What if she continues to be broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kara_leigh, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So, I have my first broody hen. I have tried going out a couple times a day and removing her from the coop, I've tried going out every 30 min and removing her, I've tried dunking her butt in cold water....so far nothing has worked (other than getting me soaking wet from her flapping her wings in the water lol). She is a VERY timid hen, so all she does is growl at me but she never tries to peck at me or bite me, so when I grab her she lets me.

    I don't currently have a roo (I had one, but it as taken by a predator last fall) so there's no way she will hatch out her own eggs, but she keeps sitting on hers and anyone else's eggs, all day long. The past couple days, though, she has been sitting on nothing. Is that normal?? She always sits in the same spot on the floor of the coop, though.

    What if I can't get her to stop being broody? We have 21 chickens, and that is pretty much the max for our coop, so DH doesn't want to get anymore chickens. Will she eventually go back to normal, or will she lay there forever until she has chicks? Will I be forced to find some laying eggs for her? I feel so bad for her, b/c I personally understand her need for babies. :(

    Can anyone else suggest some other tips for breaking her broodiness??

    If I DO end up having to get her some hatching eggs, is it true that they all have to look the same? I've heard that hens will kill any chicks that don't look like the others. I found someone near us that has Cochin hatching eggs (my hen is Cochin/Ameraucana cross), but she has a mix of different roos and hens, so they could possibly look different, so I'm not sure if those would work for what I'm needing them for.

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2012
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I can see how tough this is for you. My advice for folks with no rooster is always to get her some fertile eggs, just a few, like three or four. She may not hatch them all, she may not hatch any, or she might hatch all of them. Then you have that issue of "no more chickens" in your family. I can't give advice on that situation.

    It's just that I really don't like the "breaking broodiness" route. But that's me.

    Broody hens don't care what the eggs look like, or even what the chicks she hatches look
    Iike. Hens which are not broody often kill chicks belonging to other hens. Broody hens sometimes kill another hen's chicks if she perceives a danger to her own.

    But if she hatched 'em, they'll be hers.
     
  3. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, if you really want to unbroody a broody you need to put her in a cage that she won't be able to get comfortable sitting in. When I was a kid the lady I helped would use wire cages and hang them from the ceiling. The hen had nowhere to nest and would after a few days no longer be looking forward to mother hood. Although, if the hen was friendly before she wasn't always afterwards.

    Now if you are like me I just let em set on any ole egg around. I would even go buy some if I had too! I love a broody! My Lucy Lu is setting again right now. She's our resident serial brooder. She sets for three weeks, is a wonderful momma for 6 weeks, lays for about 3 weeks and BAM she's broody all over again. She's on her third brood right now and she won't be a year until May. She's so sweet and loves to show off her babies to us. Thankfully she's not the flogging kind of over protective momma as she's a Dark Cornish and she could hurt someone with her heftiness.

    Broody hens are thrilled with their babies whether they be black, white, purple or hairy legged. They just want to be mommas. So if you aren't up for the unbrooding session and the stink eye you are sure to get for it, then get her some eggs to set. She will love you oh so very much for them, and nothing is sweeter than a momma and her babies clucking and cheeping to each other. Who knows you just might get yourself a new baby rooster for your troubles. If you are at capacity don't go over board and get her a dozen. Just a few eggs is all she's begging, praying, hoping and dreaming for.[​IMG]
     
  4. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What if I just leave her be, and don't get any eggs for her. Will she stay broody forever?

    Another thing I'm worried about with chicks is that we have a "different" coop set up b/c our dog liked to get into it and eat the eggs out of the nesting boxes. Now, the ramp goes up to a platform, and then the chickens have to fly a short distance to a platform and door in the upper part of the coop near the roof. Chicks will NOT be able to get into the coop on their own. I can't put the ramp back in its original position b/c our dog will eat all of the eggs.
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  5. SweetSilver

    SweetSilver Chillin' With My Peeps

    My broody Buff Orp went broody so often I gave up stopping her. Every other day or so I'd toss her out in front of the waterer and let it go at that. She always eventually snapped out of it. Took a long time though. But she proved herself faithful and last year let her and her BFF hatch a couple of chicks. They were thrilled and you know what? They haven't been broody since.

