When I included this photo in my post last week it was to celebrate that all the chickens are laying. But over the weekend we realised that Blacky/ Mavis was spending more and more time in the nesting box, and our suspicions that she is broody seemed confirmed when we turned to Jackie French's chook bible for information. We shooed her off several times on the weekend and again yesterday afternoon, but she went straight back on, even without eggs, last night and stayed there all night, then back on this morning after being picked up and removed off it again.
At one level it's been quieter for the other two, who are usually picked on a bit by her, but I assume the problem with broodiness is that she's likely to lose condition if she doesn't eat and drink. The other problem was the other two became increasingly agitated when they wanted their turn in the nesting box, and she wasn't going to budge. Luckily we had bought a case of wine the other day, and the box was the perfect size to convert into an extra nesting box, much to their relief!
So what to do? Should we just let her be until she gets bored and hungry? How long is she likely to stay in this condition? Jackie French's book talked about putting the chicken back onto the roost at night, and potentially putting it in a cage with some food and water for a couple of days until it snaps out of it. I assume with bantams this might become a regular occurrence. Any tips and advice would be gratefully received!