Brooding chickens in one box.

TimCA

Hatching
Jul 6, 2019
6
1
9
Hi,
We have two one year old hens who have been in one box for about 9 days now. They just lay and sit on eggs, (that I remove quickly to their dismay) I even took them both out into the yard to hopefully break them of it.... Nope go they were back in the box together within the hour... Any thoughts?

Thanks
Tim
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,491
5,540
502
NW Oregon
Do you want chicks? If so, hens co-raised that are pretty docile with other can be excellent brooding partners. If one is more dominant than the other, trouble usually arises as they squabble over eggs or one pushes the other out.

If you don't want them to brood, you'll need to consider breaking them. Many simply keep picking them up out of the boxes repeatedly during the day (give treats as a reward). Others use the broody buster wire crate.

Me....I use my broodies to hatch. I have had several very well behaved co-broodies, but usually it is best to separate them simply because that many feet in one nest often breaks eggs.

LofMc
 

TimCA

Hatching
Jul 6, 2019
6
1
9
Thanks for the advise, no rooster so no chicks. Just pets and eggs. I will try removing them and locking them out of the run. The normally spend the day in the yard. One is defiantly more aggressive, but she always has been.... chases the kids :) . How long does it take to break them as a rule of thumb?
Thanks
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,491
5,540
502
NW Oregon
Depends on how ingrained broodiness is in their genes. Some break in a day or two. Others, not so much. Just be sure to have them protected from weather and food and water in the cage. Air needs to circulate below the breasts to help turn off hormones.

But, they may be back to it again in a week or two.

Good luck.
LofMc
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,719
130,679
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, IMO it's 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 (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) 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.

Tho not necessary a chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
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