. Her little walks outside gradually became longer and longer until eventually she was back to normal.

    - Krista
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. mymilliefleur

    mymilliefleur Keeper of the Flock

    5,757
    707
    306
    Nov 4, 2014
    East Tennessee.
     
  8. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,339
    4,264
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Thank you all for the help!!!!!!

    She has been getting more broody. I do have a wire cage but it is too big to be in the coop or run. It currently is right outside the run where it is used as the "jail" which they go to when they are mean. So if I put something over the top and over the sides can she be in there for the day? There aren't many
    predators right now since it is colder.

    Otherwise, I don't have a cage.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,849
    7,004
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I bought a smaller wire dog crate, with side and end door, just to move/isolate chickens.
    Glad I invested in it as it's easy to reach them inside, I can carry it myself and I've used it for a several different needs....including recently a small dog :D
     
  10. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    28,339
    4,264
    516
    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    So can I use the one outside??
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by