Questions about a broody chicken
Hi there chicken keepers!
I have a couple of questions regarding a hen. Molly has gone broody. Which is fine, she herself was hatched here under a broody mother. The problem is, we no longer have a cockerel. So the eggs aren't fertilized. It doesn't take a genius to work out nothing's going to happen there.
first off, she's been on the nest longer then the 21 days it would have taken them to hatch. Is she going to get the idea and quit by herself?
I know the usual advice is to remove the eggs, cage the hen, or put day old chicks under her at night.
Well, removing the eggs or caging the hen are impossible. She's gone psycho, she's not like our other hens who just pecked a lot. This one actually wants you dead. i'd be willing to put some day old's under her except for 2 things - first off, i don't have any. I should have incubated some fertile eggs back when she started, but i didn't. I don't think you can buy day old chicks around here and have no idea where i'd get them. Our neighbour used to give us fertile eggs or small chicks, but he died and his chickens were sold on. Secondly, i think it would be too dangerous anyway because the stupid hen has nested up on a ledge in the rafters of my horse's stable. it's 6-7 feet up in the air! I don't really want to get a load of day old chicks just to watch them plummet. This also means it's hard to get to her because you have to climb up there, and when a mad chicken lunges at me, my reflexes try to throw me off a ladder!
Does anyone have any bright ideas or clever suggestions for this one? Shall I just let her get over it? It's taking a long time and those eggs are going to stink up Phoebe's stable pretty soon......
I would just wait her out. I've had chickens that got broody (no rooster) in spring, and they always took longer than a month to stop, even with taking their eggs away and removing them from their nest every day. They were never so agressive though. BUT we have a goose that gets broody every spring, and she truly does want to kill you if you come near! We would take her eggs away every day but she would still be broody for probably around two months. Last spring we got her two ducklings, and she absolutely fell in love with them and completely believes she's their mother. It really helped, this spring she's been a little broody but nowhere near as long or as bad as she always has in the past. So my advice would be either wait it out, or try to find some young chicks for her. Maybe you should try moving her and her nest every day until she permanently is nesting somewhere safer.
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I just reread that she's psycho when you try to remove eggs.. Can you put gloves on or take a small board or something to shield yourself with? We use a shovel to block our goose when she is trying to attack you for stealing er eggs.
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I can try, but as you may be able to appreciate it's a very delicate operation when perched at the top of a ladder. I'm not even sure I can reach the nest, it's quite far back on the ledge and i REALLY don't want to be climbing onto that ledge myself, I have no idea of it's weight capabilities.
I can try to let her get on with it, but I pity the poor horse who has to share her stable with a clutch of rotting eggs!
Yeah that doesn't sound like fun to me! I guess all you can really do then is wait her out. What a great spot for her to be broody, huh?!
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I know! Of ALL the nesting places to pick! Although I suppose her goal was to find somewhere where her eggs wouldn't be taken, so in that sense I suppose it's goal achieved! Perhaps she didn't consider that her potential chicks would have been fine until they hatched and fell to their deaths! Both clever and stupid, all at the same time, that's my girl!
I guess I'll just wait for her to come around and realise it's not going to happen. Poor old girl!
Thank you for your advice :)
Is there any way you can knock her off the nest (I have a very aggressively broody hen right now too, I use a stick to push her off the nest) and block the space off so she can't return there?
Hmmmm, I could try and take a broom or yard fork up there, though unfortunately she's in a corner so the only way I can shoo her would be towards me. Funfun. I can shut the stable up for the day and see if I can convince my man to help me block it up, although the stable will have to be opened up again tonight for phoebe to get in there. If I did manage to get her off of the nest do you have any idea how long she'd stay crazy for before she just rejoins the brood?
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