May 12, 2016

Broody?

The goats' hay feeder is a favorite egg laying spot.

When we first got our Black Australorps about a year ago, there was discussion about whether or not this breed is prone to go broody. That's a concern for anyone who wants self-sustaining chickens. If they can't replace themselves, then that's a problem. Well, I'm happy to report that we have one very broody Lorp, so that settles that question!

She's been broody for about a month now, but with the Lorps only about a year old, I really didn't want chicks this year. She's been so persistent, however, that I was really tempted to buy her a couple of chicks at the feed store, just to let her be a mama. The problem is that I haven't been successful in relocating her to a safer spot. I say that because the hay feeder is not a good place to raise chicks! It's a pretty big drop to the ground (for a chick) and there are too many goat feet around!

So every day I reach under and remove whatever eggs she's got (usually duck) and every evening I deposit her back in the chicken coop. Every morning she's back again! That's dedication.

21 comments:

  1. I have just finished with our 2nd broody chook, the first I let hatch and th second every day I took the eggs away yesterday she gave up and joined everyone else, Is that breed of duck the one that likes to nest high up

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. After I wrote this post and had it ready to put on the blog, I noticed that my broody hen seemed to have finally vacated her post! But it took awhile.

      The ducks are Muscovies, and I believe they lay, hatch, and raise young on the ground. They aren't great flyers, I know that. The like to lay in the hay feeder, or either in or under the chicken nest boxes. They don't mind pushing a chicken out of the way to do so!

      Delete
  2. Over the years I've had a couple of hens who were determined to hatch eggs, with or without benefit of fertilization. Now I've got the "fertilizer" and so far, no hen has appeared interested in a career change. Fingers crossed, though, as I really don't want to start another batch of storebought chicks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh those chickens! They have minds of their own. Letting a hen do the job is so much easier than raising chicks oneself! The coop keeper simply has to sit back and enjoy!

      Delete
    2. Plus, ever since I watched a hen raise her own chick (yes, it was just one and it was in a freezing November...I had a hen and chick in my house for a while that year!) I realized how much was missing with day-old hatchery chicks. Honestly, felt like a dope for not realizing it sooner. I am hoping really hard that I'll have a clutch of homeborn chicks this year.

      Delete
    3. Quinn, I so agree with you. Some folks will be quick to say that chicks don't "need" mothers because they can feed themselves. But there is so much more to mothering than feeding. No human can ever do as good a job as a mama hen.

      Delete
  3. Muscovies are top of the list once we get our land, they're just such a good all rounder they are head and shoulders above the rest for us.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We've got a Cayuga duck and Pilgrim goose setting on a nest of eggs, but the Muscovies are having none of that! What gives? Much earlier this spring we had a bantam hen wanting to do the broody thing, but it was way, way too early (would have still been freezing when the chicks hatched) so we discouraged her by taking eggs away each day. Now she's not interested. I'm thinking ALL birds have minds of their own!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they do too! And I agree about hatching in cold weather. It amazes me that the hatcheries sell so early in the year, but I suppose the heat lamp takes care of that.

      Delete
  5. My 'lorps have always been prone to broodiness, but they have been consistently great mamas! No complaints from me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Melanie, thank you for that! Next year I'd like to see some chicks in the yard.

      Delete
  6. Placing the bird in some cool water is also a good way to break broodiness. Broody birds have an increase in body temp (part of the biological change in them during broodiness), so cooling them often can help.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jessika, I've tried the cold water dunk in the past but had no success. All I ended up with is an understanding of the term "madder than a wet hen." :)

      Delete
  7. I love hearing the stories of your determined mamas. ;) with your chicken coop, I didn't realize that the hens still had access to the goats' feeder.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Technically they aren't supposed to have access to the hay feeder, but if they can manage to get over, under, or through the fence they make a beeline to the hay feeder to lay eggs. I've reinforced fence recently so they won't eat the new pasture seed and everybody seems to be staying put. (Knock on wood).

      Delete
  8. How is the search for a replacement drake coming along?

    ReplyDelete
  9. How interesting - I was not familiar with that term! I do miss having chickens....but I shall live vicariously through you for now!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Broody Breaker...wire crate, food and water but NO bedding, raised up off the ground....few days later, she's done.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I hope nothing happens to her! Nancy

    ReplyDelete

Welcome! Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment. I try to reply to all comments and return blog visits if I can.