Broody Hen, I think?

Lisa-Lu

Songster
Feb 14, 2019
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Southwest Virginia
I have a 10 month old bantam cochin who is kind of acting broody and just wanted advice. She is sitting in the nesting box all day, until we move her out and she forgets about it for an hour or so, and then goes right back. She will free range with her friends for a while, eat and drink and then go back. The others will root her out of the nesting box if she is in their favorite one, and she will move to another. I do not have fertilized eggs and do not intend on getting any. As long as she is still eating and drinking, is there any reason I should do the cage thing to break her behaviour? Will she eventually quit?
 

cluckmecoop7

Free Ranging
Jan 4, 2019
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North East USA
So if you don't want her hatching eggs it would probably be better to get her out of the nesting box to give the other hens peace. She would be happier outside anyway. (She just doesn't know it.)
She will sit their for at least 21 days, as that is how long it takes for a maybe chicken (chick) to hatch.

When Dazzle - one of my hens - went broody, I first tried to break her, but when that didn't work, (I wasn't doing it right and didn't know at the time) I decided to try hatching eggs. Sadly, it didn't work out. **Very long story, I might post it later.***

So, it all depends on what you want.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,292
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St. Louis, MO
She may eventually quit and she may not. No one knows what hormones she has going on.
If hatching chicks is not in your future, the appropriate thing to do is the elevated wire bottom cage. Not doing so at best means you won't get any eggs for a long time and at worst, they can die.
Bantam cochins are one of the most reliably broody hens so this won't be your last rodeo.
 
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azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,182
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Colorado Rockies
I agree with @ChickenCanoe that breaking a broody is the best flock management practice. It preserves the health of the broody hen while freeing up the nest for other layers. It also restores the laying ability of your Cochin much sooner.

Many folks may recognize when they have a broody, but not as many understand the best way to interrupt the process to get the hen back to normal soonest.

Canoe mentioned the wire cage. This is important. You need an air flow under the broody to interrupt her hormones. Simply to remove the broody from the nest when you see her in it doesn't interrupt the hormones. She'd just find another cozy spot to hunker down, warming her underparts and perpetuating her hormones.

By installing a broody in the wire cage with no solid flooring or nest material, you are cooling her body temperature as well as keeping her from finding another spot to brood. This method breaks a broody in about three days. Yes, she has to stay in the cage at night, too.
 

azygous

Crossing the Road
10 Years
Dec 11, 2009
18,182
21,758
912
Colorado Rockies
My experience with broodies has been they are all drama queens and they play to an audience. When they don't see me, they are quiet and content in their cage. As soon as they catch sight of me, though, they stand up and start performing the "you-have-no-right-to-imprison-me-like-this-let-me-out-of-here-I-have-a-mission!" squawking and carrying on. Ignore her. Don't feel sorry for her. Do not feel guilty.
 

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