Persistant Broody Problem

ewesfullchicksJune 20, 2008

After a particularly dismal egg collection day, I "beat the bushes" looking for surprise clutches. In a tall clump of grass (that is a "known" hang-out, but hasn't been checked for 2 days) was a broody Buff Orpington.

This is NOT a hen who has been sitting for a long time (at least not here). Two days max....when I picked her up - with her pecking and growling at me, I was horrified to feel that she was totally emaciated.

I'm always having to pick up my chickens and take them out of the horse feed/sheep feed, etc., etc. I KNOW that I am feeding enough chicken feed, because when I pick up my birds, they feel proper weight. In fact, now that it's turned so hot, there is usually feed left over from the morning, when I feed at night, and these are free-range birds.

I'm assuming that she's been brooding some place else (unknown to me), and has transferred her affections to this place.

I have Gail Damerow's book on raising chickens..but have a persistent broody that I KNOW about...

I DO NOT allow eggs to accumulate, and gather at least twice a day.

Unfortunately, I have ANOTHER broody hen that I've failed to "break".

I repeatedly remove the hen from her nest. How far to be affective?

A friend suggested putting ice cubes down, but they would last a nano second in Texas in the summer.

I can move them to different housing, but these are free range hens, that would just probably go back to the barn anyway.

There's not room for a "broody coop".


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I've had some success putting boody hens in chicken "time out" cages. I have two wire dog kennels and put them in there, with feed and water for about three days. I keep track of the feed they are eating and once they start to really have an appetite and are eating good I turn them out. As I said takes about 3 full days.

Now, last week I penned three, (wow, I've had over 11 hens go boody this year, have let 6 set and am tired of all the up keep it takes for those chicks) two are over it but the ohter when directly back to the nest. And get this...she just hatched out 7 about 2 months ago. I took them from her when she started to lay...sure wish I could re-home her to someone that wants a broody thinking about selling the ones that have been so determined this year.

We are retired but can't even make an over night trip to see the grand kids with all the little chicks to feed and water a number of times a day.

Anyway sorry for the misdirection I've gone.

Try penning her for a few days to break her fever. Hope she'll start to eat soon.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 6:51PM
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The only way that I remember that you can 'break' a broody that just doesn't 'get it' is to get a wire cage and put her in it for a few days, give her food and water of course. Hopefully that'll help. I read somewhere that some broodies will brood until they waste away and croak. If you have any baby chicks maybe sneak them under her at night, if possible..then she'll think she's a mama! :D

    Bookmark   June 21, 2008 at 6:54PM
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