Breaking a broody chicken

posted in: Chickens, Gardening, home, Simple living | 9

Firstly, I would love to say a big hello to any and everyone that has come to visit me via Rhonda at Down to Earth. I have been reading her blog since waaaay back when, and it was such a thrill to be part of her weekend links. I was very excited to see so many new visitors. I hope you find something that you enjoy, connect with, and would love to see you again!

Now before you all collectively gasp and throw your hands up in horror, I haven’t joined the caged chicken society. However, we have been forced to “sin-bin” Ruth, who has been persistently broody over the last few days.

I was really loath to do this to her, as it seems cruel, but what is more cruel is letting her keep sitting on her imaginary eggs, while she is not eating properly and losing condition quite quickly. Not to mention, she was nesting in the coop which is getting hotter and hotter during the day-time as we head rapidly into summer. It’s not the sort of place that is healthy for her to spend 24 hours a day in.

So, 2nd hand shopping I went, for this wonderful old parrot cage. The bottom is a bit rusty, but it’s perfect for our needs, especially as we are using it upside-down. There is no way Ruth would fit through the little sliding door, so entry/exit is via lifting the entire bottom off. She has her own grain container, (the other chickens are extremely envious of this) and a fresh water container, and a small perch so her feet don’t go through the bars all the time.

The whole point of this treatment is to 1) deny her access to her nest, 2) get her mind off nests altogether and 3) get her body temperature down. Hence the reason why it’s all cage, in the shade, with air circulating underneath her as well.

According to my research, it takes 2 or 3 days on average to “break” the broody cycle. We aren’t enjoying this any more than she is, but it’s for her own good in the long run. Although she was a little stressed when she realised that there was no way out, she has quickly settled down and even started to eat, so we’re hopeful that this will work very well. For security we are going to put her, cage and all, in the shed overnight, and keep her in a nice shady spot during the day, where her coop mates can still see her and she can see them.

Meanwhile in other backyard homestead news, we have built and filled our third raised garden bed. Here it is, filled to the brim with compost, cow manure, shredded paper and old straw.It makes me want to plant my own feet in it and grow!

Our low water pressure sprinkler in action! It needs to be nicely flat and level, and then it just chugs away throwing just enough water for one of these size beds. Fantastic stuff! We got this from the Diggers Club, also the source of all our seeds!

Here are the tomatoes destined for this bed – 3 pots of Amish Paste and 3 of Tigerella. Can’t wait to be harvesting our own tomatoes from the garden, there is just nothing like that taste! All of these also raised directly from seed, which I’m pretty impressed with!

So, what challenges are you overcoming in the house or garden this week? There’s nothing like pets in general to keep you on your toes!!

 Happy Crafting - Cassie.

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9 Responses

  1. tbnranch

    Broody hens…. can be a problem, but you’ve done exactly the same thing I do with broody hens! Sometimes I put a little fan underneath the cage if it lasts more than 4 days. It works! Are those Delawares? I didn’t think they were broody, guess I was wrong! Pretty.

    • Cassandra

      Thanks for the fan idea, I will give it a try if she proves to be stubborn! They are Light Sussex X Wyandottes. The little one in the front of the first picture is almost purebred Sussex, the others have more Wyandotte in them. They are beautiful birds, good layers and big eaters, but suffer in the heat with all that fluff!

  2. grannysmiff

    Hello Cassandra I found your blog via Down To Earth and yes I checked out your Etsy shop. Marvellous photography. Are you in South Australia too?

    • Cassandra

      Hi and welcome! Yes, I’m just outside of Mt Barker in the lovely Adelaide Hills 🙂 Nice to hear from another SA person!

      • grannysmiff

        We live in Strath and yes you’re right ‘in the lovely Adelaide Hills’ :o)

  3. df

    Being so new to keeping chickens, I gobble up anything you have to share on this! Hope all goes well with Ruth – you seem to have things wonderfully in hand. Love the garden update.

    • Cassandra

      Oh, congratulations are not in order!! We’ve had a minor disaster here in the coop which goes to show how little I know about all this!! Hope we get a good outcome, will post when I can sit down and gather my thoughts on what went wrong!!

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