Broody Hens

21 June 2017

Well we've run into our first major snag with the hens. They've gone broody! 

Broody pretty much means that they stop laying eggs because they want to hatch some baby chicks. So they pluck out their belly feathers (for skin to egg contact), sit in the nesting box ALL DAY AND NIGHT, and generally turn into little grumps. At first we noticed Nellie wouldn't leave the nesting box and would try to peck us whenever we went near her. She would even do this weird growly thing. So obviously we automatically assumed the worst; "oh man what if there is an egg stuck in her?! Do we call a vet? Can you call a vet for a chicken?!" Then someone in the urban hens community gently pointed out that she was probably just broody. 

Which she was. 

No big deal. 

But then Rosa wouldn't leave the nesting box and then Frida wouldn't either. So three of our four hens are currently not laying eggs. *grumble* To make sure they eat and drink we'll kick everyone out of the coop for the majority of the day, or else they would literally just sit in the nesting box and not leave. 

Apparently this will last around 21 days before they snap out of it, or you can take matters into your own hands and try to "persuade" them out of it. We looked into those methods of persuasion but most of them seemed kinda mean. One particular method said to keep the hen separated in a grate bottomed cage and have a fan blowing on her at all times. The idea was to make her so uncomfortable that she forgets how broody she is. Mean right?! So for the meantime we are (somewhat embarrassingly) buying our eggs until they snap out of it.

Note to others: 
Some chicken breeds are more prone to "broodiness" than others. Such as bantam varieties. Like Nellie and Rosa...

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