Brooding hen

amandaandrews2017

In the Brooder
Nov 13, 2020
13
8
19
One of my girls won't leave the nest. Flock is 6 months old, started laying a month or 2 ago. 1 rooster 11 hens. 5 boxes. She is very thin. She will eat only if it is in front of her. She is getting thin. Suggestions please?
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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Nov 27, 2012
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One of my girls won't leave the nest. Flock is 6 months old, started laying a month or 2 ago. 1 rooster 11 hens. 5 boxes. She is very thin. She will eat only if it is in front of her. She is getting thin. Suggestions please?
How long has this been going on?
Is she still laying?

Here's my go-to signs of a broody:
Is she on nest most the day and all night?
When you pull her out of nest and put her on the ground, does she flatten right back out into a fluffy screeching pancake?
Does she walk around making a low cluckcluckcluckcluckcluck(ticking bomb) sound on her way back to the nest?

If so, then she is probably broody and you'll have to decide how to manage it.


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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