this darn broody hen
Can anyone help me out here?
I have an Auracana/Americauna hen who is, I think, more than 2 years old-- I'm pretty sure she was born in early March 2003. She's with a batch of hens who have been together that long and not a single brooder among them... So about a month ago, she seemed to be getting really broody. I let her sit for a while, just to see how far she'd take it, then the pile of eggs under her was getting too huge -- she was apparently getting off her stack to let the other hens lay new eggs. (ALL of my 10 hens lay in the same box, nevermind the other six or seven nesting boxes available to them-- they only like this one box).
OK, so at this point, it was maybe 8 or 9 days into the broody thing, so I decided if she was going to hatch chicks (which for the record I do NOT need), then I should move her, so she can sit and hatch and tend the babies in peace. So I moved her to her own pen, with a nice clean box, dark and covered...
She refused to sit on them. I left her in 2 days-- she would have nothing to do with the eggs and knocked most of them out of the nest.
Fine. I put her back in the coop with the other chickens, and tossed the eggs (what a waste!). I kept the eggs gathered for a few days, then I went out of town for 3 days... DH didn't gather eggs... came back, she's sitting on a clutch of 20 eggs again and tries to peck holes in my arm when I go for the eggs under her. Finally I got them all cleared out again yesterday, once again tossing them.
This morning, she's back on the nest with a half-dozen eggs under her again.
I'm pretty sure it's been at least 3 weeks since this started. Maybe four weeks.
She just won't stop!! But she refuses to be moved, and I can't let her sit on more and more eggs-- 21 days would mean, geez, many dozens of eggs.
Someone tell me what to do here-- I'm at a loss.
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