Thursday, July 15, 2010

Broody Chicken

Broody Chicken


As I’ve mentioned before, I’m dealing with a broody chicken.  It’s been tougher than I thought it would be.

One of the things that is supposed to break a broody hen is dunking her bottom in water.  It’s supposed to make her uncomfortable and not want to sit in the nesting box.  Wrong.  The expression ‘wetter than a mad hen’ has no meaning to Cocoa.  I think that she kind of liked being soaking wet.  I tried this several times a day for a couple of days.  It didn’t phase her at all.

Another thing that is supposed to work is ice cubes.  You’re supposed to put ice cubes under her while she’s in the nesting box.  So I did.  Every 45 minutes for three hours.  She happily sat on them until I gave up.  Yeah - I gave up before she did…

The other thing that is supposed to work is to put the chicken in a wire cage and suspend it for a few days.  I’m not going to do this because 1) I don’t have a wire cage big enough for a chicken and 2) That seems really mean.

The only option left that I can find is to separate her from everyone else and keep her where there isn’t any nesting materials for a few days.  I’m not sure if the baby chick brooder is big enough for her.  If it is, then that will be her new home for a while.  If it isn’t, I’ll have to make something… that’s going to be plan starting tomorrow.   (well, this is not the only other option – there is always the route of turning her into a chicken dinner, but I could never do that!)

For now, I’ve been throwing her out of the nesting box when I get home from work and locking up the coop so she can’t get back in until night time.  (It’s actually kind of funny now, because when she sees me in the afternoon, she knows what’s coming – she does the cartoon character thing and sticks her feet out and braces them on the sides of the nesting box so I have a hard time pulling her out) Of course when I open it up again for everyone to go in for the night, she heads straight for the nesting box.  When I lock up for the night, I take her out again and make her sleep on the roost.  But the whole day she sits in the nesting box.  Not laying any eggs.

She has gotten very clucky when she’s outside, but she hasn’t tried to peck me at all and I know that she’s eating and drinking at least during the second half of the day, so I guess that’s a plus.  Except I have a couple people buying eggs from me now, and having lost one chicken, having a broody hen doesn’t help me out any…

Stay tuned!


stephanie said...

so THAT'S where the "one tough chick!" expression comes from!

Jill said...

@ Stephanie - LOL! Tough chick is right! We'll see who breaks first, me or her :P