Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

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RichmondHens
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Re: Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

Post by RichmondHens » Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:42 am

Lol! I've never had a broody Minorca, MF, so think you did the right thing. I recently had 4 hens in the same house all broody at the same time. Only 3 would share the large communal nestbox and the 4th would sit on the perch growling and fluffed up. She would not be shifted from her piece of perch no matter what. In the end I sin binned them all and the perching one took the longest to break.
elmdene
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Re: Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

Post by elmdene » Tue Jul 25, 2017 10:40 pm

I think I'm going to have to sin bin Florence yet again - she still insists on sitting if I allow her access to the nesting box and it's been months now. But she goes mad and tries to squeeze through the smallest gaps in the cage. I worry she'll injure herself, poor little thing. But sadly I will have to find her a new home with Dougal as for the first time today he fought with Boris, his dad, and it was quite bloody. I didn't realise what was going on until some damage had been done and poor Dougal now has a torn wattle. Quite sad really as up until now they have been running around the garden quite happily together, albeit with a very definite pecking order. I was hoping I could keep them all but nature has taken its course. Now have the difficulty of finding someone who wants a very good natured, small but perfectly formed ( except for a modified wattle!) white Pekin cockerel.
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

Post by Hen-Gen » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:44 am

Hi Elmdene,
How long are you leaving her in the sinbin? I've found that it takes four nights in order to end their obsession with sitting. Also the sinbin needs to have a wire netting floor and a perch so that they do not have to stand on the floor. This combination cools the underside of the hen and changes the hormone levels and thereby ends broodiness. If you are not giving a broody eggs to hatch then it is important to end broodiness as they do not eat properly or run about and their health deteriorates.
Ah, cockerels! Years ago I tried to keep two LF Columbian Wyandotte brothers. They never fought but if the lesser one ever tried to mate a hen then the more assertive one would rush over and knock him off the hen.
By contrast I had three Leghorn boys I was running on before deciding which one to keep. Went to their shed one morning when they were 17 weeks old and it was a total bloodbath. Combs ripped to shreds and the walls splattered with blood.
Last edited by Hen-Gen on Wed Jul 26, 2017 12:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
elmdene
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Re: Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

Post by elmdene » Wed Jul 26, 2017 10:35 am

I haven't left her in for that long yet! I have to admit I relent because she hates it so much. On the other hand her mother doesn't seem to mind it at all and once when I opened it to let her out, all the other chickens got in with her! My sin bin is a smallish dog crate so in places has gaps of about 2 x 4 inches which she somehow manages to squeeze through. It's entirely mesh, at the bottom too so I just let her sit on that to air her her undersides. I feel so awful leaving her in that I almost feel the short sharp shock of iced water is better, but clearly that hasn't worked either! The funny thing is that if I lock her out of the coop during the day she's absolutely fine running around with the flock until the moment she's finished her corn and then she makes a beeline for the coop and complains loudly if the ladder is up! So she's not really unhealthy as she only sits for part of the day, but I can't really rehome her with Dougal if she's semi-broody.
Like your Wyandotte Hen-Gen, Boris tolerated little Dougal until he tried any funny business with the hens (he's not very good at it- he always falls off :lol: ) then he'd charge across the garden and chase him off, but always just stopped short of attacking him, until yesterday. Such a shame as I thought they had reached a modus operandum. The other day I even found them crowing together in the garden - normally Dougal had to reserve that for when he was safely shut into his own coop, often at very odd hours of the night! Several years ago we had 2 Pekin brothers who seemed to be absolutely fine together until once when we were on holiday, our neighbour found one of them dead. Amazingly the good natured one seemed to have killed the bolshy one, although I'm sure he was provoked.
RichmondHens
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Re: Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

Post by RichmondHens » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:17 am

I currently have 9 pekin cockerels all living together while they await the casserole pot. So far they are getting on fine and prefer attacking my wellies than each other. I try and keep them as far from hens as possible to keep their hormones in check. Another group of 4 are also living together harmoniously, and putting on weight nicely!!
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Marigold
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Re: Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

Post by Marigold » Wed Jul 26, 2017 6:11 pm

The best way to return hens to normal hormone levels is to expose them to bright light. There's no need to confine them to a small box, except perhaps at night if you don't have a secure enough run to just leave them out in the open with no comfortable bedding to sleep on. If you can just create a pen on grass, big enough for the hen to walk around and complain about her problems, with water and food and shelter from rain and shade from hot sun, she will be getting exercise, light, air and a normal life, apart from the slight stress of being apart from her friends and unable to brood. Walking around in the open air will cool her down, and if you don't allow her access to the coop but just leave her out in a safe, dry but relatively uncomfortable space, she will soon be cured. If you can begin the treatment as soon as she is 'diagnosed,' it shouldn't take longer than 3-4 days before she's back to normal, but if you've let the broodiness get established before treating her, it may take longer.
elmdene
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Re: Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

Post by elmdene » Wed Jul 26, 2017 11:16 pm

Thanks Marigold. I tried all that early on but she was exceptionally persistent! I even tried the iced water before I went on holiday, to no avail. She does go out free ranging every day from early morning until about 6pm. I have to actually lift her down and she makes a big fuss but once she's out with the others she's fine, not at all clunky or distressed, although she would go straight back in if she could. I guess I need to shut her out of the coop at night but if it was within their pen she'd just settle down on the grass which would be relatively cosy. I worry about leaving her in a 'cage' overnight in case she was nibbled by rats and couldn't get away (not that I've ever seen one here but I'm sure they must be about). Also Dougal, her mate would get very distressed about it as he's a sensitive soul! But I have to try something as it's getting ridiculous now :-)07
As for eating Pekin cockerels RichmondHens ....I'm horrified! Apart from anything else there can't be a lot of meat on them. And I don't want to know the answer to that thank you!
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Hen-Gen
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Re: Hen sitting on eggs several days apart

Post by Hen-Gen » Thu Jul 27, 2017 5:11 pm

The iced water technique is both cruel and ineffective. Take it from all of us with experience that the wire cage, solitary confinement for four nights and days is the only method that works.
With regard to your closing statements I searched the words for some obscure jest but failed to find one. Are you a vegetarian/vegan?
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