Persistant Broody Problem
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".