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How to stop a hen from brooding

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I have 4 white leghorn hens and for the past 4 weeks one of them has been sitting  on eggs and not producing any eggs , she just sits there all day and night , some of the other hens come up and lay next to her to lay their eggs. I have read on the issue and have found a few tips but they don't seem to work at all .I have picked her up and put her on the floor and all she does it get some food and water and back to the nest she goes. I have also tried to close the nest and she just goes t another nest and does the same. She does not show any signs of malnutrition or being hurt and she seems quite content on just sitting there. any tips on how to stop her from brooding ? or should I just leave her do her thing ?

post #2 of 7

It's something that you have to decide for yourself, if you want to put up with it until she gets over it or not. But if you want to get her out of the mood, you have to remove her from being able to get to the nests. i used an old wire dog crate andit worked very well. When the coop door was open so her flockmastes could go in and lay, she was in the crate. When everyone was finished, I closed the door and let her out in the run with them. When they went in for the night, she went into the crate in the secure pen. It took about 4-5 days to break her, but it worked well. The more time she's able to see the nest or be in it, it seems the longer to change the mood to a point.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

thanks for tips

post #4 of 7

I have a broody right this minute who is in the wire-bottomed cage in the garage with a fan blowing air under her. This will be her fourth time broody since she began laying. She just turned one year old this month. 


During the day she is segregated in a separate pen so she can't get to a nest. At night she is in the wire cage in the garage. It usually takes two nights in the cage and a broody is broken. This one usually requires three nights.


To make doubly sure you have a broody, look at her breast. If she is bald there, she's broody. They pluck out all their feathers to prepare for direct heat transfer from their body to the eggs.

post #5 of 7


I have Two broody hens. The first one started brooding about six weeks ago, her sister followed two weeks later. Now they sit side by side in a basket in the house. I take them out three times a day for food and water. Both my girls are pets they used to go out during the day in their cage and come in at night. After they became broody I had to bring them in because they screamed all day trying to get back in the cage to the nest, the neighbors were not amused as I live in the city. Long story short, they have ended up in the house, in a basket. I have tried: cooling them down, moving the nest, keeping them from the nest. They both will be a year old on April 7th. They both started laying within two weeks of each other and very early, with the first one going into brooding first. Both my girls are White Silkies. I have never experienced this degree of sitting with any of my hens before. I thought that my Banty hens were good brooders, but these girls take it to another level. I hope someone has more suggestions or I will never go on vacation this summer. I could take them with me in a dog carrier in the car,  But what about my bike trip?I guess I could put one in my bike basket and one on my back in a petPack.They probably will not care as long as they can sit. If I only could train one to hold a water bottle and the other one to hold a granola bar, I wouldn't mind taking them. They would be better company than the hens I have run into on the trail. One of the benefits of living in Northern California is, no one will even look twice or care I'm taking my chickens for a bike ride unless I run into the Sierra Club or PETA.

Looking forward to any suggestions.

post #6 of 7

You're on an up-hill trip here, being as you're dealing with Silkies. They want to be moms more than anything else in their world. The easiest thing would be to let them. How long have they been broody? They may be close to three weeks already, and then they'll quit anyway.


However, if you want to break them, you need to be consistent. Keeping them off the nest is the only way. It's easiest with an open mesh bottom cage so they can't hunker down into any bedding. Keep them in a bright area in the middle of the other chickens so they are stimulated by the activity. A fan placed so it blows air under them helps shorten the breaking period. It shouldn't take more than three days.


Test them by turning them loose. If they run back to the nest, they need another day in the cage.

post #7 of 7

Unfortunately, I am not able to let them be Mommies right now, I would love nothing more than to have baby chicks again. I will try the cage tomorrow and see how that goes.

Thank you for the advice.

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