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Kentucky has gone broody!

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For the past three days she has been refusing to come off the nest, is making a strange chirrupy noise and has become quite stroppy and pecky.


She is also puffed up like a pompom.


I have kept her out of the Eglu today and that hasn't been easy.


We are going out later and so I have opened the door so that they can put themselves to bed.


She is back in the nestbox of course, trying to hatch one of those frozen blue ice packs for cool boxes.


She is going to get the dunking in a trug of cold water treatment tomorrow, and I shall keep changing the blue pack until she gets over herself.

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Our Speckled Star - Stella - went broody a while ago. I read all the useful information in the broody section of Chicken Clinic on this forum and decided to let her sit it out. We did shut her out of the Eglu every day once Blanche had laid, but Stella's solution to this was simply to sit down on the bark/Hemcore layer and pretend that was her nest.


Basically, we found that just keeping her away from the nesting box wasn't enough to stop the broodiness but we hoped that once the normal incubation period of 3 weeks was over she would just snap out of it. Not a bit of it! The 4 week mark came and went with no sign of a change. All this time we'd been doing the things you're supposed to do during the broody phase, i.e. forcibly (and boy, do I mean that!) removing Stella from the run several times a day to get her to eat, drink and walk about a bit. But I was worried that this period of relatively low dietary/fluid intake and little exercise was going on beyond the normal 3 weeks that chickens are physiologically programmed to cope with and that it couldn't be healthy for her. So...


I emailed the very helpful breeder from whom we'd got the chickens and she advised us to put Stella into a broody cage right away. I'd read about this on the forum but wasn't sure of how to get one and certainly didn't feel competent to make one! The breeder suggested using a dog or cat carrying cage (the type with a wire/mesh floor) but what we ended up using was a bird cage with a plastic lower half and a wire upper half. We turned it upside down and set it on a couple of bricks so that the air and breezes could circulate around Stella's nether regions through the wire and the plastic "lid" acted to protect her from above from rain and sun.


It wasn't a pretty sight, I admit, and Stella was not chuffed. But she stopped being broody within 2 days and started laying again a week later. Of course, it's possible that she was ready to stop being broody anyway, I've no way of knowing.


I hope I don't sound like a brute, but if she or Blanche showed signs of broodiness again I'd definitely use the cage right away rather than waiting to see what happens.

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When Gracie was broody I tried the leaving her alone, the dunking and restricring her access to the eglu. Took her 8 weeks to snap out of it :roll: So during this time we did buy one of theose cheap pine boxes from B&Q with a hinged lid painted it with fence paint - in green to match the Eglu. OH made some bars, cut out a door and we separated an area as a nest box -all in an afternoon, although Gracie wouldn't go in it, Ginger used it to lay so that solved that problem. It was also useful when we got the new hens as we could lock them in the Eglu and run for the first week and Gracie & Ginger happily used the box.

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The blue ice packs seem to be doing the trick.


Kentucky is outside much more and is less pecky and growly. She crouched today when I went to turf her out of the nest box instead of hissing at me.


Am going to carry on putting the packs in the nest box for a few days and hope for the best.

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That's interesting - do the others just lay on top of it?


I might have to try that with my grumpy madam (the broody cage doesn't seem to have worked this time) - after hatching last year, she just wants so badly to be a mummy again, but I wouldn't consider hatching unless I had homes (or final destinations) for the resulting chicks; it's not something I'd enter into lightly.

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Well it does seem to have worked so I'd give it a go. They clean up well enough to use in a picnic basket another day. :lol:


Sorry to hear about your computer! What a pest. It's like losing a limb!


I get very twitchy if i can't get my daily fix(es! :oops:) on the forum.


To say nothing of work related stuff etc.

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I certainly will Egluntine - i will get them in the freezer tonight :D


The computer thing is hacking me off (excuse the pun!) I can log on at work, but typically, since it went west, I've had less available time at work to get online :roll: Hoping to have good news from the PC fixer tonight though.

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