Feeling Broody

Sassy had gone broody the past few days. When this happens, chickens will eat less or sometimes forget to eat at all. They will be hell bent at sitting on a nest whether their eggs are going to hatch or not, and sometimes whether there are even eggs in the nest or not. The other chickens start to pick on them and their status reverts to lowest chicken on the totem pole. At night she wouldn’t even out herself up to roost, we’d have to carry her in and put her there or she otherwise wouldn’t budge from the nest box.
Her sister, Susie, had this happen before when we thought she was egg bound. Doing the chicken spa procedure as for an egg bound hen still appeared to snap her out of her broody state.
So I decided to try it with Sassy too… Because the alternative common recommendation for a broody hen is to stick her in a crate that’s just cage wire on all sides so she gets air flow all around her to bring her body temp down, and not provide her anything comfy to sit/lay/nest in. Just leave her isolated in a crate like that for 4-6 days. Well that seems a bit on the mean side to me, so I figure chicken spa first would be the better experiment. Getting her wet and then putting her back outside has brought her body temp down, she regained more interest in food by attacking a piece of bread my mother in law hand fed her. Now she’s happily dust bathing in order to dry off and get proper chicken clean, and go back to being a normal chicken.
So far we seems to be 2 for 2 on chicken spa breaking a broody mood. Much nicer than solitary confinement. Now well see what the other chickens think…

Darn it! Sassy was fine up until I put her in with the other chickens and they started being bullies to her again. So I blocked her from the nest boxes to see if that would make any difference. Chickens are really little assholes to each other, plain and simple. The pecking order is a very delicate thing. Much less structured compared to dog packs or lion prides etc…

 

~e.

 

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