Breaking a brooding habit in Buff Orpington

NiceHens

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 2, 2014
7
0
50
Wellington, Colorado
My 9-month old BO has gone broody and stopped laying eggs. At first I just moved her out of the nesting box and got her to scratch around in the run area, but she always goes back inside. She's grumpy and not being as friendly as she was (naturally). She also hasn't laid an egg in at least a week, maybe two. Any eggs she sets on aren't going to hatch - I have no roosters, just six hens total.

How can I get her to break this habit, get out with the other hens, and start laying again?

Erika, AKA NiceHens, Northern Colorado
 
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Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,066
821
Oregon
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My 9-month old BO has gone broody and stopped laying eggs. At first I just moved her out of the nesting box and got her to scratch around in the run area, but she always goes back inside. She's grumpy and not being as friendly as she was (naturally). She also hasn't laid an egg in at least a week, maybe two. Any eggs she sets on aren't going to hatch - I have no roosters, just six hens total.

How can I get her to break this habit, get out with the other hens, and start laying again?

Erika, AKA NiceHens, Northern Colorado

Welcome to BYC!
Ah, the joys of a broody hen........ There are several ways to "break a broody" - in fact you can search that term here on BYC and find tons of threads on the issue. My personal favorite method, though, is the old fashion "broody buster" - it is simply a cage that you put the bird into and confine them for a period of days to get them to "snap out of" the broody cycle. The best cage is a wire bottomed cage that is positioned in an elevated manner off the floor (ie up on blocks) so that air can flow up under the bird through the wire bottom. In the cage goes the bird, feed and water - that's it. NO bedding in the cage, you don't want to provide the hen anything to make a 'nest' in/of as that would defeat the purpose of the cage. Leave her in this for three days or so and then let her out for a trial - if she has snapped out of wanting to brood you're good, if she goes right back to finding a place to nest up and try to brood, back to the cage for another period in "jail". Lots of folks will advocate soaking in cold water, etc, but I have not seen the same success that they have with that method and the broody buster has never failed me.
 
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NiceHens

Chirping
5 Years
Sep 2, 2014
7
0
50
Wellington, Colorado
Well, dang, jail sounds a bit mean, but I see (logically) how that might work. OK, I'll give it a shot. Really don't want to do the cold water treatment - ugh.

Thanks!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
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Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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Well, you could always buy some fertile eggs for her to hatch out for ya...but you'll have to deal with the cockerels.

Broody Breaking really ins't mean, tho she won't be happy - but too bad, be the Head Hen In Charge.....
.........it's best for her in the long run if you don't want her to hatch chicks.


My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a few bricks right in the coop and I would feed her some watered down crumble a couple times a day.

I let her out a couple times a day 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.
 

chickynparadise

Chirping
5 Years
Dec 6, 2014
44
2
59
Sumter, SC
I have been trying to get info on the same problem-thank you for your input Chicken Juggler and Ol Grey Mare! I have been putting my girl in a cage I made in the run area but she is not off the ground. Is that important? My latest girl to get broody is being a bit more difficult to break-I have tried up to two days in confinement. I guess I will try longer. My main concern was she wasn't laying-glad to see that is normal.

Nice Hens-I am fairly new to this and this is my second broody hen-the process was quick the first time-just 2 days. The first time I did it my girl acted like it was the end of the world, she was loud and mad but got over it quickly LOL I tell them it's for their own good :)
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Nov 27, 2012
100,701
143,910
1,867
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I have been trying to get info on the same problem-thank you for your input Chicken Juggler and Ol Grey Mare! I have been putting my girl in a cage I made in the run area but she is not off the ground. Is that important? My latest girl to get broody is being a bit more difficult to break-I have tried up to two days in confinement. I guess I will try longer. My main concern was she wasn't laying-glad to see that is normal.

Nice Hens-I am fairly new to this and this is my second broody hen-the process was quick the first time-just 2 days. The first time I did it my girl acted like it was the end of the world, she was loud and mad but got over it quickly LOL I tell them it's for their own good :)
Yes, you need air under there so she can't 'warm up'.
 

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