**Updated with questions. Can we revisit this thread?** Can you postpone broody behavior without b

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Deltabwa, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Deltabwa

    Deltabwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 10 mo old NN that, to my surprise, 2 days ago noticed she spent an extra long time on the nest. She had quit laying completely over the winter and just started laying again 3 days ago. She was there about 4 hrs. I had taken the egg she laid but she was sitting on the fakers. Yesterday, she did the same thing. I tested to see if she was broody by getting the faker and moving it. She got up, went to it and laid on top of again, using her beak to get it under her. (I have 1 long nesting box without separators so they can move around in the box) A little later I actually took it and she freaked out for about a minute but went out side and was fine.

    Today she did the same for several hours and then went outside for a couple hours then went back in to the box, not laying an egg at all but only using the fakers.

    Now, I WANT a broody, but I have 2 pullets that, as of today, have only lain 2 eggs and 10 others that I am still waiting on. All 14 of them were born Sept 18th. So will be any time. I would like some of those eggs hatched, but I want to wait a bit to let the others start laying and then get bigger. But I DON'T want her to sit there for very long. If I pull the eggs every day will that break her of the broody? Will she get up and leave every day if I take them like she did yesterday? Or is there something else I can/should do to keep her broody without being truly broody until the eggs are ready? I'm just unsure how to proceed.

    TIA


    ETA: I just went out to check on her and there was an egg in the box and she was out. Is she just taking a VERY long time to lay or is it broody? She has been on the eggs since 8 am and at 8:30 was making a LOT of egg laying noises but never did. If she's not broody, is there something wrong that it's taking her 7+ hrs to lay?
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2017
  2. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Chicken Obsessed

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    Honestly, you'd be better off getting an incubator if you want to hatch on your schedule. It's hard to know what a broody will do. I had one that insisted on sitting on an empty nest day and night for 3 weeks last year. (I took the eggs, tossed her outside, and right back to the nest she went) Then one day she apparently figured out chicks weren't going to happen, and off she went. Hopefully she'll get broody again this spring. (This was her second broody session of the summer)
     
  3. Deltabwa

    Deltabwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. I have an incubator but was trying to avoid the mess and always figure ma is best. I also edited the post. Thanks for your reply
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Some birds spend a lot of time lounging in the nest...tho are not broody.
    If they are on the nest for 3 days and nights, then you've got a broody.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Yeah, you can’t time it. They go broody on their schedule, not yours. It doesn’t sound that much like she is broody, but if she is I suggest you break her. It will not affect whether she goes broody later or not.

    Before a hen or pullet starts to lay they store up excess fat. That fat is mostly what they live in while broody. That’s why a broody hen can spend so much time on a nest instead of being out eating. But when she is broody she uses up that fat. That’s why a broody hen will lose so much weight while broody. But it’s fat meant for that purpose. But if you let her use up her reserves now she won’t have any for when you have hatching eggs. The longer you wait to break her, the more she uses up her reserves so the longer it takes for her to build them back up and start laying again. And the longer it will take for her to go broody again.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I wouldn't consider her broody at this point.

    Any time I have a hen in a nest box, just to lay an egg, they'll tuck any extra eggs underneath them. That does not indicate broody behavior.

    Spending the night on the nest box is broody. Flattening out out like a chicken pancake on the nest is broody. Growling like she's going to bite your hand off is broody.

    so, I think it's kind of a moot point right now.

    Just coming back into lay, she's kind of like a new layer. Hanging out in the nest box is a common thing.
     
    1 person likes this.
  7. Deltabwa

    Deltabwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Shes not a new layer, she only quit for the winter. Shes not an old layer but she did lay almost every day for 4 months before she quit. She always went in, laid and got now. Now she goes in as soon as she wakes up then comes out, it seems, for lunch, then back in again and stays in til supper but no, she doesnt sleep there. She does get pretty flat tho which she didnt before. She also never sat othe fakers before. I thought maybe she was just kind of learning but if it doesnt break her completely then i will break her if she starts trying to get on them at night.

    Thanks everyone.
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2017
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I've a couple birds that flatten out pretty good when lounging in the nest....first saw it and thought utoh broody, but nope.
     
  9. Deltabwa

    Deltabwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok great thanks. Good info to know!!
     
  10. Deltabwa

    Deltabwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can we revisit this and could I get some help on her? This girl has not stayed on the egg at night but she does climb down off the roost around 6:30 am and most times will go right in the nest box and stay. If she doesn't immediately go in there, she will go eat and drink and back in by 8 am. Never later than that. Shes comes out to eat lunch and goes right back in there again and stays until around 4ish pm. She used to lay 5-6 eggs per week but now she lays maybe 3 per week. Even after laying she just stays in the box. Because of this I have added separators to it. Her being in there has become a bit of a problem because I have new layers that are trying to get into the box but she will leave her box and go into each of the other boxes and scares or pecks the young ones out. I even tried to lock her out yesterday with the young ones in there but everyone was getting stressed because they couldn't get out or in. I have taken her out but she won't stay out. If she's at a far end box I will get a couple brave ones to come and lay on the far end. At which point she gets out and goes to that one to sit on those eggs.

    1) Are these signs that she will, at some point, go broody, since you're saying she's not?
    and 2) Is there a way to get the young ones to lay in there while she is in there? I found an egg in the opposite corner of the coop this morning and can only imagine she scared them out of the boxes.


    thanks.

    Oh, and she is 11 mo. if that makes any difference.
     

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