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Dom T

Broody bantum, 3+ weeks. Help sought

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One of our hens has been in coop for well over a month now. We get her out everyday, have tried bathing her in cool water, putting cool packs ice packs under the nest, all that this omlet post suggests apart from the the 'broody enclosure'. Today marks 6 weeks, I read that after 3 weeks she should be over the broody phase, when she did not stop after week 3 we let it run for another cycle. She seems fine herself in fact she looks really healthy. My question is, how concerned should I be? Should we let it run it's course? Is there an alternative, perhaps doing the ice packs and cool baths daily rather than weekly or should we be trying the 'broody enclosure' for 3 days which seems a bit extreme to me. Many thanks for all and any advice :) 

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They can keep it up for much longer than 3 weeks. But really the only way is to restrict their access to the coop for a while. The broody pen is one way. 
I normally split my run in two and leave the broody on the end without the coop, but put her back with the others at night. I do put a big pot in the nesting box. But with this method it might still take weeks.

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The real danger with cool baths and ice packs is they try to raise their body temperature to counter them and that can very easily lead to a heart attack. 

We've had a broody for 4 weeks. Tried a separate run but she could still see the main coop and we suppose knew her chicks were in there. The result was her body temperature went so high we were convinced she was going to die. In desperation we moved her into a completely different enclosure out of sight of the original. Seems to have worked. She's been there for two days now and we are going to try re-introducing her this afternoon. Problem is she will be seen as an outsider now and the other hens may attack her?

I was told years ago the best way to break a broody is to put her in someone else's garden where she has no reference point, but had never tried it until now.

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Thanks @Cat tails Day 1 of day time Omlet closure! 

@Beantree ah, did not realise how deep this runs at the moment she is just sat outside the Omlet presumably waiting for me to open the door :) Will try a few days of Omlet door closure and if that does not work, take her further away. 

Thank you both so much for your advice, who new having chickens could feel like having extra kids! 

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I'm sure you now realise @Dom T that there are varying degrees of broodiness. At one end of the scale we had a Leghorn that was lifted from the nest box only twice before giving up. At the other end of the scale is young Ermintrude who had been taken out of the nest box 4 or 5 times a day for 4 weeks and was getting more resolute. Previously she went broody at just 6 months old and lasted a week. She lives with 5 other hens so blocking the nest boxes or shutting the coop are not options. We have foxes wandering about so we could not risk a broody cage in the run (which is against the outside fence) and her being scared and possibly injuring herself. Anyway I am pleased to report the the relocation method was a complete success. No longer broody and reintroduced without any bullying, which we did at grain treat time as a distraction for them all. Definitely a technique we will use again, but much sooner as Ermintrude has lost an awful lot of weight.

We have another persistent broody, but putting her in a separate run in sight of her coop does work for her; three days and nights being sufficient on several occasions. But we did move her immediately every time. Perhaps if we were too slow to move her we may not be successful?

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@Beantree I think if broody were out of 10. Brownie is full 10/10 and Fluffy seems to have joined at around 6/10. They live with Dotty who is carrying on as normal :)

We are on day 2 of keeping to door to the Omlet shut during the day, letting them roam in the run and outside the run when we are around. Does that sound okay? It does mean that no chicken can access the nesting box which is within the Omlet during the day, I figure if one of them has to lay would go ahead and do it in the run or outside the run or early morning or eve when we open the Omlet back up. Maybe I have that figured wrong and should let Fluffy have a sit in there as we are 90% sure she she has turned Broody rather than just taking a looooong time to lay :)

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This is the reason I split my run in two and put the broodies on the non-coop side. So that the laying chickens still can go and lay their eggs. As soon as I know they are done, I close the coop and put them together again.

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Okay I think the penny has dropped. @Cat tails @Beantree Attached is chicken run 1.0 so we build a partition where the yellow X is put some shade up. Broody hens go there for the day and back in at night. Non broody hens go on the other side. We try this for 3 days.

For us this is not really an egg issue, more a general concern of welfare issue. 6 weeks seems a long time for Brownie to want to be in the coop the whole time. I guess this is a natural occurrence so we are equally happy to let it run its course however 6 weeks seems like a record so worth trying to give her a hand.  

@Beantreeforgot to ask how did reintroducing your broody hen go the other day. 

Screenshot 2021-07-30 at 10.52.00.png

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Might be that 3 days is not enough. My hens can keep this up for weeks. If you want to break them quickly, you need to use a broody cage. That’s the only way to solve it quickly. 
I don’t have that option because I have to many neighbours close by and one of my hens produces an absolute racket if she can’t go back to the coop at night. 
Do put a large pot in the nesting box dip at night, do your broody doesn’t just go back brooding at night.

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On 7/26/2021 at 1:31 PM, Dom T said:

One of our hens has been in coop for well over a month now. We get her out everyday, have tried bathing her in cool water, putting cool packs ice packs under the nest, all that this omlet post suggests apart from the the 'broody enclosure'. Today marks 6 weeks, I read that after 3 weeks she should be over the broody phase, when she did not stop after week 3 we let it run for another cycle. She seems fine herself in fact she looks really healthy. My question is, how concerned should I be? Should we let it run it's course? Is there an alternative, perhaps doing the ice packs and cool baths daily rather than weekly or should we be trying the 'broody enclosure' for 3 days which seems a bit extreme to me. Many thanks for all and any advice :)

I think it would be a good idea to give the broody cage a try, as you say that is the one thing you haven't tried.

It does work eventually - I had one before that took 7 days to break.

At least you know they have food and water in a broody cage.

I even bought a dog cooling mat to go in my broody cage (just a dog crate)

Some don't like it, and I really don't like doing it, but it has to be done for their own health and well being.

When it gets to bedtime, I just cover the cage with a thin duvet cover and they soon settle down.

I hope your one stops being broody soon.

Can I just add what a beautiful view you have 😊

 

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Re-introducing the broody went OK @Dom T, so no violence. But I'm not sure she is entirely out of it, so perhaps we should have done 3 days and nights? As you, this is not an egg issue but one of welfare; we don't want a broody to burn out and get sick.

Our views are similar, but a bit flatter, so we have had to add draught netting to the run.

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@Luvachicken thank you :) we are very lucky to live in the French Alps :)

@Cat tails run split in two, check! Pot on the nest, check! Watch this space! At the moment whenever we usher them out, or they are in the separated run they settle like this cuddled up together :)

We will try this for a period, a sort of internal broody cage, before we ask a friend to borrow a 'broody cage' which @Beantreewe will transfer to a holding place! Thank for the tip! Ohe while I am here do you have a link for any draught netting sounds like it would be a great idea!  

Thanks Team! Love Dom, Dotty, Brownie, Fluffy and family 

1405138160_Screenshot2021-08-01at18_28_58.png.16df5d1a63d6fbd30c9398efab796850.png

 

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Our draught netting came from the UK @Dom T; it's scaffolding debris netting which we use doubled up and it reduces the wind by 65%. Because the green is a bit bright and stands out like a sore thumb here we have just bought a 3m x 50m roll of black (which they didn't supply before) at great expense I must add. £35 for the roll plus £25 delivery plus VAT then UPS European invoiced an extra €30 for local delivery and customs duty, which we were not told about in advance. So I won't give you the link as it's just a stupid price to import. We did find some here in France, but it was only 2 metres wide so didn't suit our setup, because our support wire is set at 1.4 metres. Just do a search for it. You can also get windbreak netting in garden centres sold by the metre, but I don't think that will be good enough unless doubled up?

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