Tiny little broody bird

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Chickenfortress, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    Our poor little frizzle cochin went broody, though it took a couple days to get the idea firmly sunk in. I think the first couple days she was good to go, but once the laying frenzied rest of them got involved, she was pushed right off the clutch and gave up. Then she would reset the next morning and it all started over. We had 4 nest boxes for 14 girls. That should have been enough, it's just that they all get the urge at once. So, I made a new pair of a bit roomier boxes yesterday. They have a grain bag curtain for a bit of privacy. We have a sexlink named Grumbly that is also on her way to broody, so the second will be for her if we can move her in.

    So, now shes setting on 6 eggs, likely none her own, since the eggs she was on went cold. Thats all she can cover. I hope the delay doesn't cause her to give up a few days before hatch.
  2. chickenbottom

    chickenbottom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2008
    hollister, florida
    awww thats great i want a broody lol
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You must somehow separate her from the rest of the flock. I learned this the hard way.
  4. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I second that. You really don't want to do that unless you WANT to be disappointed.



  5. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    Third that! Must separate. I had extra eggs layed in nest and broken eggs until I separated my broody.

    Polish princess- where in NY are you?
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009
  6. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    I came home today and she was in another box trying to hatch a golfball. In her box was an extra egg. Likely she was pushed out and took the only available box, and wasn't smart enough to return. So, it looks like she gets moved into a pen in the house for a month or so. At least she won't be begging for attention like the convalescent I had in here for a couple weeks.
  7. happyhens

    happyhens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 30, 2007
    Fourth that! LOL
    I left a broody buff orpington hen in with the main flock a couple of years ago, and she did somehow manage to hatch one lonely little chick after a lot of hassle trying to keep the other hens from laying eggs in her nest. When the chick hatched, the mama ended up leaving the nest with the first chick, and the newer eggs that other hens had laid in her nestbox were abandoned. They got cold and died, when I opened them up there were several chicks that were at different stages. When she left the nest with her chick, the other hens picked on it and the mama mercilessly. It is definately better to seperate, even if all you can do is put her in a cardboard box (as long as the box is kept secure and safe from predators, such as in the coop where the other birds can't get to it or in a garage). Another tip: move her at night. It won't be as upsetting to her, she just wakes up one morning in a new place. Good luck!
  8. ThePolishPrincess

    ThePolishPrincess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Orange County New York, a bit upstate. You?
  9. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    Well, I tried moving her twice. Both times, once she realised where she was, she abandoned the eggs. Whats more, once I moved her back out she would have nothing to do with the eggs. She preferred to take a spot on whatever eggs had been laid in the interim. Or a golfball. They weren't even in the original nest box she was in. Stupid bird, anyway. So, after wasting 13 eggs, we have a wire front on the nest box she is in, and she gets fed and watered there. Otherwise she would be off to hatch a golfball while the eggs freeze again because of a feathery eviction. I've had to block the step in front of her since all the other girls only want to lay in whatever box she is in. They stand outside her door screaming, and will do it for hours. Now with it blocked, and a curtain to hide her, they seem to have settled down. After the hatch, if there is one, I'll try to move her back inside. I see the reason for the popularity of incubators.
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I've found the best way to move a broody is to move the entire nest box/container with her, her eggs, & the nesting materials intact. I try to do this a day or two after she's begun her set. And always at night. If she does stay with the nest after the move, I'll then swap the eggs she's begun with for the ones I want for her to hatch. Unless she's already setting on eggs I want to hatch.

    The next best method is to fence/block off her nest spot from the other hens. I have some panels from old bird cages, or wire tops from guinea pig cages that work well for this. She needs food & water available in there, and a bit of room to poop.

    It also helps to screen her from view, with old towels or feed sacks or something. They like the dark privacy.

    Some hens are more serious brooders than others. Some will incubate golf balls through hurricanes and get something to hatch out, others are much more easily discouraged and may quit the job at the slightest provocation. I hope your hens are better broodies.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by