A clockwork chicken. C minus 11.

So, you’ve incarcerated a chicken with an eye to cajoling her to go broody. How’s that working out for you?

It’s working out well…just not well enough, methinks. As I read how Aoxa’s hen could not be broken, it further convinces me that I’m on the wrong side of inevitability, here. A hen that will sit a solitary golf ball? And then accept the five chicks that “hatched” from it? THAT’S motherhood.

Buffy has been laying daily in the brooder in the coop, and I’ve been closing the crate door behind her, wrapping the crate with fleece to keep it private and cozy. I’ve also provided water and feed, so there’s no reason for her not to brood, should she be at all inclined.

And she does. Until she doesn’t. She seems quite happy in her private nesting box, and has sat the eggs for as long as eight hours, but always wants to be let out for bedtime. I haven’t had the heart to leave her closed up in the crate overnight against her will.

(By the way, the peppermint oil seems to be doing the trick. I haven’t had food disappear, or seen mouse tracks since I applied it to the crate fleece.)

Yesterday, she was giving me the “let me out; I’m done” song, and I obliged, only to discover she was suffering another stroke-like neurological event. Her head was curled way around to the right, and she was stumbling, unable to get her feet underneath her. I placed her back in the crate with instructions to stay put in the basket until it passed. If it passed.

It did. This is the second of these events that I’ve observed since she was badly mauled six weeks ago, and who knows how many she’s had that I haven’t witnessed? I’ll be keeping a closer eye on her from now on.

As for her her future as a mama…I just don’t know. She sits the eggs first thing in the morning, and has stayed there most the day. But she doesn’t show the immovable, steely resolve that I’ve heard other chicken owners describe. What if I force her into this pattern, and then she’s a bad mama when she gets the chicks?

Have I mentioned that I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing?

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3 thoughts on “A clockwork chicken. C minus 11.

  1. You are leaving the eggs in the nest right? Once they think their brood is complete, they will set if they are the broody type. You can not force her NOT to be broody by taking away the eggs, but leaving them there seems to work wonders on my end. Once they are up to 12 or so, they do set. Mine have set on one for those stubbornly broody. My cochin was enticed after 8 eggs were in her nest.

    I have a barred rock that is never broody, but will hang out with the chicks. She just loves that heat lamp lol.

    I am really hoping she obliges! 8 hours a day is getting close to being full on broody mode! They start slow. MY BO spent the first week adding an hour or so a day, and than it was nights.

    • Ohhhhhhhhh!!!! There are six eggs in her nest (the old ones from when she was on antibiotics), so I just leave her new ones in there? I had though six would do it, as there are to be six chicks. Silly chicken mama! She’s been in there since 7am. She MUST have laid by now, but is not asking to be let out yet at 3:30pm. I’ll just leave her new eggs there and see what happens.

      Thanks!

    • Okay, Aoxa. She’s in there now laying the eighth egg. I’m going to install the heat lamp tomorrow morning to sweeten the deal. She was in there yesterday from 7-5, so we’re as close as we’ve been. I have 10 days to go. Will that be enough to convince her she did the job?

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