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what's up with the new broody ?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by delfargo, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. one of my 7 month old golden laced wyondottes has gone broody on me.
    what would cause a hen who has never been broody (not a broody breed either, i was told) to all the sudden in the past week not want to leave the nest?
    she looks healthy, but i still worry she won't get enough food & water. i don't think she sleeps in the nest, as there is never any poop in it, but when i go to the coop 1st thing in the morning (before the sun is even up) she's in the nest. so i pull her out. when i get home from work in the evening, she is there, so i pull her out. every time i go in there, she's in the darn nest!!!
    it's not unhealthy for her to do this is it?
    i'm just curious as to why she would, all of the sudden, decide to do this.
    thanx for any input.

  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Does sound like she is broody.

    Give her some fertile eggs - it will make her happy [​IMG]

    Broodies will eat/drink and get off the nest for a short time during the day. Some people make the broodies get up, some leave them on their own.

    I offer my broodies food/water next to them on the nest.
  3. happyhens44

    happyhens44 BroodyAddict

    Apr 25, 2010
    Northern WI
    Trust me she spends the night in there, Broodies dont poop in the nest. They hold it, Id let her brood or break her. She will be ok, They get off the nest around once a day to eat poop drink etc. So if she doesnt get off by herself Id make her like your doing.
  4. eenie114

    eenie114 Completly Hopeless

    It's perfectly healthy for a hen to go broody, no worries.
    As to why she'd do it all of a sudden, who knows? There seems to be no rhyme or reason behind it.
    She's probably sneaking off the nest when you aren't looking, in case you're a predator.
    Anne and Ella were broody at the same time, and I saw them off the nests a total of two times each in the entire 21 days, and yet they stayed perfectly healthy, and hatched out a bunch of chicks! Just make sure they have access to as much water as she could drink, and more.
    She's probably off the nest while you're at work.
  5. once they "go broody" is it temporary or do they STAY that way?
    i think i read that they don't lay when they brood, so that's not good. i don't plan to hatch my own chicks - i want her to lay eggs so i can sell 'em and eat 'em.
    as far as "breaking" her, all i know to do is drag her butt outta the nest as often as i can and collect any eggs she might want to sit on.
    anything else i need to be doing?
  6. DenverChickens

    DenverChickens In the Brooder

    Jan 24, 2009
    [​IMG] Hey there, SLW!

    I happened to be checking on chick breeds to order this spring, and saw your question on broodiness. My GLW and BO's went broody quite a few times in the first year. I was doing what you are doing and forcing her off the nest whenever I could, only to find her back on the nest. We played this game for what seemed like two months, and I started feeling like she would never come out of it.

    They can stay broody for quite a few months, and while they are broody, they are not getting much excerise, not eating and drinking much, and so they are more succeptible to disease and parasites.

    So I decided to really break her of it and now I have two "broody busters" on hand for any hens that go broody. I just used old pet crates, the metal kind with a hinged door. They are about 2 feet long by 18 inches wide and maybe 15 inches tall made out of about .75"x.75" thick metal wire mesh. There's enough room in them for the hen to move around, stretch a bit, and eat and drink comfortably, but that's about it. As soon as I notice a hen is going broody, in the "broody buster" she goes. I just keep her in the coop with the other hens, but isolated in the broody buster. I put fresh food and water in there (I used a couple of plastic one quart take-out containers wired pretty high-up in the inside of the buster so she can't dump all the feed out), and add/change the food and water daily. She doesn't get any bedding of any kind, so she can't "nest". The broody buster is elevated off the floor of the coop on cement blocks, so she has no access to any bedding and has to sit on the wire floor of the buster. It's nice to let her out once a day for a little bit for her to take a dust bath or stretch her wings. She stays in the broody buster for 3 or 4 days, or until she lays an egg, whichever comes first. Most of the suggestions I read said leave her in there until she lays an egg, which signals that she is no longer broody, but I've found that 3 or 4 days does the trick, regardless.

    Some folks don't bust broody hens, thinking it's a little cruel to isolate her without the bedding she so desperately desires, but personally I felt it was more unfair to have her getting weaker and weaker as she tries to sit on invisible eggs for months. And, once I injured a hen's toe removing her from the nest, so I figure this is better. Plus, the broody buster serves double duty and can be a mini-hospital if you have an injured hen.

    Hope all is well on the farm. It's snowing here in Denver, but nothing compared to what you are going to get there later in the week, from what I hear. Bub bub bye!
  7. kateseidel

    kateseidel Songster

    Jan 9, 2010
    I've had 5 or 6 of my Buff Orpingtons go broody, although none of my Silver Laced Wyandottes. The BOs will brood for about 3 weeks before they get over it (no fertile eggs here). And I do take them off the nest twice a day to go outside for a snack and a bit of a run-round. Otherwise, I let them be and so far, they've all been fine. Fortunately my hens are all very agreeable even when broody, and have no objection to my reaching under them to take eggs (they will take the eggs the other hens lay and try to hatch them). Gotta love those dedicated mom types.

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