1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Breaking a broody *Update*

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Zenbirder, May 12, 2008.

  1. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    2
    151
    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I have my first broody hen, Katie, a barred rock just over 1 year old. I don't have a rooster, so no fertile eggs and I really don't have the time this summer to deal with getting chicks or eggs to put under her. So I want to do what is best for her to break her from being broody. I don't particularly like the idea of a wire cage, so what are the other ways that any of you have used for getting a hen back to normal non-mom chicken behaviors? If I just ignore her and let her sit on the golf balls how long untill she gives up? Any help is appreciated, these sweet hens are such spoiled rotten pets I really want to do what is best for them.
    Susan
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2008
  2. chickflick

    chickflick Overrun With Chickens

    4,477
    100
    291
    Mar 10, 2007
    Dimondale
    They say to seaparate them and have no nesting material for them. I've tried all that a few times with my silkie that seems to go broody at least once a month. Honestly, she stayed broody in her separate cage with no nesting material. Right now I have 3 broody hens!! I just take them off the nest several times a day so they can eat and drink. If it's a nice day, they'll run off to dust bathe and chomp on some grass for awhile. They always come back. You can try putting them on the roost at night but with these longer days, I always forget to go back out. So.... I'm being of no help to you, cuz for whatever I did.....they stayed broody. Sorry!
     
  3. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,833
    21
    181
    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Four of my five hens have been broody this spring. I was thrilled with the first one, and gave her eggs. Then 2 more went broody at the same time. I kept putting them out of the nest boxes. They'd go back in, I'd put them out. I spent an entire afternoon that way. My husband thought I was insane. But it worked. Well, it worked for one, and temporarily for the other. She went broody again, about a month later, and no amount of work with her would end it. So, I finally gave in and let her sit on eggs. With the fourth, I already had a broody hen, so I just split the eggs between them, I didn't even try to break her of it. She was one of my "wilder" hens, and I wanted the broody time to try and tame her a bit. It is working. She's used to me petting her and handling her now.

    So, that's what I did, and had a little bit of success with it. I didn't like the wire cage idea, either. But, it does seem that people have better luck with it.
     
  4. khable

    khable Chillin' With My Peeps

    151
    0
    139
    Mar 16, 2007
    LaGrangeville, NY
    I just had my first broody hen. She was hysterical with how big she puffed up when I went near her! [​IMG]

    Anyways, I broke her in 2 days by just going out and taking her off the next several times a day, as often as I could get my butt out there, or when i looked out the window and saw she went back in the coop. It must of have been about 7-9 times a day. She stopped after about 2 days of that.

    Also, make sure there are no eggs or golf balls for her to sit on. I found with mine that the minute someone else laid an egg she ran right to it and sat on it! LOL!

    [​IMG]

    Well, I hope that helps some!

    Good Luck!
     
  5. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    2
    151
    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    Thanks everyone! I'll be around today and tomorrow, then off to state line dance jamboree yee-haw! I'll take all the golf balls out and keep chucking her outside, we'll see if it helps. I can also put her on the roost after sundown. I am sure it won't be the last time I have this problem, unfortunately.
     
  6. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    8,792
    34
    308
    Jan 1, 2008
    WestCentralWisconsin
    You could replace the golf balls with ice cubes [​IMG] this might work
     
  7. lauralou

    lauralou Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,833
    21
    181
    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    Let us know how it works out.

    Putting her on the roost at night sounds like a good idea. I'll give that a try next time, in addition to throwing them out the box.

    Ice cubes, HA! Brrr, my bloomers are cold!
     
  8. MayberrySaint

    MayberrySaint Chillin' Out

    994
    4
    161
    Mar 7, 2007
    Mount Airy, NC
    I've had a problem this Spring with 4 broodies and I do the same thing...just keep chucking them off the nest. I throw them over the fence so they have to free-range during the day and at night when they go back in the fence and jump on the nest, I wait until dark and put them on the roost. Takes 4-5 days to break them.
     
  9. fivebigreds

    fivebigreds Chillin' With My Peeps

    245
    1
    131
    Sep 9, 2007
    middle Tennessee
    I just keep a seperate cage for the hormone possessed
    where there isn't a nest or anything familiar.
     
  10. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

    416
    2
    151
    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    Cluck Cluck Katie, as she affectionately became nicknamed is now no longer broody. It took three weeks. I tried taking her off the nest, but no matter how many times a day she would go back. I took all the golf balls out and kept the eggs picked up, it didn't matter. She would set an empty nest just fine, thank you. Luckily she is a sweet hen who only growles and never bites. I put her outside the pen to free range once and she went walkabout way too far for her own safety. I would lock her in a seperate pen for hours at a time, when the pen was opened to let the other hens enjoy the shade she just scuttled back to the hen house. We took her off the nest at least 8 times a day and sometimes many many more. No deal. I put her on the roost every night, she was in a nest box every morning. It just took three weeks for the hormonal rage to subside. Thanks for all the hints! I just hope she will not go broody for a long long time.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by