Brooding Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MikeandAngie, Jun 2, 2016.

  1. MikeandAngie

    MikeandAngie Hatching

    Nov 24, 2013
    Trussville, AL
    We have 5 hens, no roosters. All have been laying pretty consistently for a few months. Recently, one of the hens has been brooding, I guess. None of the eggs are fertilized so I didn't think brooding could be an issue. We noticed she had not left the nest in a couple days. She was sitting on about 5 eggs that we removed last night. When we put her out in the yard she was very agitated and went straight back to the empty nest. She is still there. Is there something we can do to break the cycle or do we just need to leave her be until the condition "passes"? We had considered locking her out of the coop, in the run, where she can get to food and water.

  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    As you have now learned, being broody does not require the presence of a rooster, fertile eggs or even eggs at all -- it is a hormonal condition that can strike a hen at any time whether or not there is any hope of it coming to fruition.
    Left to her own devices, it is unlikely that her broody state of mind will break any time soon and since the process is hard on a hen and detrimental to your egg production when there is no hope of hatching eggs it is better for all involved to break the broodiness. This can be easily accomplished and there are several methods (search break broody here on BYC) but I prefer the "broody buster" which is a wire bottom cage that is located in an elevated position to allow for air flow from underneath -- the hen, food and water go into the cage (no bedding) and she is left for a few days. At the end of the initial period you release the hen to see if she has snapped out of it or goes back to brooding -- if she is still feeling broody she goes back in the cage for a few more days.
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