    Anyway, too much work. They don't need a clutch of eggs to snap out of it. They will eventually.
     
  6. flocksalot

    flocksalot Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can ignore the broody, but it doesn't always work. They have been known to cause the other hens to find a new nesting spot and then go sit on those eggs. One day she'll go missing and three weeks later she'll show back up with fuzzy little presents. While they are brooding they don't eat very well and do loose weight. Also broodies can go on for extended periods and during those times you aren't getting any eggs out of them.

    My broody coops were all full up this winter when Valentine, a Red Star, and Mimi, a Buff Minorca, both went broody. It took me a couple of days to do the coop shuffle to make room for them. During that time Mimi and Valentine were beaten up by the other hens that wanted that particular nest box. Mimi got the worst of it and had her comb almost torn off and I thought she would loose an eye, as it is her eye ring is pretty badly misshapen and her comb had to be sewn back on or she would have lost it. Still she stayed broody. That is up until I moved her. Then she was done, but every day she will set on everyone elses eggs all day long. She's no longer broody just prefers to sit in the nest box. She also isn't laying eggs. I think she has some emotional healing going on. She does move when certain girls look into her nest box though. Valentine is currently tending her one chick and the happiest momma around. Well until the next hen hatch which will be my serial brooder, Lucy Lu.

    Broodies like dark areas. Do you have a dog cage you can put her in? Then all you have to do is give her light and lots of it. If you can hang it even better. It's up to you. Or you can make it impossible for the dog another way. I have a friend that got a dog house off CL for free and uses that as her broody coop. She just fences it in with temp. fencing and all is right in her world. Never had a problem with that and we have all kinds of predators running all over our properties.

    One of my geese went broody last August. I let her set some duck eggs, but the weather got too cold and they didn't hatch. She sat and sat and sat. She just started running with the gaggle of geese, but the ducks now chase her off. She was broody for 8 months. That's eight months of her hissing and lunging at me trying to protect her old dead eggs.
     
  7. kara_leigh

    kara_leigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I had a second chicken go broody on me today (the first broody chicken's hatch mate). [​IMG] She is less timid, so was a bit more aggressive with me this evening, but I was still able to get the eggs from underneath her.

    I guess I have to find some hatching eggs, and just sell the chicks.
     
  8. Chemguy

    Chemguy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We had a broody problem, but had space for additional birds. So, we picked up some bantam chicks at TSC. We put them under her in the dark of night, and she took to them. TSC has a new 6 chick minimum this year, but if you know someone else who is willing to split a purchase, you might try a chick or two. Once they get all wiggly and ready to roam, momma will roam with them.

    OK, so that's not a very sustainable approach, but it does seem to have worked for us. There's no guarantee that she won't go back to being broody right away but some birds are like that. Part and parcel of the chicken world. We won't be able to do that again unless we build a new coop and run. Hey, wait a minute....I just had an idea.....

    Oops, gotta run, wife is looking over my shoulder. Good luck, your broody will be fine.
     
  9. StephanieCoop

    StephanieCoop Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a Broody Silkie! She has been broody off and on for over a year now. The first time she went broody I went and got 6 fertile eggs for her. But I can not keep doing that!!! So, she just goes broody for a few weeks and then *poof* you see her out of the coop and wondering around and within a few days she starts laying eggs again. I have tried most of the suggestions about but...she-is-what-she-is and I am o.k. with that!
     
  10. Chic_girl

    Chic_girl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have the same problem with one of my bantam brahmas! My 'Broody Queen' has set herself up in her favorite nest, and fluffs up like a little turkey at anything passing by. She's been there for two weeks with nothing under her, for we have 8 chickens in the coop and 8 chicks in the garage, in other words-max. capacity.

    My worry is that she isn't getting enough to eat. I do force her off the nest daily for some outside time and to give her a chance to eat and drink, but she has lost some weight and it looking kinda peaky. Before going broody, she had gained some more weight to hold her over during incubation, but she's not incubating anything at all.... If I leave her there and hope she quits, would she eventually get over herself and stop setting? Or will she keep sitting there, starving herself until she's sick?

    I suppose I could give her some hatching eggs, but could she last sitting for another three weeks, when she's already lost so much weight?
     

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