Broody Buster isn't working

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by greenshoes, Nov 9, 2015.

  1. greenshoes

    greenshoes Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 7, 2015
    Hi all,

    Having issues with my RIR, Sue, again. Noticed last Monday (02 Nov) that she was broody, refusing to get out of nesting box and puffing up and hissing when I tried to extract her. Got her in the Broody Buster Monday night, and kept her there all day Tues, Wed, Thurs. Let her out Friday morning, only to find her snuggled up in the nesting box again that night when I got home from work.

    Back into the Broody Buster on Saturday. Was in there Sunday and today, she had perked right up though and was no longer doing her weird egg sitting thing anymore so let her out tonight about 6pm. She seemed fine, spent a few hours out in the yard eating and socialising, had a dustbath or two, but then tonight when I went to shut up the coop, she was in a nesting box again!!! Thing is, she was totally okay with us getting her out this time, no hissing or puffing of feathers, and now I'm wondering if she is still actually broody or after a week she is confused about where to sleep??

    She hasn't laid for almost two weeks now, and this ongoing broodiness issue is driving me up the wall. I live in town so I can't have a rooster, and I'm not well set up for her to raise chicks from fertilised eggs as there are numerous neighbourhood cats who would devour them in a heartbeat.

    I remove the eggs from the coop every day, and since she has not been a great layer as of late she is only ever sitting on figments of her imagination. She has pulled loads of feathers from her breastbone/belly to get skin-egg contact, and I am torn between admiring her maternal instinct and wanting to replace her.

    Is there another way to break her, other than the broody buster? And is she still actually broody or just confused?

    Any advice whatsoever would be greatly appreciated.

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Sounds like she is being weaned off being broody. I'd block the nests on a night time. Broody hens are a real pain - three of mine take it in turns to be in the broody buster so I'm more likely to eat them than put up with it any longer. I'm going for production layers next time (but will keep one of my broody hens in case my chicken maths fail me again, and again and again...)

    Sling her in the buster again and tell her its her last chance and see how she goes.

  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    If by broody buster you mean a wired cage and no bedding material then no, there isn't really a better method. Some dunk their butts in water to cool down that region but that's what your doing in the cage. Some hens are just determined to brood. I had one that after three attempts of breaking finally gave her some eggs to hatch as was fearing she'd never stop and wither away in attempts.

    It does sound like she's turned to roosting in the nesting box now. Try closing them off at night with empty feed bags or what have you. Or you'll see she needs another bout in the cage, I'd leave her in for a good 5 days if she needs another round.
  4. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    Yeah I'd block the nest at night and give her another day or two during the day without access to it either.

    Mostly they come good after about 3 days but my silkie had one shocker where it took about a week and a half. She's never repeated that effort thankfully!
  5. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Some hens are just that way. If you don't want a hen who broods then find somebody who does want a hen that broods. Sometimes it don't matter what you do. When a hen's got to brood she's gonna brood!
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Just keep at it, IMO a broody buster cage really is the best way to go....chickens can take patience and perseverance, that's for sure!

    I would have put her on the roost when I found her in the nest after her afternoon with the flock, then checked her in the morning.

    Blocking the nests is a good idea too...I block them in the late afternoon after egg laying and before roost time,
    then unblock them after dark when they are all on the roosts and I lock up the coop.
    Then I don't have to go out and unblock them for laying first thing in the morning

    It's got to be a lot harder to monitor this when you work all day away from home.
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Where are you located? I'd take her in a heartbeat and let her brood to her heart's content [​IMG]

    Honestly, you're on the right track. sounds like her hormones are just very, very strong and it's taking a while for them to subside. In all honesty, if you're not wanting to brood chicks and are looking for egg production, you may well want to sell or swap her for a good non-broody layer. I know there are lots of folks who would love a good broody hen.
  8. greenshoes

    greenshoes Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 7, 2015
    I'm in the North Island of New Zealand so probably a little too far away [​IMG] but I have considered rehoming her to someone who wants a broody hen. She is a lovely chook :)
  9. greenshoes

    greenshoes Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 7, 2015
    Yep it is a wire cage with no nesting material. Good idea using feed bags to block off the nests; I'll give that a go [​IMG]
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    Your broody buster cage is chocked up off the ground a few inches isn't it, so that there is air flow underneath her to help cool her off, rather than just sitting on the ground? That is the important part. It might be worth putting it somewhere where there is a good flow of air rather than the hen house which probably gets quite warm and still and quiet which will lend itself to broodiness..... Out in the open in daylight with lots going on to stimulate her would be the best option in my opinion and then bring it in doors at night.
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2015

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