Resuming laying after being broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by krista74, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi there!

    I have an 11 month old RIR who has four (five 1/2 week old) chicks. Two days ago she started attacking her chicks, so thinking that was a sign she was done being a Momma I took her out of the chick pen and put her back in with the main flock. (Her chicks remain in a brooder pen as we have cats.) She is very thin and her comb is still large, but sort of pale looking and it has whitish tips to it, as you would expect.

    Yesterday she was in the nest boxes. I thought she may have been just in there hiding from the flock as there is one hen who picks on her - not to the point of blood being drawn, just to make her miserable. Anyway, I took her out of the nest several times during the morning, and eventually gave up and thought to myself "Well, if you're so miserable out there I guess you can stay in your nest for an hour."

    She laid an egg! To say I am shocked is an understatement!

    I always thought it took a couple of months after leaving the chicks to build up their condition and redden up their combs before resuming laying? I saw the egg come out myself so it's definitely her egg.

    Is this unusual? Or was I misinformed in my assumption?

    - Krista
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    My hens usually take about 2 weeks to go back to laying, but she may have been going out of her broodiness stage earlier, but couldn't get away from the chicks. Normally, I like to have a broody raise her chicks in with the rest of the flock, because she will protect them while teaching them how to get around on the own. One the broody leaves, they need to know where to roost, eat, drink, and to get away from their elders. The only time I put them up is during the hatch for about 3-4 days, until the hen wants out of the cage she is in with her chicks. Then she and the 3 day old chicks will come out and start their lessons. Much easier that way, not having to re-integrate later.
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    I agree with you 100% and under better circumstances that is exactly what I would like to do. However, as I aid, my cat would hunt and eat them in 5 second flat.

    I'm not too worried about integration as I have 8 chicks all up, and the main flock is only 5 hens and 1 roo. The little ones outnumber them so I think they will be ok.

    I did get the sense about a week prior to reintegrating Momma that she was getting tired of her chicks. That being said, I was surprised to see an egg so soon!

    - Krista
     
  4. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hen ran her chicks off at 5 weeks of age and was laying again within a week.
     

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