Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hen-brained

Our chickens are flipping nuts. Pancake chicken went broody in February (January? Too tired to search through the archives here...) and started this whole mess. We have had broody chickens and baby chickens seemingly non-stop since. We hatched out QUITE a few - first because it was so new to us, second for the chicks, and the third batch was really just because we missed our window of opportunity to break her (Pancake chicken, again) of being broody. The eggs were already developing so we let them be born into full-blown chicks.

And then a few weeks ago Cindy (one of our original Rhode Island Reds from Tractor Supply) and Pancake chicken (jeesh lady!) and another Australorp went broody all at the same time.

In our more populated coop (we have several), there are three nesting boxes. All three were populated with a broody hen. This was NOT OK. We scooped all three of them out and plopped them on the ground unceremoniously and took their eggs away (like 21 or so?). The unknown Lorpy got the idea and never looked back.

I have been chucking Pancake chicken and Cindy out of the nesting boxes daily ever since.

Kerplunk.
Yes. There are ways of 'breaking' them of being broody. The most popular method seems to be putting them in a small cage (like a rabbit cage) with nothing under them and no nesting material so their belly and nether regions cool down and they snap out of it. Some people say that dunking their lower halves into cold(ish) water will do the trick; again bringing their temps down so they snap out of it. The latter doesn't work - ask me how I know - and we are so busy that I'm afraid if we put them in a wire cage we'll forget to let them out before something bad happens.

So every day I go down and pluck them out and set them on the ground all floofed and upset and bawk-bawking.

This warmed my heart, though:

Broody and offended. Together.
They are hell bent on hatching something. Or nothing.

3 comments:

Jennie said...

As if you didn't have ninety million other things to do besides trying to talk sense into your chickens!!!

Ramona JapaneseRedneck said...

My banties were stubborn. They would get over it soon enough without any eggs under them.

clothespin said...

At least your girls use a nest box. Mine have NEVER used one. We've tried 3 different types in different locations. The latest version, the plastic box from TS, they are laying their eggs on the floor right next to the box. Sigh.