I really try to keep an eye on my chickens for any signs of broodiness. We do not encourage it on our homestead because we are not trying to hatch any chicks. Unfortunately for us, we have breeds that are prone to broodiness. This week our little Buster went broody. The last time she went broody we were totally unprepared and it took a lot to break her. It really only happened once a snake made its way into the coop.
This time we were better prepared so that we could work to break it sooner. The first thing I noticed with her was that she seemed to not really poo overnight. Normally there is much more clean up in the mornings. She went into the nesting box earlier than I expected. At one point, she was turned the wrong way and she just quietly looked at me. She usually takes a long time to lay so it can be hard to tell just when she has been in the box too long.
I hesitantly left her in the nesting box while I went to run some errands. My gut said that I should check her before I left, but I didn’t. When I came home, sure enough she was sitting on our little Keypone’s egg and her own. We immediately expelled her from the coop and closed it off. She was definitely an angry girl. I like to say a broody chick is a moody chick. She took out her anger on a basil plant and went around clucking for the rest of the day.
When she did poo a little, she ended up stepping in it and that is not usual for her. We decided she needed a bath and that is when my husband noticed that she had a bare chest. We didn’t realize that this was part of the broody chick. She was preening a lot and we had checked her for any pests that could be attacking her, but this was part of the broodiness.
We kept her inside overnight because she wanted to go back to the nesting box. It wasn’t until the next day that we read about blocking off the nesting boxes. I put some jars in the two boxes to keep our girl from nesting. Initially she did try to climb on the jars and find a spot, but she soon gave up.
When we had to open things up for our other hen to lay, we kept Buster in a cat carrier or inside the house in our chicken hotel. I was so nervous about Keypone going broody that I made sure to check on her when I thought she had been in the box too long. I kicked her out three times after she had already laid her eggs. She had to yell at me a little, but today she came out on her own.
The thing that was really unexpected in the process was that Buster started to crow. I have never read anything about crowing and broodiness going together, but that is our little Buster. She marches to the beat of her own drum. She used to crow a long time ago, but got over it.
She is two pounds of loud. Since I worry about the neighbors, when she starts crowing, inside the house she goes. It seemed so strange to have a hen crowing in the house. Whenever I would put her back outside, she started back up so once again inside she came back inside.
After close to a week, it seems we have broken her of the broodiness, but not of the crowing. I ordered a no-crow collar for her. I am still waiting for it to arrive. It is supposed to be a humane way to muffle the sound of crowing. She is definitely an interesting girl. I look forward to her laying again and remembering that she is a hen and not a rooster.
I appreciated this article from Taylor Made Ranch on broody chickens. http://taylormaderanch.com/blog/breaking-the-moody-broody-hen/ Not only was the article informative, but there was some helpful information in the comments as well.
Do you have any tales of an unwanted broody chick?
© Faithful Homesteader 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Faithful Homesteader with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.