Breaking a broody 101 (Help needed)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fshinggrl, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    Ok, on the coldest day of this winter my barred rock went broody. Yep, poofy, stink-eye & looks like she is going to attack me when I reach in. She's broody.

    I know the basics of breaking a broody.. wire cage or cold bath to get body temperature down (right?).

    It's COLD outside!! I have taken her off the nest and put her in snow. I've locked her out of the run/coop for hours. She continues to lay. She will even lay on an empty nest with all the eggs in a neighboring nest box. [​IMG] There is no chance that I will let her hatch some [​IMG] [​IMG] this time of the year. This would be PERFECT if it was next spring. Seriously.. she is my favorite hen.

    I keep taking eggs out, although there are not too many eggs these days even with the additional light.

    How do I break her? Do I Just let her sit? will she stop eventually? [​IMG]
  2. PamB

    PamB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 20, 2010
    Dayville, CT
    You could try the wire cage to break her. I have just let mine sit and, yes, they have all stopped on their own eventually. The only time I really worry about breaking them is if they are my show chickens and I'm trying to keep them in condition.

  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    If you have somewhere else to put her for a few days that may do the trick. I just toss her in another coop for a couple of days and that helps.
  4. DMRippy

    DMRippy Pallet Queen Premium Member

    May 18, 2011
    My rock has gone broody too. [​IMG] Hoping that the new Coop, New Roo and New Roommates help break her... I don't think she is very serious anyway.

    Goo luck.
  5. kittykat01

    kittykat01 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 4, 2011
    If you can put her in another cage (with no nest box or soft bedding) for a few days that might help, although I have found that some girls have more will power than others.... I would NOT give her a cold bath if you are experiencing cold weather - just sounds cruel to me [​IMG]

    Some hens refuse to be broken, my barred rock Matilda was one of them. I tried the cage method etc but nothing worked. In the end I just let her sit in a nest (without eggs) and took her off a couple of times a day to make sure that she was eating and drinking. She gave up being broody of her own accord exactly 21 days after she started!
    Luckily she was a swet natured broody, so moving her out to eat and drink was no problem.
  6. bantyshanty

    bantyshanty Oval Office Courier

    Oct 6, 2009
    S.W Pennsylvania
    Another tactic you can try, if you don't have a wire bottom cage or don't want to leave her out in extreme (?) cold, is to put her in a pert carrier with a paver stone or a few bricks at the bottom for coolness and then move her to the kitchen or living room or somewhere with a lot of noise & light for several days. If she can't hunker down and brood, she's more likely to break. Of course, if you smell those broody poos in the house, you may be likely to break as well. [​IMG]
    I personally have my 6 oldest hens (2 silkies, 2 cochins & 2 ameraucanas) in the doghouse wright now on day 6 of being broody. It's a wooden doghouse within the chicken run which has a lockable door and play sand on the floor. That at night and a wire cage in the day & half of them are still "chook"ing strongly. It'll be 16F tonight. I hope that works.

    One danger you risk if you leave a hen to brood in the winter is that she'll lost weight during her sitting time and still not decide to break on Day 21, or possibly on day 31, 41, 51. I had a broody go 55 days without getting off the nest, after her only developing egg hatched and died on Day 21. This was in June & July, and I just couldn't break her. Luckily, she;s still with us.
    Good luck.
  7. Chickenpoor

    Chickenpoor Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 3, 2011
    Westminster, SC
    Back in the summer I had a BCM hen that went broody and I tried everything to break her. Then one day I filled a quart size zip-loc bag with ice and put it under her in the nest. I let her set on it for about 2 hours and went back out and took her off of it. It actually broke her and she didnt go back to the nest until she started laying again which was just a few weeks ago.
  8. stilldeb

    stilldeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2010
    NW Kentucky
    If you have more than one coop, a sudden change of scenery could do the trick. I had two Silkies that were broody - one of the for the fourth time this year - and I needed to move some chickens around to balance out the population, and they were easy to catch since they were sitting on each other in the nesting box, so I moved them into another coop and they have not been broody since I moved them.
  9. azygous

    azygous True BYC Addict

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I see you're getting a lot of tips. Every broody is different, and some of the tips work with some and not others. I see no one has mentioned a fan. Placing a fan to blow under a broody when she's in a wire bottom cage has never failed for me. I have never had a broody go longer than three days with the fan blowing under her all night long.

    During the daytime, the broody is in her wire bottom cage inside the run with the others. Between being subjected to all the commotion of the run during the day and having a fan blow on her nether parts all night, my broody loses all interest in nest sitting by the third day.
    1 person likes this.
  10. fshinggrl

    fshinggrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 1, 2009
    the edge of insanity
    Thanks for all the advice. This morning I went out and she was running outside with the rest of them. [​IMG] I was hopeful until I headed out later and she was upset at me for getting the two eggs out from under her. She is still broody. [​IMG] Guess it will take some time. I do not have the option of two coops but may deal with it with a dog kennel. Thanks for all the advice! I appreciate it!

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