In a bad brood

Poor Blondie has been brooding lately. I don’t like it.

Brooding is apparently cyclical behavior, and not really all that uncommon in chickens, but I’m still not a fan. The thought of staying put in that little box in 100-degree weather, day-after-day, for hours on end in the hopes of hatching an unhatchable egg is most definitely depressing (not to mention it keeps us from being able to collect the eggs from under her). Not only is her brooding behavior tragically hopeless, it’s also dangerous. We’ve already lost one chicken to heat, and I’m not keen to lose another.

I’ve heard when chickens brood in nature, roosters bring food to the nest, but seeing as how we have no roosters, this brooding businesses poses a problem.  To get the stubborn gal off the hot seat, we’ve taken to gently nudging her off the nest, locking her out of the coop and bribing her with mealworms. For now, the mealworms at least distract her long enough that we can collect the eggs from the nest and clean it up a bit before she starts circling the coop, searching for a way back in.  I’m just hoping our bribery efforts will continue to work as she goes through this little hormonal phase.

Oh sweet Blondie, I hope you perk up soon.

3 Comments on “In a bad brood”

  1. kmom says:

    Seems like I read this can last 3 weeks or so. When my goose did this we put goslings under her. Have you thought of sticking a chick in there? or is that fraught with danger?

  2. manty67 says:

    Oh the poor little love. I do hope she settles soon 🙂

  3. 5leepy says:

    We stop our hens from brooding by banning them from nesting boxes. We take them out of the run and let them free-range and only put them in the coop at night once it’s dark enough that she won’t walk around to get back to the nest. We watch her closely throughout the day to make sure she doesn’t try to make her own nest. It usually takes about 3 or 4 days and then they stop being broody. Good Luck!

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