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mullethunter

Help - winter broody

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After laying three eggs out of the blue this week, Bernadette has decided to be broody! She's been out and about off and on during the day and doesn't swear at me when I chuck her out, but she's definitely at least playing at it.

 

The thing is, when Penny the Wyandotte bantam went broody in the summer I put her in the broody age for 3 days and that sorted her out. It's forecast to be 2 degrees tonight though and Bernadette's not a particularly fat Pekin do I worry it's too cold to put her in the cage.

 

I've put a cloche in the nest box in the Eglu but I have a feeling she's gone to bed on the edge of it somehow (I'll go and look in a minute).

 

Question is, should I try to put her on the perch to sleep? I can shut them all out of the Eglu during the day as no-one's laying. I did that today and Bernie spent a lot of time camping in the dust bath!

 

Any advice on what to do next gratefully received. I'm worried that if I just leave her to it she might not eat and drink enough as I hardly see them during the week at the moment.

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Broody at this time of year - silly girl :roll:

I know chickens can get broody even now still.

 

I would have thought being in 2 degs might shake her out of the broodiness quicker maybe but I would still leave her in there for the 3 days and nights. I think we think 2 degs is cold but don't think the girls do.

I think if she is in a broody cage with food and water she will have no choice but to eat and drink - as lets face it, there's not much else for them to do so I wouldn't worry about her eating and drinking.

I would just check on her when you get back from work to see just how much she has eaten or drunk while you've been gone.

 

Hope she snaps out of it soon though for you.

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Thanks luvachicken. She'd actually gone to bed on the perch with the others so I'll leave her for tonight which is supposed to be the coldest night, so I'll leave her there tonight, and if she's still trying to brood in the morning I'll pop her in the cage :roll:

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Once I had a broody hen in late December, I put water and food close to her and 10 eggs "she was light sussex", she hatched 7, 3 survived. It was my fault I didn't lock her up in a warm shelter after hatching and she was young. what I want to say is, if there is food and water nearby, she will be fine even if you never see her.

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I wouldn't dream of putting any of ours out in a cage in temperatures that low Mullethunter, particularly the older hens. There is a risk she will burn herself out trying to maintain incubation temperatures. I'd just block the nest boxes and put her on the perch at night. Danger is draughts, rather than the actual air temperature I think. Hypothermia is very difficult to deal with.

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Thanks Beantree that's actually what I have done in the end. I don't know what she got up to all day, but the Eglu was shut so she couldn't get in there. When I got home she was hanging out with the others and rushed up expectantly for her corn, then put herself to bed on the perch again (the nest box is blocked by a cloche) - maybe she was only playing at it and I've managed to put her off :pray:

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Bernie's broodyness was very half hearted and only lasted a couple of days.

 

More worry though because now she's started to lose her feathers :doh: She's less than a year old, surely she's not going to have a full moult is she? And if she does won't she get too cold?

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We had a Blackrock who lost all her feathers in the beginning of Winter Mullethunter. She wouldn't wear her knitted jumper so did get very cold and spent a lot of time in the house. Most evenings she came in and sometimes during the day as well. It took well over a month for her to feather up enough to leave her alone. It's the last bit of feather growth that has the insulation properties, so a partially feathered bird is still at risk.

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Most of mine are in one stage of moulting. Agnes my lovely ex batt is looking a real state she is getting on so I hope she gets some new feathers soon to help keep her warm.

 

My bantam girls are beginning to look good again.

 

The hybrid girls are either at the start, the middle or the end of a moult. We have good timing here, weather getting colder I know lets get rid of our feathers :lol:

 

Chrissie

 

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With regard to moulting. Yes my pekin is still shedding. Only a few at a time and she was the last to start. The orpie still has a few to go but the others are OK. One year another pekin didn't start shedding till mid December. She was about a month earlier the year after that one.

Seeing as none of mine are laying - or likely to just yet - I've blocked off the nest box, stops sleeping in there and keeps them together for the cold nights. Being broody isn't an option with the nest unavailable. Although some can be persistent. My old silkie used to go broody every 5 minutes given a chance! :lol:

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Just had the same problem with Luna (again :wall: ), she spent most of Friday on the nest, pulling out feathers (luckily not that many). I was a bit worried about her being too cold so I kept her in the garage which is warmer than the outside but not too warm. I didn't want to block off the nest as the other two are still laying, they only started laying again about 3 or 4 weeks ago. Luna went back to the run today and seems to be staying away from the nest but she isn't very happy with me! :notalk:

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I know I'm being a stupidly over fussy chicken keeper here, but Bernie has now list nearly all of her neck feathers and I'm worried she's going to get too cold. On Sunday she was out in the drizzle and got quite damp, then when I went out to give them some mealworms she just didn't seem herself - didn't want to sit on me to be closest to the food like she usually does but hung to the back just eating the ones I threw to her, and more slowly than usual. Could she have got cold because she was damp?

 

Since then they haven't been out of the run because we haven't been home. She was last up on Monday, but since then from what I've seen of her she's looked ok.

 

Should I be worrying (to be honest I've got enough to worry about already :doh: ) or am I just being silly and it's just the moult...?

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I've had chickens look absolutely miserable during moult and that was big girls. Two Isa Browns looking terrible. No idea re little Perkins but it can put them out of sorts. I know polands can't handle cold as saw on facebook of someone who's died after accidentally being locked out over night. Had no idea they were so cold intolerant.

 

They like to worry you stupid when things are off par so hope it's the moult that's put your wee girl in a paddy. Prob like PMT for chooks, they like to let everyone know about it in a disgruntled way :doh: couple of weeks and all may be well again? :)

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I'm sure you're right redsunset. I nipped home at lunchtime today to give them some mealworms and Bernie shoved her way to the front even though she's the smallest and 3rd of 4 in the pecking order! She probably and hopefully is making me worry unnecessarily!

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