STILL confused about broody behavior...ready to scream!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gritsar, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Some of my girls, especially my dark hens, seem to like messing with my head. [​IMG]
    Four of my dark hens now spend all morning on the nest boxes. This causes multiple fights because no one else can get in to lay their eggs. I'm going to rectify that this week with larger, possibly more nest boxes.
    However, I was just out with the chickens and realized that three of the four nest sitters now have bare chests & bellies from sitting so long and/or plucking the feathers to line the nests. All of the nests are now full of dark feathers.
    If they want to go broody why don't they just go ahead and do it?!?
    They're driving me nuts (admittedly not a far drive)! [​IMG]
     
  2. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    How long have they been doing this, Gritsar? Have you put some fake eggs in those nests for them - or left a marked egg for the to set on?
     
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:Let's see, I think Lil' Bit started this whole thing about 3 weeks ago? She acted REAL broody, but only for one day. Before that time I had left 6 eggs in the nest for a couple of days and no takers.
    Now each nest has at least 3 golf balls in it. I'm all caught up on my egg orders, so I thought about leaving some eggs again?
     
  4. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    I'm no expert in broodies, but I can tell you that when my two pullets started going broody, they behaved similarly. But only for about a week. They would stay on the next most of a day, but then roost at night. After about a week, they got on a nest and stayed. I have fake eggs in each nest. So after I saw they stayed all night on a nest, I replaced the fake eggs with real eggs and they hatched them.

    Three weeks seems an awfully long time to do this and for the hens to not figure out what to do. They are definitely not laying anymore?
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    I'm sorry, I should have clarified. The four nest sitters started doing it every day since this past Thursday. They do get off the nest in the afternoon and free range with the rest of the flock for the rest of the day.
     
  6. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sound like they might be testing the water. However I do have an RIR hen that has plucked her tummy naked and will sit in the nest all moring then like yours gets off in the afternoon. I tried to leave her eggs many times and she does not sit on them.
     
  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Thanks for the imput. I have about decided that I am going to go ahead and set up a broody pen in a quiet corner of the coop this week. Then maybe if one of the nest hogs decides she wants to sit on the nest all day there'll be an alternative for her or one of her sisters that really needs a nest asap.
     
  8. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    Quote:I think that's a good plan. If you've got some that just started the on/off nest thing last week, you'll be ahead of the game if they suddenly decide to take the broodiness seriously! And yes - at the least it will free up some nest boxes while they lounge around the broody pen!
     
  9. saladin

    saladin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Providing extra nesting boxes is never a bad idea. However, be aware that hens will go broody wherever they desire be it on the floor, a box, or even on another broody hen. Last year in the hottest days of summer I had 3 broodies in the same box on top of one another. I was sure somebody was going to die! I'd pull them out every day trying to get them to brood somewhere else. Finally, I just gave up and decided that they knew better than I did how to be a chicken. Sure enough, in about a month they were all over it and back to normal.
     

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