Author Topic: Broody Hen advice  (Read 1748 times)

Offline ccat

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Broody Hen advice
« on: May 29, 2016, 06:33:01 AM »
One of my Black Copper Marans has been broody for several weeks.   She also had worms but we corrected that in a hurry.
Now, she wants to sit on the nest 24/7. 
I pull her out and let her mess around the yard when the others are out, but after a while, she heads back up to the nest.
She has lost weight as would be expected.
I read on other sites about isolating her in a "hen jail" which I have the past 2 days/nights.   It's a rabbit cage I borrowed.
It has food and water, but that's it........no cable, no .25 cent vibrating bed, no coffee maker......NOTHING.
I did take her out after 24 hours to let her roam the yard yesterday with the others.  She did for a while, but headed back up to the chicken tractor and the nest.
I have heard this "chicken jail" will work, but it takes time.   I have also read putting her hind end and belly in cold water might help too.
Any advice from you experts in the broody business??
Thanks in advance.
Fayetteville, Arkansas  Zone 6b
NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL BE

Offline bordercollie

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2016, 08:12:39 AM »
ccat, The jail has always worked for me. I left them in confinement with shade, food and water.. no movies nor recreation though and no nest like material. It takes a while best I can remember.  judy

Offline ccat

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2016, 08:38:15 AM »
Judy,
Thanks.  I lock the jail up at night in my shop with a fan on it, but bring it out into the coop during the day.
Yes, shade and water/food, and she gets to see the others running around from Cell Block H
Fayetteville, Arkansas  Zone 6b
NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL BE

Offline Poppa

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2016, 09:57:09 AM »
ccat I know what you are going through. I have the same problem. I have had laying hens for over forty years but I had always had the more common breeds that the broodiness had been bred out of them. But I really liked that dark dark egg of the Marans. I had to have some. I now have five black copper maran hens and a blue copper maran rooster along with some barred rock hens. It seems the marans are always trying to go broody. They are always on in the nest boxes and the other hens can't lay. I find eggs everywhere because the hens can't use the nest boxes. Last year I decided to let the marans set some eggs. I fixed two pens for the broody hens to set and brood their chicks and give each hen 10 eggs. They all hatched. After many sacks of chick starter and the pain of constantly trying to keep their water clean I ended up with 17 roosters and 3 hens. I have just about decided the copper marans are not worth the trouble.   

Offline ccat

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2016, 01:09:06 PM »
Poppa,
Thanks for you wisdom and experience.
I have never had chickens before so I wouldn't really know how to compare the marans with other breeds.
I really like the personality of these, even though they (especially the blue) will run if i try to pick them up.  It takes mealworms to sucker them into my hands. :D
And yes, they do lay a darker egg and I am told they will get darker with age.
My hens are a few months over a year.
The Blue lays a lighter brown but huge egg.
Time will tell, so in the cage she stays.
Fayetteville, Arkansas  Zone 6b
NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL BE

Offline crazyhorse

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2016, 01:13:10 AM »
Mr CCat , I think you are doing everything correct.

When you turn her back out , if she goes back on the nest she will go back in full "broody" mode very quick .

It is better to keep her up too long, than to turn her out too quick.

When she is up, if you can , keep the light on at night seems to help shorten the jail time.

If keeping the light on is not possible , keep her in a very dim light  area where there is only enough light for her to see her water & food, seem to also shorten the jail time.

If possible , place her on a roost pole at night also shortens the "broody" mode.

Also it is best if she cannot see the nest area until she has got over the "broody" mode.

The old timers would give the hen only water & whole corn and keep in a dark area with only enough light to see her water & food.

Just have patience with her , she will "recover" soon.



 

Offline ccat

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2016, 06:37:23 AM »
I will add the light tonight.
I have a shop light on a timer that goes off about 9pm each night, as that is about when sundown hits.
I will leave it on tonight.
I move the cage into the pen with the others...........or should I keep her in "solitary" and leave her away from the others?
Thanks yall for the advice.
I am determined to get this cycle run through her
Fayetteville, Arkansas  Zone 6b
NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL BE

Offline bordercollie

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2016, 08:59:11 AM »
I kept mine with the other chickens but confined. I agree with Mr Horse that if you could get a perch in the jail , that she would be on it instead of squatting which is reminiscent of a nest. I think God made the hens that way so they would stay on their nest and be devoted. No nest nor squatting I think is better for  the reconditioning process. :)   judy

Offline ccat

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2016, 06:25:53 AM »
So far, Broody Betty seems fine in Cell Block H.
I left the light on last night and could never catch her sleeping when I came in at various times to get stuff from my shop.
She did stay on the bar all night.   I have her in my big pen now and she is eating/drinking like normal.
I wouldn't make a good prison warden though, as I have been thinking of letting her out with the others to run around the yard, but will stay tough and leave her there for a few more days.
Thanks again for the advice.
Fayetteville, Arkansas  Zone 6b
NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL BE

Online tangentalstorm

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2016, 10:45:07 AM »
ccat, What we do when we get broody hens is let them sit on a few eggs each, in separate little coop type things, until they hatch (only works if ya have a roo of course). Motherhood usually cures the baby fever....lol

What we do with the chicks is we let the Mama hens stay with them a good while (4-6 weeks) then we keep the new hens (to replace attrition losses) and eat the new roos (keep them separate) when they get to be about 4-6 months old. Our method has worked well so far cause we haven't had any repeat Mamas so far.
Crack O' Noon Farms.
In the Mountains of Old Virginia.
Proud Appalachian-American.

Offline ccat

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Re: Broody Hen advice
« Reply #10 on: June 04, 2016, 07:33:04 AM »
Well, I think the Broody-ness is OVER.
The Broody has been "allowed to make her own decisions" and has decided she doesn't need to sit on the next 24/7.
The chicken jail worked.
Thank you to all who gave me advice.   It worked and I appreciate it.
Next time, if there is one, I will know what to do.
ccat
Fayetteville, Arkansas  Zone 6b
NO MATTER WHERE YOU GO, THAT'S WHERE YOU'LL BE