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#69563 - 08/24/08 06:39 PM Broody Way of Life
Lifelong Learner Offline

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 126
Loc: Louisiana
We live in the city and had two black Australorp hens. A couple of months ago we moved and one of our chickens flew the coop. We let them out of the coop during the day. They mostly stay in the yard, but sometimes wander down the block and one day Midnight didn't return. I found her hanging with a flock (feral) that has a rooster about 10 blocks away. O.K., so she wants out of my chicken "convent."

Trouble is, now her sister, Curly, seems very sad. She has been sitting on her nest for a few weeks and won't come out except to eat. I feel sad for her (but glad for my garden which is enjoying a respite from her usual depredations).

Yesterday and today I put my foot down and closed her out of the roosting box all day. She seemed fine, just a little cranky at first. Spent the day taunting the cats, scratching up the garden, and seemed her old perky self. In the evening when I opened the door to the roosting box, she scooted right in.

She's sleeping on the nest rather than the roost. Is this a problem?

Do you think this might cure her in a few days? I want to be able to open the roosting box again during the day in hopes that she may lay again. How will I know when enough is enough?

Should I get another hen to replace her sister?

Tired of store bought eggs,


#69564 - 08/25/08 02:17 AM Re: Broody Way of Life
Foehn Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 08/08/06
Posts: 1973
Loc: New Zealand
Goodness only knows why your girl fled her nice warm home to take up living rough. Bet she's got a pierced belly button, tongue and beak already, tattoos and lippy! LOL laugh
Any chance you can catch the wandering one and make her mend her ways?
It would be difficult but not impossible to introduce a younger one, and your only hen would be better with some company
Only trouble with letting her sleep in the nest is that if she's laying there too, her eggs are likely to become soiled. She's not going clucky is she? If so, you could put some day-olds under her and companionship problems will be solved!

#69565 - 08/25/08 02:34 PM Re: Broody Way of Life
Lifelong Learner Offline

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 126
Loc: Louisiana
I have thought of getting her some babies. There are only two problems with this: since school has started again I am not home to run interference if she takes a dislike to the babies. The other is that the roost box is elevated about 2 feet and I am afraid they will fall off the chicken ladder on their way in and out of the box.

Are these valid reasons? Should I go for it anyway?

I've started investigating it a couple of times, then chickened out. (pun intended) I'd need to get maybe 2 pullet chicks. (Don't have room for much more and my husband and neighbors do not want roosters.) I'm not sure where to find just two baby girls. What do you think?



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