Broody hen - am I handling this right?

Thumper51

Chirping
Aug 8, 2019
25
38
54
Columbus, OH, USA
I would really appreciate feedback and tips, I've had hens for about a year and one (out of 8) went broody this summer. About 6 weeks ago egg production dropped from 7 or 8 a day to 3 to 5 eggs a day. It took me awhile to figure out that it's because one of my hens has been broody (sits on the nest all the time, red & naked breast, grumpy when I move her to collect eggs, etc.) So after reading up on it I put her in a wire laundry basket (with hardware cloth on the bottom so her feet don't get stuck) and some food and water wired to the side and propped the basket up on some fire logs inside the coop so she gets some air through the bottom. She wasn't happy to be away from the nest. Is this a good approach, and about how long should I keep her in "chicken prison" to see the hormone/pheromone changes necessary to break her of being broody and return to normal egg production from all my hens? Please and thanks for your input and experience!
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
to break a broody it's usually off the ground if I remember right, I will tell you she's acting like my persistent broody and that did not work for her, I got her some fertilized eggs and let her do it before persistent killed her as nothing else was working
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,220
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It can take anywhere from 3-7 days generally to break a hen. The longer they have been broody the longer it takes to break them. I leave mine in constantly for 3 days before releasing. If they return to the nest they go back in for 3 more days. Breaking them ASAP can sometimes be done in two days.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
It can take anywhere from 3-7 days generally to break a hen. The longer they have been broody the longer it takes to break them. I leave mine in constantly for 3 days before releasing. If they return to the nest they go back in for 3 more days. Breaking them ASAP can sometimes be done in two days.
yeah mine I put in first time she decided to stay in the nest box all day first time 3 days then a week at a time and she still didn't break she spent a month in broody breaker, she forgot to read the book on how to be a chicken, but once she finally hatched eggs out she was fine
 

Thumper51

Chirping
Aug 8, 2019
25
38
54
Columbus, OH, USA
It can take anywhere from 3-7 days generally to break a hen. The longer they have been broody the longer it takes to break them. I leave mine in constantly for 3 days before releasing. If they return to the nest they go back in for 3 more days. Breaking them ASAP can sometimes be done in two days.
Thanks for the info. I'll see how she does in a couple days.
 

Thumper51

Chirping
Aug 8, 2019
25
38
54
Columbus, OH, USA
yeah mine I put in first time she decided to stay in the nest box all day first time 3 days then a week at a time and she still didn't break she spent a month in broody breaker, she forgot to read the book on how to be a chicken, but once she finally hatched eggs out she was fine
Not sure that solution will work for me, I don't have a rooster! But I have heard that if chicken jail doesn't work maybe putting a couple chicks with her will work. But I don't know if that will solve the problem of my decreased egg production from my other girls.
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,504
1,287
Washington State
When I have a broody hen and no fertile eggs, I just take her out of the nesting box every day, a few times a day. She gets mad at me, but then starts foraging for a minute. After about a week she gives up.

Unfortunately a few weeks ago I decided to allow one to be broody and ordered some fertile eggs. Not sure why I thought it would be a good idea to pull the infertile eggs out from under her every day, but doing so broke her broody mood and guess who had to go out and buy an incubator.:th
 

Matilda Belle

Crowing
May 16, 2018
2,016
3,036
346
SE Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I hate caging animals in small areas, so I haven't had the heart to cage my broodies. I have 4 broody right now and only 1 laying. It's okay because I'm kind of sick of eating eggs right now. :p
 

Thumper51

Chirping
Aug 8, 2019
25
38
54
Columbus, OH, USA
I hate caging animals in small areas, so I haven't had the heart to cage my broodies. I have 4 broody right now and only 1 laying. It's okay because I'm kind of sick of eating eggs right now. :p
I can understand that for sure. But it's not bothering me too much to put her in a cage for awhile because she wasn't doing very well spending all her time in the nesting box. The air circulation isn't quite as good there (my nesting boxes are cozy) and it's been waaaaay hot lately, and she didn't seem to want to leave the nest to eat or drink much. She was losing weight and her comb was getting a little droopy. I think, ultimately, she'll be better off after she's broken. Plus - I like my eggs! :)
 

Matilda Belle

Crowing
May 16, 2018
2,016
3,036
346
SE Minnesota
My Coop
My Coop
I can understand that for sure. But it's not bothering me too much to put her in a cage for awhile because she wasn't doing very well spending all her time in the nesting box. The air circulation isn't quite as good there (my nesting boxes are cozy) and it's been waaaaay hot lately, and she didn't seem to want to leave the nest to eat or drink much. She was losing weight and her comb was getting a little droopy. I think, ultimately, she'll be better off after she's broken. Plus - I like my eggs! :)

Tough love has always been difficult for me. Definitely something I need to work on. :) How do you like your eggs? I'm running out of recipes/ideas.
 

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