Trouble lurking in my chicken house

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by RiverBendPol, Nov 10, 2010.

  1. RiverBendPol

    RiverBendPol Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2009
    Hi Kids-
    I have 3 Buff Orpingtons. Lovely, friendly birds, all came here together in May, 2008 as fluffy day old chix. Now, at almost 3 years old, they have gone down as our worst batch of "laying hens" to date. We've had RI Reds in the past who laid more than we could handle. These girls have had a very spotty laying history, never more than 1 egg a day between them, with long periods in between laying periods. One of the 'girls' is a most interesting character. She has huge wattles and a big floppy comb, easily twice the size of those of her sisters. She has inch-long spurs on the backs of her legs. She is our best layer. She is the most friendly. She has been sitting in the nesting box for almost 3 weeks now, without getting out, (altho there isn't any poo in there) and has not laid one egg since mid-September. Somebody please tell me what the heck is on with this bird? We call her Pat, as in SNL...Is she a hen or...not? She exhibits absolutely ZERO male behavior.
    Thanks a bunch.
  2. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Sounds like Pat has gone Broody. This is when they want to set on eggs and hatch babies. They do not need eggs in the nest to go broody.

    To break her you have to fix it so that she cannot get to a nest. Alot of folks use a cage up off the ground. This also lets the air get under her and cool her off. Breaking a broody can take a few days.

    Make sure she has food and water where ever you out her.

  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    She has gone broody.
  4. RiverBendPol

    RiverBendPol Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2009
    Thanks, Matt-

    Are you saying I have to put her in a cage or just keep her away from her nest? Should I put her in a dog crate? These girls are free range, out at first light, in before dusk. Should I haul her outside and shut the doors for the day? Should I block off the opening of the nests so she can't get back in at night time?

    Why does a chicken 'go broody' in the first place and what do you guys think of her male 'attributes'??[​IMG]
  5. BloominOrchid

    BloominOrchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Worcester Township
    Quote:Yes [​IMG] good luck!
    Lack of a roo will sometimes allow one of the hens to take the roll of a roo. Like Pat ha. Love the name [​IMG]
    Broody is natural bio clock ticking...she wants chicks.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:Three weeks is the normal incubaton period. See if she gives up on her own around 21 days. If she doesn't, you can take some steps to discourage her, like lifting her off the nest and setting her down away from it several times a day, and as you mentioned, blocking off the nest access at night.

    The wire bottom cage is another option, but I'd try other (easier) things first.
  7. RiverBendPol

    RiverBendPol Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2009
    BloominOrchid~ Erin )O( Displaced Country Pumpkin living in the city
    Mom to 5 Skin Kids, 30 Chickens and counting...2 boxers, 4 lizards, 2 Hermies, a pond full of fish and the biggest Baby, Big Daddy, The love of my life!
    Soldier, Army Wife and sister of 4 more in the military. Thank You!

    Thank you for this broody info, but MUCH more importantly, THANK YOU to you and to your family, for your service to the USA, keeping the rest of us safe and free.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  8. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    I've never had much luck with Buffs as layers. I can't believe one of them has spurs! Yes, force her to get some sunlight to get her 'unbroodied'.
  9. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

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