Broody Hen

Advertisement Purina Flock Layer


In the Brooder
8 Years
Aug 12, 2011
Couple of questions about brooders:

1.) I have one hen who sat on a dozen eggs for me this spring and did a great job hatching out some chicks for me. But as my nesting boxes are raised {and Richard was a mean rooster}, I didn't dare leave the newly hatched chicks in there. So come hatching time, I'd go out and check about 4 to 5 times a day, and as they hatched, I'd steal them and put them in with the other chicks in my dining room.

So next time she's sitting on eggs for me, when it's about the 18 or 19 day mark, can I move her and the eggs to a secluded pen so that the chicks can stay with mom? Or by moving her, will she decide she doesn't want to sit anymore. I mean, the way I figure it, mother nature already has the whole incubation thing figured out, why should I mess around with it.

2.) The other question is {now that I have no rooster} how do I get her to stop brooding? From time to time, she'll decide she wants to sit. This last stint has been since July. She's my prettiest hen, and she's fat and healthy and her feathers are full, so I don't worry about her health, but she's not laying. My flock at the moment is down to 6 layers {more will start laying in another month or so}. All she does is eat and lounge around.

Occasionally, I'll take her out of the box and scoot her outside {to which I hear plenty of protests from her, she's quite vocal}, and she'll scratch around some, but seems to have little interest. Before I know it, she's back up in her box. Any suggestions???
If she's a dedicated broody, and you move her in the dark, you shouldn't have any issues. As long as she's somewhere that seems equally private and safe she'll be happy when she wakes up.

If you want to get her to stop brooding, you can pull her off the nest and put her somewhere without anything overly cozy, like a cage with a wire bottom, for a few days. If that doesn't work, I've heard putting cold things under her, like ice or frozen veggies, discourages them as well.
so in other words...instead of trying to evict her, give her the cold shoulder.

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