Farming forum: Broody Hens

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Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Jun 23, 2013 11:42 AM CST
I wonder why last year, when I wanted to hatch some chickens, none of my hens went boody. This year, I'm not going to hatch any, and I have 6 broody hens all at once. Ugh Shrug!
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
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porkpal
Jun 23, 2013 12:11 PM CST
Sounds normal to me...
Porkpal
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
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Bonehead
Aug 8, 2013 11:27 AM CST
Any tips to 'unbroody' them? I have one broody orpington about 5 months old (she just started laying for pete's sake...). I've so far just been shooing her off the nest and removing whatever eggs she is sitting on. She squawks about it, but I've just been checking the nest box often. She usually lays her actual egg mid-morning so I let her sit until about noon. I have another one (big fat Wyandott) who flies out of the coop and lays her eggs in my garden. I keep catching her and clipping her wings shorter, but her new name is "Live Free or Die."
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
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tveguy3
Aug 8, 2013 11:40 AM CST
I know my uncle used to put them in a gunny sack and hang them up for a couple days, he said they'd get over it fast that way. I never tried it, thought they might die or something. When they are still laying eggs, they usually aren't broody. Does she make the "cluck, cluck" sound? They always do when they are broody. When you take them off the nest they will just sit on the ground where you put them,get all fluffy, and do the cluck cluck thing. Then they will get right back in the nest She might just like to baby her egg for a while. Heavy breeds tend to sit on their eggs for a while longer then the light breeds after they lay them. Leghorns and manorca's usually just drop their eggs and run. I've never had one that went broody until they were at least a year old.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Aug 8, 2013 12:15 PM CST
Perhaps she is confused. I'm fairly certain she is laying, I'm regularly getting 3-4 eggs per day and all three of the orpingtons were my first layers, with the rest slowly joining the crowd. She sets in the corner of the nest box, puffed up like a marshmallow, clucks when I open the top of the box, and tries to peck me. Doesn't even come out for treats (scratch or kitchen scraps). If she's still there by mid-afternoon, I have 'escorted' her off the nest, there have been 1-2 eggs under her, and she runs off squawking. Acts a bit put-out but doesn't set down anywhere other than in the nest box. And, yes, I thought she was awful young to be broody, she's still a child. I'll just keep monitoring her.

Fairly sure I won't be trying the gunny sack trick, although I did get a chuckle out of the visual!
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Aug 26, 2013 10:52 AM CST
Update - Ms. Broody has unbroodied herself. I just kept pushing her off the nest, she'd run outside squawking, and then get distracted, so I think she was just a bit confused. I do have two hens who insist on laying eggs in one of my garden beds. They are both large birds who somehow fly/flop themselves over the fence, lay their eggs, then circle the fenced in yard until I open the gate for them to go back in. The rooster has also taken to perching/strutting on the top board of the fence surveying his kingdom, but so far has not opted to leave his ladies.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
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Newyorkrita
Aug 26, 2013 11:19 AM CST
Oh some hens want to escape but at least they want to come home. I guess that is good that the hens are no longer being broody.
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
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tveguy3
Aug 26, 2013 11:53 AM CST
I had 6 broodies all at once, but now I'm down to just 2. They should get over it soon I'm guessing. My turkey is another story, she's been sitting on an empty nest for 2 months. You'd think she would get it figured out sooner or later. You can clip the wings to keep them from flying over the fence. I had to put a fence around one of my flower gardens, cause the hens decided that they wanted to dig holes in it, and displaced one of my newly planted day lilies. I like to let them free range in the summer.
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Deb
Pacific Northwest (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Organic Gardener Herbs Dragonflies Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry
Birds Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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Bonehead
Aug 26, 2013 2:44 PM CST
I keep clipping their wings, but apparently not short enough. I clipped the flying feathers of the right wing on each chicken down to about the same length as their other feathers. I hate to go too short and draw blood... And I'm not opposed to some free ranging as long as they end up in the coop at night.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Aug 26, 2013 6:11 PM CST
We had one that kept hopping up on a board that was high enough for her to hop over the fence. Her wings were clipped also. She's lay her egg under the compost tumbler then do the same, run around the fence looking for a way back in. If I was there it was fine, but I usually get so busy with the garden I forget to watch. They finally moved the board she was hopping up on.

I hate them in my garden, they do so much damage. But we have a HUGE area for them to free range, if you can call it that.

And only one guinea keet survived.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 26, 2013 6:21 PM CST
Poor little guineas. Nature can be so cruel. But you probably have a bunch of adult guineas still around.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Aug 26, 2013 6:22 PM CST
Yes, about 7 or 8 I think.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 26, 2013 7:18 PM CST
So I bet next year they make new babies.
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
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abhege
Aug 27, 2013 3:27 AM CST
Last year we grabbed the eggs and put under a broody hen so they were hatched inside the coop. Much easier than if they're hatched free range.
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 27, 2013 9:49 AM CST
Oh I didn't think of that. Yeh, find the eggs and give them to a broody hen. I bet that works out well. I wonder if momma wonders why she has such strange looking babies? Hilarious!
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 27, 2013 11:07 AM CST
Hens will brood duck eggs and they only get worried about their offspring when the "chicks" swim off without them.
Porkpal
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
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Newyorkrita
Aug 27, 2013 11:13 AM CST
Poor hen having to watch the baby ducklings swimming away!
Name: Tom
Southern Wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Irises Vegetable Grower Butterflies Region: Wisconsin Keeps Horses Cat Lover
Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Daylilies Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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tveguy3
Aug 27, 2013 11:56 AM CST
I had a turkey who wanted to brood a few years ago, and I didn't want any more turkeys, so I gave her chicken eggs to hatch. She did a good job raising 7 chickens. They ended up bi-lingual though, they could speak turkey, and chicken. Rolling my eyes. Whistling
I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion. - Alexander the Great
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Georgia Garden Sages Organic Gardener Beekeeper Vegetable Grower
Seed Starter Cut Flowers Composter Keeper of Poultry Keeps Goats Avid Green Pages Reviewer
Image
abhege
Aug 27, 2013 12:01 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
Charter ATP Member Seed Starter Tomato Heads I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Vegetable Grower Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge)
Birds Garden Ideas: Master Level Butterflies Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Roses Hummingbirder
Image
Newyorkrita
Aug 27, 2013 12:09 PM CST
Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Thumbs up Big Grin

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