Broody Hen Hatching a Pile of Dirt (help)

dalasgalas

Songster
Nov 3, 2015
348
836
171
Austin TX
Okay I know there are a ton of boody hen posts out there.

Penguin, my 7 month old Wyandotte hen who has been laying eggs just fine up until last week, decided to go broody in a hole she dug under the cactus plants. Mind you there is no rooster in our yard and there are no eggs under her back end. She is just holed up in there hatching dirt. Possibly some leaves. But definitely no eggs.

I pull her out every day and put her with the food so she eats. I've been locking her in the coop at night (last night she escaped, no idea how, but she squeezed out of some tiny hole). So short of locking her in the run, is there any other way to break her of her broodiness?

We have no interest in hatching chicks at this point so it has to be a solution that doesn't require more chicken mouths to feed.

Thanks in advance.
 

SBFChickenGirl

Free Ranging
Nov 12, 2018
3,760
14,988
581
I've heard of plenty of different ways to break a broody hen. All of them involve locking the hen in a crate - whether a dog crate or something else - and just giving them food and water. Instead of putting shavings in there, people put newspaper or cardboard so that the hen can't make a nest. It normally takes a couple of days.

Hopefully, someone else will chime in.
@casportpony
@Eggcessive
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,646
51,371
1,302
southern Ohio
I would use a wire dog crate with no bedding. You can try to place a small roost near the bottom, and of course put food and water in there. It can take about 5 days to break them, sometimes less, sometimes more. I let them out in 5 days, and put them back if they run back to their broody spot.

Can you make sure that she is broody? They normally have a bald chest from pulling out feathers, and they will walk around clucking with their tail feathers in an upside down V.
When you place an egg in front of them, they will pull it under them.
 

dalasgalas

Songster
Nov 3, 2015
348
836
171
Austin TX
I would use a wire dog crate with no bedding. You can try to place a small roost near the bottom, and of course put food and water in there. It can take about 5 days to break them, sometimes less, sometimes more. I let them out in 5 days, and put them back if they run back to their broody spot.

Can you make sure that she is broody? They normally have a bald chest from pulling out feathers, and they will walk around clucking with their tail feathers in an upside down V.
When you place an egg in front of them, they will pull it under them.
She's making a purring sound and keeps going to the same nest. Ill try the crate and see if she wants an "egg".
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
96,527
130,122
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I like using a crate.

If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
My experience goes about 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 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.
Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
upload_2018-11-27_7-49-10.png
 

dalasgalas

Songster
Nov 3, 2015
348
836
171
Austin TX
I like using a crate.

If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
My experience goes about 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 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.
Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
View attachment 1600923
She looks like she is in chicken jail. :lau
I have a perfect crate. She won't be lonely at all.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom