Broody chicken?!?!?

emilynieuwerkerk

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2020
39
20
46
Australia
Hi,
My Pekin bantam hen has been sitting in her laying box a lottttt lately & even when she’s out of her box she has been sitting down/having lots of dust baths (I think). I have researched about broody jens and people have said to make sure you take the eggs out as soon as possible but she even sits in there when there are no eggs. What does this mean and how can I stop it? Let me know if you need more info!
Thank you!!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
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Broodies don't need eggs, they will brood the ground if you let them.

Assuming you want to break the broodiness:

Broody jail: Put her in an isolation cage with some food and water, in sight of the others (in the coop if it's not too hot or in/near the run is ideal). A wire cage elevated to air flow under her would be the best option, however I've used everything from a brooder to a dog exercise pen.

Keep her in the cage around the clock for about 2 days. At that time, if she's shows fewer signs of broodiness (puffing up, flattening down and growling, tik tik tik noise) you can let her out to test her. If she runs back to the nest at any point (usually they don't do it immediately, but maybe after 15 minutes, maybe an hour) then she's not yet sufficiently broken and needs to go back to the cage for another 24 hours. Then let her out and test her again. Repeat until she's no longer going to the nest box.

IF the isolation cage is not safe for overnight stay (i.e. sits outside the run) then put her on the roost at night, and retrieve her from the nest box the next morning and put her back in the cage. It may take a little longer this way but better than letting a predator get to her.
 

emilynieuwerkerk

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2020
39
20
46
Australia
Broodies don't need eggs, they will brood the ground if you let them.

Assuming you want to break the broodiness:

Broody jail: Put her in an isolation cage with some food and water, in sight of the others (in the coop if it's not too hot or in/near the run is ideal). A wire cage elevated to air flow under her would be the best option, however I've used everything from a brooder to a dog exercise pen.

Keep her in the cage around the clock for about 2 days. At that time, if she's shows fewer signs of broodiness (puffing up, flattening down and growling, tik tik tik noise) you can let her out to test her. If she runs back to the nest at any point (usually they don't do it immediately, but maybe after 15 minutes, maybe an hour) then she's not yet sufficiently broken and needs to go back to the cage for another 24 hours. Then let her out and test her again. Repeat until she's no longer going to the nest box.

IF the isolation cage is not safe for overnight stay (i.e. sits outside the run) then put her on the roost at night, and retrieve her from the nest box the next morning and put her back in the cage. It may take a little longer this way but better than letting a predator get to her.
Thank you so much for your response!! She has also been shaking her feathers a lot and has also been standing straight, flapping her wings and making a noise (only when I let them free range). Is this also to do with bloodiness or should I be looking out for something else?
thank you again!
 

ariri30

Free Ranging
6 Years
May 18, 2015
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Thank you so much for your response!! She has also been shaking her feathers a lot and has also been standing straight, flapping her wings and making a noise (only when I let them free range). Is this also to do with bloodiness or should I be looking out for something else?
thank you again!
Definitely broody. All the things you described are broody behavior
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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These are 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.
 

emilynieuwerkerk

In the Brooder
Apr 5, 2020
39
20
46
Australia
These are 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.
This describes it perfectly!!! What are the most effective ways to reduce broodiness? Thank you!
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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This describes it perfectly!!! What are the most effective ways to reduce broodiness? Thank you!
You don't want to reduce broodiness, you want to 'break' it.

If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, IMO it's best to break her broodiness promptly.
@rosemarythyme described it well above, but I'll repeat it.
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.
1607775040257.png
 

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