Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LisaKring, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. LisaKring

    LisaKring In the Brooder

    Apr 21, 2013
    Elkhart, IN
    I have a flock of 19 hens (no roosters) and one of them has gone broody on me. This has been going on for over a month now. She does come out to eat and drink (and push the others around some), but spends most of her time in the nest box. I can reach in and get any eggs she happens to be on so she is not overly aggressive.

    How long should I expect her to stay broody or what can/should I do to break her? If she is still like this in the spring I may just go ahead and get some fertilized eggs and let her do her thing.

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Way too long. She won't make it till spring.
    Once a hen goes broody, one must decide if they want her to hatch eggs or break her.

    A friend had a turkey go broody for a couple months and she didn't break her. The hen died.

    Their bottom needs to be cooled. Traditionally this is done by putting the bird in a wire bottom cage for a few days.
    I've even resorted to putting ice in the broody nest.
  3. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Search breaking a broody in the search bar.

    Generally, it involves a wire crate, put on blocks to have airflow underneath. Give her food/water but NO nesting material. Depending on how stubborn she is depends on how long it will take, or even if it will work.

    I've never broken a broody - I'm weak and give them fertile eggs to hatch.
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Crowing

    Apr 8, 2008
    There's a whole article on how to break broody in the Learning Center. Look in the tab near the BYC logo at the top of the page.

    My broodies usually give up after being kept away from their nest for three days. I either put them in a wire-bottomed crate or just throw them in the pullet pen, which seems to work just as well.

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