Broody hen but no eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gerbera, Aug 24, 2016.

  1. gerbera

    gerbera New Egg

    Aug 22, 2016
    I have a hen who is broody, she is sitting on a nest, but she has no eggs. She has been there for about 4 days now. I have got her off her nest to usher her back into the coop while the others are heading to bed at night, but she gets back to her nest. Any ideas welcome. She is outside in a spot which is safe, but it rained on her last night and today.

    Thank you!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Broody hens don't need eggs, they just want to sit. It's a hormonal state. Put her in a wire bottomed crate, elevated off the ground for 3-5 days to break her. Provide feed and water and don't let her out for 3 days. On the 3rd day let her out. If she returns to her nest than another 2 days should do it. Her underside needs to cool off which shuts off the hormones.
    1 person likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    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.

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