sigh...Broody 4-Ever - any harm in it?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 2DogsFarm, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    OK, Misty, my Houdan, is now going into week 4 of acting broody.

    She is a bit less obsessive about sitting in the nestbox, but still spends most of her day in there as far as I can tell.
    The other 4 are out freeranging while I'm at work. I always find her sitting when I get home.

    I put her on the roost at night but find her back on the box in the morning when I let them out.
    I take her off the nest and she joins the others for breakfast and is drinking & eating but still bogarting everyone's eggs.
    She, of course, is not laying [​IMG]

    She doesn't object when I remove the eggs, but is perfectly happy to sit on nothing.
    If I kick her out she'll spend some time wandering around but inevitably head back to her nest after a little while (10 min?)
    She is still bald on her belly, there is scattered down growing back, just no feathers.
    I keep comparing her weight to the others, but they are heavier breeds & she has always been slimmer.
    As far as I can tell she is not overly thin now.

    I've considered locking her out of the coop - in the yard while the others are out, with food & water, of course - so she can't use the nestbox.

    County Fair opens this week & I also admit to thinking about talking to the 4H kids with Ameraucanas to see if I can get her some fertilized eggs to hatch.
    I wouldn't mind adding a couple of those to my flock.

    Is there any harm in letting her continue acting broody?
  2. chickenlady08

    chickenlady08 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 27, 2009
    Eastern Shore, VA
    I have had a Delaware girl and a White Jersey Giant broody since June. I don't have the room to move them out of the one coop as I don't have the extra space to put them. This is why they are still on the nests because the other hens keep cracking or busting the eggs. All of my hens that have gone broody have been persistent and won't get up until the babies have hatched. Since it has been very hot they have been getting off the nests more than if it was cooler out. I have yet to try to break a broody hen and don't think I want to try to stop mother nature in her natural setting.

    Hope you can find some eggs for your hen to hatch.
  3. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Just continue to keep an eye on her weight. My hens lost about 30 percent of their body weight during the three weeks they were incubating eggs. It's taken about two months for them to get back up to their pre-broody weights.

    For my bantams, I use a gram scale from the kitchen (although once I started using it for chickens, I don't use it in the kitchen anymore, ugh).
  4. triggfamily5

    triggfamily5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2010
    Moorcroft, WY
    I finally got a broody to stop being broody (and she's been that way for 7 weeks), probably not very nicely [​IMG]

    We filled our small swimming pools up with well water (so it's cold) for the geese, picked her up and stood her in the water (holding her, but the pools are small enough that she can stand on the bottom) then commenced to move her underside around in the water so the COLD water got on her wet skin.

    She has been out of the nest ever since [​IMG]
  5. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Thanks all
    I know I'd like to see if she'd make a good Mom but I also realize she might not & the others might not accept her chicks if she did hatch any [​IMG]

    So it's all right to leave her be until her hormones say "Stop sitting, go back to your Life"?

    Soooooo - if I can't get eggs for her is there a good high fat treat I can give to her to start putting some weight back on?
    I give them 2 eggs scrambled with some plain yogurt (about 1 Tbsp per hen) every morning.

    elmo: I'm eyeballing her weight now, I'll have to look for a kitchen scale, I don't have one.
  6. tinychicky

    tinychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2010
    Hollis, New Hampshire
    if you want her to stop, put her in an uncomfortable cage for a few days to break her, or put a few ice cubes under her, but it really doesn't do any harm to let her keep sitting as long has she is eating and drinking. you can even put cups of food and water near her in the nest box if you're worried.
  7. Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

    Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 30, 2009
    Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
    I know how you feel. I had to break 3 broodies who failed to hatch chicks and have a pair of nest swapping broodies who have hatched 2 chicks so far but still won't give up. The hens both get up and stretch. They eat and drink, they poop, they are teaching the chicks to find food... but they spend most of their time on the nests and I don't think the chicks have ever been outside! I would take their eggs, but one of the nests isn't due yet, and one of the 2 chicks just hatched yesterday morning from the other nest, so I worry that the remaining eggs might hatch. I am gonna candle tonight and see what is going on... I want to get those chicks outside in the sunshine! (but I don't want to doom any unhatched chicks either!)
  8. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Again, thanks

    I don't necessarily want to interrupt her cycle, just wanted to make sure she will eventually return to normal.

    My (newbie) understanding is that it takes 21 days to hatch eggs, so I wrongly assumed she'd snap out of it in that amount of time.
    Since I've read here that some people have had broody hens go much longer, I don't feel so worried.

    I'll continue to keep an eye on her weight & go to more drastic measures if she seems to be getting too thin.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by