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Young Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ryan820, Oct 20, 2014.

  1. ryan820

    ryan820 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm using tapatalk and did searches on the forums so I'm thinking its tapatalk not working properly as I'm certain I'm not the only one to ever a have this issue...so I do apologize for seeming to disregard the volumes of info on this forum but re asking something that has likely been answered many times...but here it goes.


    I have a young buff Orpington who is new to the world this season and she has probably laid maybe a dozen eggs by now. I was away for a week and came home to her being very broody... Wow will she make a good nester one day! But the problem is, I'm in Colorado and feel it would be folly to have her raise any chicks right now (chime in here if you think I'm wrong... I'd gladly let her raise some chicks if you think they'd be ok with our changing season and winter). She occupies a nest box the girls tend to prefer, so there is a lot of laying eggs upon her and all that insanity.

    I've removed the eggs from the box every day since returning but I know that won't do the trick. So, this is what I hope to do:

    1. Remove her from the nest box
    2. Set up separate area inside coop with food and water
    3. Place her in there with minimal comforts, like bedding, so that she stays "cooler"

    The question is, how much space does she need, does she need anything special like a blanket to darken her space or to provide some peace from the flock? And how long should she be in this brood breaker?

    Btw her name is. seaweed, named by my five year old, and she's a lovely chicken... And I can verify (much to my horror) that our rooster, almond, is in fact fertilizing eggs! I think one of the eggs that got laid the day we left was a fertilized one and it got missed by the chicken sitter....I found the eggs literally tucked under her wing, even though I removed her from the nest, she held on to this one egg...crazy! Anyway, it was certainly developing.

    In the end I want what is best for this chicken. If she is safe to have a clutch of eggs, fine... If the peeps will do ok in the unseated coop given its already nearing the end of October I'm fine with that too... But if she shouldn't be raising peeps this time of year or the peeps won't last in our dynamic weather, I need to break her of this fast.


    Thoughts?

    Thanks, guys!!!!!


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  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    If you have any luck breaking her using the method you described perfectly above I would do it. She needs enough space that she can stretch her legs and get away from where she will want to sit to poop.

    I have a young cochin, less than six months old, that laid about half a dozen eggs and is now full-on broody. Our winter will be cold, but nowhere near as cold as y'all get. I suck at broody-breaking, so she will be allowed to sit. As a long-time chickenkeeping friend of mine said...she's great at broody breaking, but it usually takes about 21 days and involves chicks. [​IMG] That friend is sending me eggs. [​IMG]

    Good luck with the breaking.
     
  3. ryan820

    ryan820 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ahaha well that doesn't sound too promising for me then...

    I guess the question I should be asking then is: when is it too late to let a hen rear a clutch in Colorado? Lol


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  4. SunnyCO

    SunnyCO Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, I'm new to this, but I'm going with logic and nature. I live in CO also, in Windsor, which is North but on the plains not in the mountains so the winters are a little milder. I also have a young Buff O that has gone broody, it's like PMS x 10, yikes! I tried the wire dog kennel approach to breaking her, but it broke me first, 4 days of isolation therapy did nothing to change her attitude. I don't have a rooster so there are no fertile eggs so I decided to order some and at least make this time productive. I figure chickens have been doing this for a long time without our help or interference so if mother nature says it's egg hatching time, who am I to argue. My coop is not currently heated, but I figure, that's what the hen is for, to keep the chicks warm. I will add a heat lamp if necessary when the temps drop or I can move them to a corner in the shed or garage if things get bad. I'm originally from NH and my Mom & Dad were both raised there on farms. They both said their coops weren't heated and the brood was left to nature. Their hens hatched chicks year round without trouble and the winters there are not nearly as mild as the winters here.

    I'm going to give it a shot and let Goldy hatch some chicks. I'm hoping Mother Nature knows best, but am prepared to step in and help out if I need to.

    Am I crazy?
     
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    You are wise. Six of my youngest birds are from a broody that I tried to break for more than four month, yes FOUR. I tried all the broody breaking tricks with her before I waved the white flag and ordered her eggs. I have an old broody that I don't even try with anymore. She gets eggs or she gets store bought chicks.

    Anyone that's ever stuck their hand under the belly of a broody hen knows why - it's nice and toasty warm under there. You can always move the hen (actually still pullets at that age) to a warmer spot if it looks like she's going to have trouble keeping her brood under control.

    Feel sorry for me - I have call ducks, seven of which are female. With call ducks it's not a question of whether or not they will go broody, just when. Breeding season for calls will be upon us soon and I swear I still have bruises from the last time. Broody ducks do more than hiss and peck, they fly at your face and bite...hard. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2014
  6. ryan820

    ryan820 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok so I set up a safe nest for Seaweed the super broody and what does she do? Gets out of it and sits in the near box that has no eggs. Wth, chicken?! She's insane. The safe nest has food and water and a covering to keep her in the dark and out of view of the other chickens.

    What else should be done???


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  7. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had my Faverolles go broody after about 1 month of laying. We're here in Western WA so the weather at the time was very mild. I set up a breaker cage near their main coop so that the birds would all still be able to see each other.

    2 days in "jail" and we were back to normal.

    I was bummed though, because I do want to hatch chicks.. It just wasn't the right timing for us!

    [​IMG]
     
  8. SunnyCO

    SunnyCO Out Of The Brooder

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    Hey Ryan, Goldy has been all over the place and I was having trouble getting her to settle on the right nest. I waited until I knew my 2 RR had laid their eggs for the day then put her on the "right" nest and blocked the other one off until the next morning. It seems to have worked since she is now setting on the nest with the eggs and the other one has been opened back up for a couple of days now. I'm knew at this so it might have been a fluke, but it seems to have worked.

    Good luck!
     
  9. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For a "Broody Breaker" box, she can have zero access to nesting material. A wire dog crate or separate pen is ideal.

    Give her access to free-choice water, feed, and calcium (if not included in the food).

    She can come out and rejoin the flock when she lays an egg. :)

    I've found it's super easy to move chickens at night. When they go to roost (or brood in the nest), move them after sun down. It seems that if a chicken "wakes up" in a certain condition or environment that it's pretty easy for them to assume the New Normal.

    Good luck!

    MrsB
     
  10. ryan820

    ryan820 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well I hadn't even tried a breaker box because I figured that once folks said she'd be fine hatching eggs even this time of the year, I figured she could just keep the nest.

    I had a hard time keeping her on the nest yesterday but I blocked off her favorite box and moved her to a safe one and snuck water and food in there too and then draped a cloth over the entrance and she has successfully stayed the entire day today. I will continue to visit the coop multiple times a day to remove any fresh eggs just to be on top of things but the count down has begun! Day 1 of 21!


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