1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Broody hens going on 2 months...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Blue_Myst, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    Good afternoon, and I need help!

    Two of my older hens have been broody for 7 to 8 weeks now, and they're showing no signs of stopping anytime soon. I take them off the nests twice a day to make sure they eat and drink, but they're getting to look pretty thin and worn down. Is there anything I can do to, um, break the broodiness?

    In the past I've always found it best to just wait it out, but 2 months is insane! The only thing I can think of is that I now keep golf balls in the nests 24/7, could this be prolonging their broodiness?

    Any advice is appreciated! My other poor hens really don't want to cram themselves into one nest box anymore! [​IMG]
     
  2. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Putting golf balls under a broody does not helpful, imo. It is a hormonal change that the hen goes through. I think your options are:

    Put fertile eggs under them to hatch.

    Take them out of the nest and put into a cage. No bedding or nest material. Give them feed, water, oyster shell and grit.

    If broody that long, the hens probably aren't eating enough to sustain their good health. If birds are lacking in calcium they tend to leach it from their own bone structure, and fall into a heap for no apparent reason, it can be life threatening if not treated.

    I'd up their protein and calcium levels to be on the safe side.
     
  3. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    Hey, thanks keljonma! [​IMG]

    I don't have any eggs to put under them, so that's pretty much out of the question.

    I have them on a 20% and they've been out for a few minutes everyday eating greens, so I think I have a week to wait and see if the decreasing temperature will dissuade them before I do anything else. And these hens are the same ones that went broody about two times before this, too! Crazy hens. I know I've got to do something soon, though.

    How long do they usually need to be in solitary confinement for their broodiness to start wearing off? A week or so?
     
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    How long do they usually need to be in solitary confinement for their broodiness to start wearing off? A week or so?

    Unfortunately, it has been my experience that the longer they are broody (without a hatch) the longer it takes them to break the broody spell. (The longest it took me to break a broody was about 2 months, because I let her go so long.) Then add 3 to 6 weeks after that for egg laying to start again.

    Good luck!​
     
  5. Sappy

    Sappy Out Of The Brooder

    63
    0
    29
    Oct 6, 2008
    Pike County
    Maybe you should just get them a few chicks each, and stuff the babies under them really early in the morning, so they think their eggs have hatched? Let them brood for you. [​IMG]
     
  6. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    449
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Mine stayed broody for 4 months, when I had no roo, before I found BYC and learned what I could do. She had lost so much weight after the 4 months that I am really surprised she did not die. She would get up and eat and drink, but obviously, not much.

    Put her in a wire cage with no nesting material. Elevate the cage on bricks or whatever, so there is air flow to her under side. Should break her in a few days. If you don't have one, find an old dog or rabbit cage on Craigslist, make one with wood and wire, or wood slats -- something.

    The simplest solution is to find some fertile eggs and let her hatch and raise chicks, or let her set and put some bought chicks under her after a couple of weeks, but I really feel you need to do the cage thing if this is not feasible.

    Sometimes just taking her off the nest and closing it off for a few days works, but I don't think this has a great success rate, from what I've read here.
     
  7. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2009
    4 months?! [​IMG] Wow! I didn't think that was possible!

    I'll try the cage thing if they show no signs of breaking by the end of the week. Would a cat carrier work? It's just the right size I think.

    I've never had this problem before. Usually after a month or month and a half they're right back out with the other hens. I don't have a rooster or the room for any more hens right now, so, as much as I'd like to hatch eggs or buy chicks, it's out of the question.
     
  8. australorpchick

    australorpchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    903
    2
    141
    Feb 18, 2009
    Canyon Lake, TX
    I broke a broody silkie is an XL dog crate. However, this hen in particular does not like to be caged, so I could probably put her in anything and it would work.
     
  9. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Quote:Blue_Myst, the thing is that there is no nesting or bedding material. A cat carrier will work too. It doesn't even have to be a cage. We've brought broodies into the laundry/mud room where they had a hall tree bench covered with a beach towel to sit on at night.

    Good luck!
     
  10. Countrywife

    Countrywife Corrupted by a Redneck

    885
    0
    129
    Aug 20, 2009
    Carolina
    I had one do that recently and gave up and gave her a couple eggs - I have two lovely babies now, and she is very happy. Where are you? Maybe you could hook up and get some eggs from somebody.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by