Friday, July 6, 2012

Coco is broody

Remember a few posts back, I asked if broodiness was contagious?  Well, I think it is.

For the past several weeks I've noticed quite a few black Coco feathers in her nest.  But I dismissed it as her starting to molt as Ginger is clearly molting.  They are the exact same age and do EVERYTHING together.

But I went to collect eggs the other day and found Coco sitting in her favorite nest all flattened out.  I thought perhaps she just laid a late egg and was still resting so I reached under her to pull out the egg and she bit me.  She didn't peck at me, she full on bit me.  Raised up all her neck feather, reared up and lunged at me like a viper.  DEFINITE sign she was broody.

Jersey Giants are not known for going broody.  That doesn't mean they never will.  They just are not as prone to going broody as other breeds such as Silkies and Orpingtons.  And I just assumed that if a hen was going to go broody, they would do so within the first year of their life.  That is not true.  Coco is 20 months old.

Broody Coco filling up every inch of her favorite nest.
I tried to push her out of the nest and she was having none of it.  So I lifted her off the nest.  No easy feat.  Coco weighs over 7lbs, which is small for a Jersey Giant.  Female JG's can easily tip the scales at 10lbs.  But I'm glad she doesn't weigh anymore.  Poor thing wouldn't fit through the hen house door if she did.  I set her down on the ground and she walked around complaining, "chuck chuck chuck" with her feathers all puffed up.

I decided to try and break her broody behavior as I'm not ready to let her raise babies right now.  And it's so stressful for a hen to sit there night and day for three weeks.  Some hens will even starve to death being so focused on sitting on the nest.  I don't think I'd have this problem with my "food obsessed" Coco but I didn't want to take any chances.

So I blocked off all three nests in her house.  Ginger is not laying as she is molting.  Spice does like to lay in Coco's nest but fortunately, she just moved over to The Bunk House when she saw the nests blocked.  Coco, complained and fussed for a day and kept checking the nests.  She stayed out of the house for the next two but was still all puffed up making that "chuck chuck chuck" sound.  And this morning, she's over it.

But now I'm seeing Spice's golden feathers in the nest.  Hmmm, I think we may be doing this all again in the near future.

Coco and Spice sharing some corn on the cob on the 4th of July.


  1. From what I read on your blog and hen cams blog it seems to show that broody is contagious! They sure are persistent too.
    Changing the subject (sorry) back to my possible roo, I replied to your last comment then went back to my post "Portraits". look at Pepper first then Poppy and then Dotty and now I see how Poppy looks different from the other two already.

    1. Do you have my email? I put it in a few of my posts on your site. Not sure if you are able to pick it up from there. Let me know if not and I'll send it to you. Email me directly and I'll send you some photos of Poppy back when I had my suspicions. At 8 weeks, he was twice the size of the other birds. Granted, they were all different breeds, he was still more than twice the size of my Jersey Giant. And his legs were easily twice as thick as the girls. His comb was VERY prominent. I'm not seeing that in your hens. You bought sexed pullets. Right? People selling sexed pullets can pretty accurately tell at 8 weeks so I'd be REALLY surprised if you got a roo at this point. And I'm not seeing it. You really can't go by tail feathers at this point as each bird will develop at a different rate.

  2. Thank you so much for your support, I felt so down about it yesterday. Today I am telling myself not to jump to conclusions.I don't see your e-mail. I would love to see your photos. Here is my e-mail: