Monday, 21 April 2008

Turning Broody

Lydia is turning broody.

She spent ages in the nest box yesterday, and later she made a nest in the dustbath. We're finding fluffy feathers everywhere.

As we don't have a cockerel, our eggs are only eggs - they won't turn into chicks. A broody hen in these circumstances is a problem both to herself and to the other chickens. Broody hens often don't eat or drink properly so become susceptible to illness, and they hog the nestbox causes problems for the other Girls.

I read up on what to do to help her snap out of it, and have decided to start with a broody pen. This is a cage which is elevated from the ground, and it has a wire mesh bottom. This means that the air will circulate around her, cooling her down, and this should bring her back. There are more extreme sounding measures, but we'll start with the broody pen and see what happens.

I was going to get a dog crate, as they seem to be a good size, they collapse for storage, and are easy to obtain. DH offered to build me one though, so he's doing that now.

In the meantime, she keeps sneakily finding somewhere to nest. Then she flattens herself like a feathery pancake, and sits there. I have to keep lifting her away from her "nest".

She's obviously only going broody rather than actually being broody, as she abandoned her nest when I went in the run with some mixed corn.

We'll see how it goes.

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