Psycho chicken - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by MNBobcat, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. MNBobcat

    MNBobcat Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2011
    Hi All,

    I inherited chickens this spring. Its all mixed breeds. 2 silkies, some leghorns and I think Rhode Island reds. 1 of the leg horns was, I thought, broody. She would stay in the nest box egg or not all day. I kept taking her out and putting her in the run (where the water is) and she would immediately run back into the nest box.

    So 2 days ago I put her in a coon cage with water and feed and set her up high off the ground.

    I let her out today and she went right back in the nest box.

    So then I locked all the chickens in the run and tossed her in with them. She immediately went psycho running back and forth trying to figure out how to get through the wire, trying to figure out how to get in the coop, etc. She almost bowled over other chickens running back and forth. Two of the chickens attacked her. I've seen her attacked a couple of times on past occasions. So I'm not sure if its her freaking out that irritates the other chickens causing them to attack or if it happens to her all the time.

    What are my options?

    I'm going to leave her locked in the run for 1 hour this morning with the other chickens. I figured they'll either kill her or she may settle down but hopefully either way they will sort it out. I can't leave them in the run longer because it's going to be hot today.

    Thanks for any help that you can offer!
  2. Poultry parent

    Poultry parent Chillin' With My Peeps

    is she broody?
  3. SueT

    SueT Chicken Obsessed

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    It can take 3 days or more in the broody cage to break her. Letting her out every morning is a good way to check on progress. If she's still psycho, put her back in. I let mine out twice a day to see how they are doing. They say it's harder in hot weather...
    Look up forums on How to Break a Broody Hen, and you'll find lots of helpful advice.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  4. MNBobcat

    MNBobcat Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2011
    Oh, so it is broodiness? I originally thought she was broody but then when I saw her getting attacked I thought it might be something else. If this is broody behavior then that at least gives me an idea of how to approach it.

    Thank you!
  5. Donna R Raybon

    Donna R Raybon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 13, 2016
    For me the defining behavior of 'going broody' is the hen sits tight on nest at night and does not roost.
    I know my girls and what 'normal' looks like. Somebody not acting normal gets a going over to rule out physical issues of injury, crop/digestive illness, respiratory illness, mites/lice and so forth.
    A hen in nest box for prolonged times can indicate she is egg bound rather than broody, too!
    She might be hiding from bullies as nest box provides only one front to defend.

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