Bantam has gone broody - what do we do?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Pekin fan, May 18, 2019.

  1. Pekin fan

    Pekin fan In the Brooder

    May 18, 2019
    We have two bantams that we rescued (found them in the road outside our house!). We do not have a rooster So any eggs are definitely unfertilised. One of the bantams has gone broody and is hogging the nest box and we do not know what to do. Do we block off the nest box? That would prevent the other hen from laying her eggs as we only have one nest box in our coop. Or do we just let her get on with it? She is not coming out to eat or drink
    CaramelKittey likes this.
  2. Alina28

    Alina28 Songster

    Dec 28, 2017
    You would have to keep her away from the nest box and eggs cause sitting on empty eggs would only be a waste of time. You should block the nest and keep an eye. If your other hen wants to lay eggs then let her in and close it again when she is done. Thats what i always do because we too only have a single nest box in our coop. When my hens want to lay eggs and the coop is closed they start shouting. Then I come immediately and let them in.

    Or you can just get your hen some fertilised eggs from a farm or a hen keeper. Good luck.
    CaramelKittey likes this.
  3. CaramelKittey

    CaramelKittey Crowing

    Feb 15, 2019
    New Jersey

    When one of my hens is broody, I have a friend or family member take the eggs while I hold the hen back so she can not hurt anybody. After we take the eggs, my hens don’t go broody again. Not sure if this has worked for anybody else. This has just been my experiences.

    Hope this helps! :)
    Alina28 and Mvan42 like this.
  4. Mvan42

    Mvan42 Songster

    Mar 15, 2019
    Garrett County, Maryland
    I have a hen who does the same thing. We had to take the eggs a few times (about a week apart). Then she has stopped.
    Alina28 and CaramelKittey like this.
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Crazy Call Duck Momma

    Set her up in a wire bottom crate up on bricks with food and water. Her belly needs to cool to break her from being Broody. It takes a few days.
    CaramelKittey likes this.
  6. CutieChicken

    CutieChicken Chirping

    Jun 3, 2018
    South of DFW, TX
    I have broody banties all the time. I just remove the eggs and take the hen off the nest and put her outside each day. I know she’s eating and drinking each day, and eventually she stops being broody. Others might take more extreme measures to break the broodiness, but this works for me and my hens.
    Shadrach and CaramelKittey like this.
  7. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

    Nov 12, 2017
    Northwest New Jersey
    I use a d9g cage with food and water, no bedding. Lock her in for 3 days. If she still acts broody lock a day or 2 more. Usually 3 days does the trick.
    Alternatively lock everyone out of the coop till bedtime. Let egg layers in when they get noisy but let them back out after an hour or two if they haven't laid eggs. Just keep broody out except to sleep. The day she exits the coop by herself in the morning is the day she is probably no longer broody. Don't lock them out. After an hour or so check that she hasn't gone back to brood. Takes about 3-4 days.
    hispoptart likes this.
  8. Cryss

    Cryss Free Ranging

    Nov 12, 2017
    Northwest New Jersey
    Don't allow her to remain broody. She will starve herself in an effort to hatch invisible eggs.
    hispoptart likes this.
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? Both for more chickens and she may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It's a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

    I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.
    Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
  10. Pekin fan

    Pekin fan In the Brooder

    May 18, 2019
    Thank you all of you for your replies. We don't have any fertilised eggs, and I'm not bothered if she doesn't lay for a while. I'm undecided whether to try and 'break' her broodiness, using all your tips above, or to just go with the flow and let it happen. What would happen if we just let her get on with it? Do they just give up after a while? I cannot find any info online about what happens if you just allow a hen with no/unfertilised eggs to just get on with her broodiness.
    Shadrach likes this.

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