Stubborn Broody - Suggestions please!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by krista74, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone [​IMG]

    I have a RIR hen who went broody about three weeks ago. She was as stubborn as all get-out, and it took 6 full days in the broody buster cage to bring her back down to earth! I put the extended stay down to that fact that we are quite hot here at the moment, 30C (100F+) on most days.

    She is now broody again, and has done 4 days in the buster cage so far (including one night in which a thunderstorm passed through) - protected from the elements, of course. She has no breast feathers left, and is starting to lose weight.

    As a last resort, today I gave her a cold bath - something I don't really like doing, and I swore I'd never do it - and yet still she persists.

    What can I do to help her? I feel like a complete cow, keeping her locked in that cage day in, day out. And honestly, she is no better than the day we started. If I let her out, she runs right for the nest. If I block it off, she just hunkers down on the floor next to it!

    I feel like I am neglecting my girl, and I really do love her to bits. If anything, the broody buster cage is busting me, but not her!

    Help! Is there anything else I can do? ANYTHING? As much as I would love to, I really can't hatch any more chicks - we have no more coop spaces for them!

    - Krista
     
  2. DaveOmak

    DaveOmak Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What is wrong with letting her hatch some eggs... It's the natural thing to do..
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It might be natural, but we've already had 3 batches of chicks hatch in the past two months, and I'm still trying to re-home the cockerels from those!

    Our main coop is divided in half, with chicks on one side and the main flock on the other. If I let her hatch eggs, I'll have hardly any layers left. Our coop will also become overcrowded. At the end of the day, I keep hens for their eggs, not to continually expand my flock.

    I love hatching chicks, don't get me wrong. But I try to be a responsible chicken owner, and if I can't give them a good home I don't think it's fair for me to keep continually hatching chicks just because they are cute and the Momma Hen wants to.

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2014
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Extra cockerels and non laying hens = meat on the table.
    The not so fun (but delicious) part of keeping chickens.
     
  5. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have nothing against slaughtering chickens for meat (I love chicken!), but I can't do the deed myself. I just don't have that tough constitution! You're talking to a woman who takes her chickens to the vet one by one to be put to sleep when they are sick instead of culling them herself!

    The old and non laying hens seem to have a safe haven with me! They are so endearing, I can't bare to part with them. And whilst my coop is quite large by many people's standards, and my 8 hens, 1 rooster, and 5 chicks have more than enough room at present, I prefer to give them more space than they need, rather than less. That way, if they have o be confined for any reason they won't get bored and eat each other for fun!

    I guess persistence on my part should pay off eventually? I do let Broody out of the buster cage for twenty minutes morning and night to stretch and dust-bathe (during which time I shut the coop to stop her running back to the nest!) She obviously has feed, water and adequate shelter. I just worry she is going stir crazy in there. Or is it just me, lol.

    - Krista
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Sounds like the broody cage is distressing you way more than it's distressing her. I'd just keep at it. All she's wanting to do is stay in one place anyway, you're just choosing where that place is. Is the cage elevated so she gets airflow underneath her? Wire bottom, no bedding, etc.

    Another option is to sell her to someone who wants a dependable broody. Maybe you could even swap for a good layer.....I'd make that trade any time.
     
  7. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Donrae,

    My Broody Buster cage is a wire dog crate, raised up off the ground by about 20cms on blocks, with a wire base and no bedding what-so-ever. She has food, water, and at night I put in a little roosting bar for her to perch on. The BB cage is situated in the middle of the main run, under a tree for shade, and has a tin sheet roof on it in case it rains (it is Spring here, and at the moment the weather swings from thunder storms to stinking hot, day to day!).

    To make matters worse, she is now in there with a friend. Apparently they had a meeting last night, and Big Red (another RIR) has gone broody in support of Broody Hen.

    When you approach the coop and run now, before you even turn the corner to see the BB cage, you can hear them both in tandem doing that low cluck, cluck, cluck sound that all broody hens do. At least Misery (aka Broody Hen!) has company now (Big Red!)

    I could never sell or swap her though. I love her too much! Sadly, I'm one of those pathetic types (also known as a 'sucker!') who sees their chickens as their babies. They are here for the long run, eggs or no eggs, the old, the sick and the lame can all find a home here, lol. [​IMG]

    You are right though - I think so far, the only one the BB cage is busting is me!

    - Krista
     
  8. Wisher1000

    Wisher1000 Bama Biddy

    Hatch some chicks for a friend or neighbor. Keep them a week then give them away.
     

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