How do I get my broody chook to eat?

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gingerplant

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How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« on: May 11, 2010, 22:37 »
Hi guys
My little pekin Mavis has just gone broody so we decided to get some fertile eggs for her to incubate & to satisfy her maternal instincts, which she is duly sitting on now.  Initially when she was broody I could chuck her out of the hen house & she'd waddle off, scratch a bit, eat and drink a bit then head back in.  However, now that she's separated in a wee broody coop of her own and has a decent clutch underneath  her, every time I move her off the nest and next to the food, she just sits there all puffed up and heads straight back to the nest.

Is she likely to starve, or will she take herself off to eat and drink when she's desperate?  I've read mixed stuff about this, and I'd like to do the right thing!
Does anyone have any bright ideas?!
Cheers everyone - & I promise I'll post piccies!

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TeaPots

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Re: How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2010, 23:29 »
Oh BLESS her! It IS recommended that you encourage her off twice a day if she is not doing it by herself, but I always just put a little dish of food and water right in beside my broody, so she can just lean forward and eat without getting up. Have some polybags/gloves handy to remove the ENORMOUS, mega stinky poops that broody girlies produce!   :ohmy: A smudge of vicks under the nose always helps  :lol:

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dizzylizzie

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Re: How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 04:45 »
Hi, i did exactly the same as tp. I put food beside her , but still lifted her off every morning and every t-time when i put the corn down. You may have to lock the coop up for 15mins to stop her running straight back in ;)

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joyfull

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Re: How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2010, 06:00 »
keep lifting her off unless she is getting off herself (be very carefull when picking her up as they often have an egg tucked high up and they can drop and smash). If necessary keep an eye on her for a day as she may be getting off herself so will not need you to do this for her. Give her chick crumb and some mixed corn this usually gets them eating something and like Lizzie said you may have to shut her out for a few minutes just to make sure she does eat, drink, exercise and pooh (which like teapots said is very big and very smelly  :lol:).
Staffies are softer than you think.

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Pretty Chick

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Re: How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2010, 07:41 »
My broody has got food and water right next to her, so she doesn't have to go far.
Often check her crop, to see how she's getting on with eating.
All lives are precious.

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Casey76

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Re: How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2010, 08:47 »
As with TP and DL my broody had crumb/wheat and water right next to her so all she has to do is stretch out her neck  :tongue2:

Mixing grain with the crumb can help keep poo firmer, though I wash the grass with a hosepipe (woo instant fertilizer!) to remove the poo.

She has been sitting for 10 days now, and I'm starting to get excited *bounce*

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dizzylizzie

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Re: How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2010, 09:22 »
Remember though, even if she has food beside you must try and get her moving around off the nest a couple of time a day, even if its just to streth and poop ;)

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gingerplant

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Re: How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2010, 21:19 »
Thanks everyone, that's really helpful.
I went down to see her this afternoon & managed to get her to eat corn & crumb out of my hand if I shoved it right under her face  ::) so that's good.  I will show a bit of tough love tomorrow and lock her out of the nesting box to make her stretch her legs.
Really looking forward to the poos....  :tongue2:
When she was first broody last week I did witness the production of the most amazingly massive poo ever which was a big surprise - it looked like the ones our maran does, & she's about 1/4 the size!!!
I'm SO excited about these eggs.... can't wait!

Oh, and anyone got any particular preferences as to what chick feeders & drinkers are best?  I have to invest in some in the next week or two & don't want to spend a huge amount....

cheers!

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redmolly

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Re: How do I get my broody chook to eat?
« Reply #8 on: May 12, 2010, 21:27 »
I gave up on moving mine.....she was a little hefty to start with anyway!! She must have been eating and drinking when I wasn't about and fortunately for me only 2 massive stinkers to clean up!! The only thing I ever witnessed her eat was tomato. However I did leave everything so she could reach it from the nestbox and I did notice she was taking a little each day  :)



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