Yikes! I think my barnevelder hen went broody and I don't want her to

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by ArizonaDesertChicks, May 4, 2009.

  1. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    My barnevelder, Lacy, started laying about a month ago (still young). She usually takes a while to lay her eggs and sets on her nest daily, even when she doesn't lay an egg (she'll set 7 days a week, but only gives me 3-4 eggs).

    I don't think she's laid any in the last few days and today, she's been on her nest for 6 hours now. I reached under her to remove another hen's egg (green, so not hers), and the only 'eggs' left under her are 2 golf balls. She doesn't want to get off them. We don't have any roosters and it gets hot here in Phx, so I don't really want her brooding.

    To top it off, I was trying to cut down on the amount of chickens and I have and sell a few laying hens. If she is trying to go broody, will she snap out of it when placed in a new home? I don't want to sell someone a non-laying hen, when they're expecting a laying hen.

    I have no experience in this area. I remove eggs from the nest a few times a day and there's never been more than 4-5 eggs on there at one time (including the 2 golfballs that live there). Will a hen actually go broody on such a small clutch? Can I just remove her from the nest and snap her out of it? Should I keep her and try to find her some fertile eggs to set on or will the heat be too hard on her?
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Northwest Arkansas
    Some hens go broody with zero eggs. When the hormones are right, they go broody.

    The best way to break a broody is to keep her in a small cage off the ground with a wire bottom for three or four days. The wire bottom keeps her undersides cool, which seems to help. Give her food and water and she should be fine. Do not give her anything that looks like a nest or nesting materials. If you don't have the wire cage, any small cage will do, but it might take a little longer. Just find a way to keep her from going back to her nest.

    Whether you break her or give her some fertile eggs is your decision.
     
  3. EricShane

    EricShane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    um.. some people would pay "more" for a hen that goes broody, than anything..
     
  4. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    We decided to let keep Lacy and let her try to hatch some eggs. My teen daughters think it would be awesome experience and we may not get a chance later (most of my hens are production type and I don't know if they will go broody).

    She had been laying in an enclosed plastic cat litterbox in the back corner of the coop. We made her a wooden box with a lot of air flow and I placed her and her 'golfball eggs' in it last night. She snuck back into the catbox and stayed there, even with no 'eggs'.
    I then took the lid off her catbox and pushed it across to the place I had put the wooden box. She stayed there all night and this morning, another hen was in there and she was walking around all huffed up. After the other hen got out, I placed her back in there and she was very happy to settle down - now I'm placing some grates around her just to keep the hens out during laying time.

    I was very concerned for her not getting overheated, but I think we did well in figuring out how to keep her reasonably comfortable. Our 3-sided open coop is placed under two large pine trees, so is mostly shaded.

    We placed her nest out near the edge of the coop for more airflow (right side, under wooden nestboxes).
    [​IMG]

    There's about 4-5 inches around the entire nest she's setting in, plus even more in the front because the litterbox is wider than than the boxes above:
    [​IMG]

    I stuck the grate next to the box this morning for a little more privacy from the other hens:
    [​IMG]

    Now, I just need to hurry and find some eggs. How many can I place under her? A dozen? Some sellers include a couple extra, should I ask them not to, or is 14 a safe number?
     
  5. LindseyM12

    LindseyM12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    a standerd hen can lays on 10 or 11 eggs at a time
     
  6. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

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    Glendale, AZ
    Quote:Thanks - I'm going with 10 eggs.
     

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