Trying to break the broody cycle

We are continuing to modify the new chicken shed in the afternoons. I was at home today as I didn’t have deliveries so decided to get tough with the broody girls.

Vanilla laid her first egg since her broody break of ten days. It was a whopper for a serama egg. Jasmine also laid, so two eggs today, hurrah.

Vanilla’s egg on the left and Jasmine’s egg on the right

I checked on my egg record and found that Ebony has now been broody for four weeks. In fact just a little longer because it was four weeks ago that she last laid but she laid the last couple of eggs after she went broody as the girls often do. It only takes three weeks to hatch an egg so this is ridiculous.

Flame has been broody for a week and Marmite has been broody for a couple of days. I thought that I may have been mistaken with Marmite as she took longer and longer to lay each of her last two eggs and then that was it, broody and in the nest box all day.

With all three nest boxes clogged up with broody girls it is causing the laying girls to be very vocal with some of them not happy to share a nest box with an angry broody.

I decided enough was enough! Vanilla and Jasmine had laid their eggs. Cinnamon and Salmon had laid the day before and only lay about once a week at the moment. Smoke hasn’t yet laid since she came out of being broody. Spangle lays very rarely and Speckles isn’t laying at the moment. This meant there would be no girls wanting to lay so I decided to close the nest boxes.

Because I know that Ebony and Flame will sit on top of the nest box if closed I stacked two nest boxes on top of each and took the third nest box outside.

When I next checked the girls this is what I found.

Ebony and Flame on top of the stack of nest boxes

After a whole month how can Ebony be this determined! I then bought the third nest box back in and added it to the stack. That stopped them getting up there. It will be interesting to see what happens at bedtime as I hope this will force them to go in the chicken shed. They may decide to sleep outside instead but I am used to moving girls around at bedtime.

I will leave the nest boxes like this for tomorrow morning too. Vanilla is the only girl likely to want to lay tomorrow. I will keep an eye on her and open up a nest box if she looks like she needs one.

To the plastic shed we fitted the runners for the pop hole door and some brackets for the perch at the back for the bigger girls. We used silicon sealant to seal all the joins so it will be be harder for red mite to hide anywhere.

All that is left to do now is to fit the automatic door closer and the brackets for the little girls’ perch and then to fit the perches. We hope to get this done tomorrow. We are nearly ready for the girls to move in.

Edit

All the broody girls went into the chicken shed at bedtime, hurrah!

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4 Responses to Trying to break the broody cycle

  1. david says:

    Ebony does ook as if it’s starting to wane. On the other hands, Flame …
    Happy days!

  2. Carol says:

    Once I had closed the nest boxes both Ebony and Flame accepted it straight away to my surprise. Marmite though has not. She is constantly looking for somewhere to go and will just sit outside the nest box. Marmite doesn’t want to give up. Sigh!

  3. marion says:

    Your girls are very determined, they know what they want.

    • Carol says:

      They sure are! The bigger girls are over it now but Marmite is determined. We have been working on finishing the shed this weekend and Marmite was constantly trying to get in with us which didn’t make it easy. No matter how many times I picked her up and moved her she just bounced back again. It seems they don’t mind being picked up when they are determined. I am just writing my post now and will put it out in the morning when I can add how tonight goes.

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