Broody hen won't get off eggs even to eat, drink, and sleep??

Annie44

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 12, 2013
61
3
43
Massachusetts
I have 6 EE hens and no roosters. One of them, Radagund, has recently gotten SUPER broody! I haven't seen her out of the nesting box in at least a week, and I'm very worried because she won't get off the eggs to eat, sleep, or drink.

When I attempted to reach under her to get the eggs, and get her out of the box so she could drink/eat, she got really mad (and I think surprised too, like "you... you dare...??") and pecked my hand quite hard... I put a small amount of food in the box and she eagerly pecked it right up. So I know she's hungry.

What do I do? How do I get her to come out of the box to eat? And also, I'm worried the eggs will rot.

Thanks so much!!
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,922
1,301
522
central Ohio
Well if they're not fertile you might as well take her off the nest. Wait til night, when she is asleep, to pick her up. Or just use gloves and long sleeves. Put her in a pen or cage where she can't reach the nest box. Leave her in there three days and that will break the broody spell, then you can let her out. If you just take the eggs away chances are she will still set on the empty nest. While she's confined make sure you feed her up and giver her goodies to keep her cheerful. remember tho she'll probably go broody again. Miight as well get a rooster and enjoy.
roll.png
 
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Veer67

Songster
7 Years
Jul 2, 2013
3,613
180
231
Together with the flock
Well if they're not fertile you might as well take her off the nest. Wait til night, when she is asleep, to pick her up. Or just use gloves and long sleeves. Put her in a pen or cage where she can't reach the nest box. Leave her in there three days and that will break the broody spell, then you can let her out. If you just take the eggs away chances are she will still set on the empty nest. While she's confined make sure you feed her up and giver her goodies to keep her cheerful. remember tho she'll probably go broody again.
x2, if you leave her in their for too long she could die of hunger, here's a link that will help with breaking a broody: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/05/broody-breaker-when-hens-mood-to-hatch.html
smile.png
 
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chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,922
1,301
522
central Ohio

Veer67

Songster
7 Years
Jul 2, 2013
3,613
180
231
Together with the flock
Die of hunger???? Of course you feed them when they're in there! That's what I said. We feed ours two or three times a day and make sure they have all they need.

Yes, when my hen was broody I gave her food as well she ate some of it and refused to eat the rest I had to break her so she didn't starve.
 
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Annie44

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 12, 2013
61
3
43
Massachusetts
Well if they're not fertile you might as well take her off the nest. Wait til night, when she is asleep, to pick her up. Or just use gloves and long sleeves. Put her in a pen or cage where she can't reach the nest box. Leave her in there three days and that will break the broody spell, then you can let her out. If you just take the eggs away chances are she will still set on the empty nest. While she's confined make sure you feed her up and giver her goodies to keep her cheerful. remember tho she'll probably go broody again. Miight as well get a rooster and enjoy.
roll.png


x2, if you leave her in their for too long she could die of hunger, here's a link that will help with breaking a broody: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/05/broody-breaker-when-hens-mood-to-hatch.html
smile.png


Die of hunger???? Of course you feed them when they're in there! That's what I said. We feed ours two or three times a day and make sure they have all they need.


Yes, when my hen was broody I gave her food as well she ate some of it and refused to eat the rest I had to break her so she didn't starve.


Thank you all for such helpful answers! Well.... I'm not allowed to get a rooster in my neighborhood (too loud) So I decided to just pull her out of there... She put up quite a fight, but once I took the eggs she went outside normally and ate, drank etc. She'll probably go back to being broody but if I keep the eggs in check she should be fine. Thanks again!!
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,922
1,301
522
central Ohio
She is liable to just go back and set on the empty nest. You really need to get her out of the nesting area altogether. As far as not eating when confined, we have never had that problem.
We give them goodies...chopped fruit, oatmeal, whatever they like...in addition to their regular food..to make being confined more bearable. They won't starve themselves to death unless they
are sick.
 

Veer67

Songster
7 Years
Jul 2, 2013
3,613
180
231
Together with the flock
Thank you all for such helpful answers! Well.... I'm not allowed to get a rooster in my neighborhood (too loud) So I decided to just pull her out of there... She put up quite a fight, but once I took the eggs she went outside normally and ate, drank etc. She'll probably go back to being broody but if I keep the eggs in check she should be fine. Thanks again!!

Good luck on keeping her not broody.
smile.png
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,095
581
Southern Oregon
Okay, the hen's been broody for a week. she's obviously been off the nest at some point to eat, drink and poop or she'd be dead. Broodies really aren't going to starve or dehydrate themselves, that wouldn't be much of a method of reproduction if the hens died, would it? They're usually off the nest around 15-20 minutes, it's really easy to miss them and think they're never off.

If you don't want to hatch eggs, it's best to break the broody. Brooding is hard on their bodies, and the sooner you break them the sooner they start laying again, which is what most of us want. Use a wire cage, preferable elevated, with no nest. Give her a roost, feed and water. 3-5 days is the usual time to break broody behavior.

She wont' care if there are eggs there or not, she's broody and will set on an empty nest if allowed.
 

Annie44

In the Brooder
6 Years
Feb 12, 2013
61
3
43
Massachusetts
Okay, the hen's been broody for a week. she's obviously been off the nest at some point to eat, drink and poop or she'd be dead. Broodies really aren't going to starve or dehydrate themselves, that wouldn't be much of a method of reproduction if the hens died, would it? They're usually off the nest around 15-20 minutes, it's really easy to miss them and think they're never off.

If you don't want to hatch eggs, it's best to break the broody. Brooding is hard on their bodies, and the sooner you break them the sooner they start laying again, which is what most of us want. Use a wire cage, preferable elevated, with no nest. Give her a roost, feed and water. 3-5 days is the usual time to break broody behavior.

She wont' care if there are eggs there or not, she's broody and will set on an empty nest if allowed.


Ok! Thanks so much! Yeah, I need to break the broodiness.

I keep hearing about these 'broody breakers' away from the other chickens, but would it be ok if I just put it in the run, elevated? Then she could see her friends and wouldn't have to deal with integrating back into the flock?
 

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