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what to do with a broody hen

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

We have 15 hens and no rooster.  We have 4 nest boxes, which they share well, but lately one of our Golden Wyandottes has gotten really broody and sits on the next all day.  Does anyone know what to do with her?  I'm afraid she is taking one of the boxes out of use for the other hens.

post #2 of 7

The only thing to do with a broody hen is USE HER!!  Stick some fertile eggs under her!  As for using a nest box, I have 4 boxes for 14 hens and they all want to use only two boxes. They stand in line for theose two. I would shift the broody hen (with an egg to keep her happy) into one of the least used boxes.

post #3 of 7
You can leave her there. Although she is broody when a hen goes like that you will find all your chickens will want to lay in her box. This is because they know she is broody and wanting to hatch chicks so they want to help out. If you didnt want her to sit you can chuck her off the nest a few times an that should do the job but otherwise the other chickens will lay the same using all 4 boxes
but most hens will lay where she sits.
Edited by aayto1 - 4/5/13 at 8:16pm
A.A.Y.T.O.1 :0)
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post #4 of 7

Build, buy or borrow a broody buster. A broody buster is just a simple wire cage that you place the broody hen in. I use a wire boxtrap that I have around. You could build a simple one with chicken wire and scrap wood. Broodiness is a hormonal thing with some hens. A lot of it has been bred out, but not all. If you are not going to have the hen raise chicks, then you will be doing her a huge favor by helping her get past the broody stage. It's hard on them to go through this, they don't eat or drink properly. they don't get out and get proper exercise. And they can stay in this condition for WEEKS. They can't help themselves, So it is a good thing  to help her through this if you are not planning on hatching any eggs.

What you do is, put her in the broody buster for usually 2-3 days. Have the broody buster elevated so air can get under the hen. That's why it is important to have a wire bottom on the buster. Air HAS to get under the hen. You should put water in there, along with a little feed container. After 3 days, she should be back to normal, but if she goes back to sitting, back in the box for another couple of days.

I have 2 out of my 3 BOs that go broody kinda regularly. I just had one in the box this past week. She did a couple of days, and now shes back out enjoying the fresh air again. I'm giving some thought to maybe getting some fertilized eggs and put under one of them someday. 

Jack


 

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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JackE View Post

Build, buy or borrow a broody buster. A broody buster is just a simple wire cage that you place the broody hen in. I use a wire boxtrap that I have around. You could build a simple one with chicken wire and scrap wood. Broodiness is a hormonal thing with some hens. A lot of it has been bred out, but not all. If you are not going to have the hen raise chicks, then you will be doing her a huge favor by helping her get past the broody stage. It's hard on them to go through this, they don't eat or drink properly. they don't get out and get proper exercise. And they can stay in this condition for WEEKS. They can't help themselves, So it is a good thing  to help her through this if you are not planning on hatching any eggs.

What you do is, put her in the broody buster for usually 2-3 days. Have the broody buster elevated so air can get under the hen. That's why it is important to have a wire bottom on the buster. Air HAS to get under the hen. You should put water in there, along with a little feed container. After 3 days, she should be back to normal, but if she goes back to sitting, back in the box for another couple of days.

I have 2 out of my 3 BOs that go broody kinda regularly. I just had one in the box this past week. She did a couple of days, and now shes back out enjoying the fresh air again. I'm giving some thought to maybe getting some fertilized eggs and put under one of them someday. 

Jack

Back Yard Chicken members are the greatest!  Thank you so much and Henny Penny thanks you too.  You are totally right on everything.  I have had to throw her off the nest and lock the hens out of the coop a few hours, so she can eat some fresh grass and scratch (her favorite) as I'm afraid she is not eating.  We will try the broody buster and get back to you soon, otherwise we will have to find her a home with a rooster, so maybe she can hatch eggs.  Thank you again

Debbie

post #6 of 7

If left alone, how long will a hen stay broody?

post #7 of 7
Im having the same problem with my silkie cross, but she's soooo stubborn! Iv been locking her out of the nest boxes for weeks and shes not having it! I think ill have to give in and let her sit. My brahma hatched 4 chicks about 5 weeks ago, and she was broody then! If I left her, would she eventually give up?
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