Broody hen affecting the flock?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by erateach, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. erateach

    erateach Hatching

    Jul 6, 2015
    I have a broody hen who I think is throwing her "sisters" off. She's been broody for about 3 weeks now. I've tried separating her from the flock, removing her from her nesting spot each day--no dice. She just goes right back to the nest box. She's laying an egg daily, but the rest of the hens seem to have stopped laying. She's sitting in the spot where they lay all day, so I wonder if they are confused about where to lay? Or, could her behavior be influencing them to stop laying? Any advice would be much appreciated!
  2. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

    Jan 30, 2015
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    As long as this broody is still laying eggs, it's going to be hard to break her. I've started the broody-breaking process before the hen has laid her final egg, and it's futile. Until she has laid that final egg and is sitting on the eggs without intervals of being off, it's not going to work.

    But anything short of the open-mesh bottom cage will just prolong the broody spell. I've found that even allowing a broody to roost at night on the perch will prolong the broody hormones. Cool air needs to flow under the broody hen in order to cool down her body temperature, thus turning around the production of hormones.

    The cage will take care of a broody in just three days, perhaps longer in some stubborn cases.

    Broodies do indeed affect the flock. Their fussy, irritable temperaments put off the rest of the chickens until they are either out of the way sitting on a nest of eggs full time or filed away in the broody cage.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Are you sure she's she sleeping in the nest at night?
    Are you sure she's laying...does she lay a unique egg that cannot be mistaken for another birds egg?

    Agrees a wire bottom crate is the way to go for breaking broody.

    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(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.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2016
  5. carlf

    carlf Chirping

    Jul 2, 2016
    Mobile, AL
    Don't be so sure about that.
    I put good money on the other girls have found another spot to lay their eggs and you just haven't found them yet.
    If your birds are free ranging during the day, start looking for a nest under some sort of cover, keep an eye on them to see if one walks off or back from a strange spot.
    Even if they are in run & coop all day, you will be amazed on how well they can hide eggs.

    My advice on broodie hens is different from most: Next time she does it, get her some fertile eggs to set. Mark them with a pencil so you know which ones are fertile, collect any others. Broody hens hatching chicks is really cool. If you don't need the peeps, just give them away after a couple of weeks.

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