The Science of broody?

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Farrier1987
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The Science of broody?

Post by Farrier1987 » Sun Jan 08, 2017 9:54 am

I do like my broodies, but not in midwinter. Wife wont let me set them in the basement. She said it was the chickens or her. I haven't given her a definitive answer yet.

Anyone here know their biology well enough to inform the rest of us? I know nature tell them its time, but why when its as cold as it is now? Short days and all? Seems nature should not kick that into gear right now. Maybe because chickens originated in the jungle, where there was no right or wrong time of year?

I know the hormones raise the hen's temperature, and one of the keys of breaking is to cool their body temp down. Like right now, I have two in wire cages with no bedding, will keep them there for two days, no food, but water available. Works most of the time, but not sure fire. If the weather wasn't so cold, I would put them into the rain barrel up to their neck and get them good and wet before I put them in the cage. That method of breaking them is more often successful but not 100% either.

Anyone has answers or thoughts on this, please share. Thanks.
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Farrier1987. South of Chatham on Lake Erie. Chickens, goats, horse, garden, dog, cat. Worked all over the world. Know a little bit about a lot of things. No incubator, broody hens.

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ross
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The Science of broody?

Post by ross » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:33 am

:beer1: " Cheeper "to keep her Farriar lol
Kinda like a cold shower for humanoids eh. Luck
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Jaye
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The Science of broody?

Post by Jaye » Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:49 am

Just wondering, why do you withhold feed? I think that withholding feed can bring on a moult, and I don't think you want that in the winter if you can avoid it. Also, chickens eat more in cold weather to keep their body temperature up. If they are cold and hungry, their immune system may be compromised, and consequently may be not be as capable of fighting off disease or parasite overloads.
I was told by an experienced chicken keeper, whose advice I trust, that the way to break a broody using the cage method is to put her in a wire bottomed cage such as a rabbit hutch, located where the others in the flock can still see her, provide food and water, but nothing else, for three days. That's supposed to work for most broodies, as long as you do it as soon as she goes broody.
My Silkie was broody again last month, and I put her out of the nest box and into the run every morning when I brought layer mash feed and fermented feed out for the flock, and the same every evening when I gave them sunflower seeds or meal worm treats before closing them up in the coop for the night. Other than that, I made sure to remove any eggs that were laid in the nest box as promptly as possible, and let the broody spell run its course. This time she was only sitting for two weeks before she got tired of it and went back back up on the roost with the others.
BTW, I think getting a chicken wet in winter temps is a bad idea.
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thegawd
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The Science of broody?

Post by thegawd » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:07 pm

I broke 8 broodies last summer using the method Ferrier described in 2 days. worked like a charm. I didnt dunk in water though. and non of them went into a moult. I was so happy that they went back to a normal life.
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Al

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Jaye
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The Science of broody?

Post by Jaye » Sun Jan 08, 2017 12:13 pm

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thegawd
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The Science of broody?

Post by thegawd » Sun Jan 08, 2017 2:02 pm

forced moulting is a completely different subject. 2 days, in a wire bottom cage out in the yard is hardly the same practice. forced moulting involves actually starving the bird for a minimum of 5 days and in complete darkness. everytime Iv broken broodys they were put in wire bottom rabbit cages at night with water to drink the first day, food provided the second day and then the bird is released on the 3rd day at night and placed on a roost. at no point are the birds deprived of light or truly starved. its worked wonderfully for me and none of the birds have ever show any signs of additional stress nor have they went into a moult.
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