Broody hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mpgo4th, Jun 18, 2016.

  1. mpgo4th

    mpgo4th Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My one year old australorps have been egg laying machines since they were about 20-22 weeks old. This year I've had one pretty much stay broody and two others have joined her. These three birds have spent the last two weeks sitting in boxes all day until I remove them after work and toss the eggs. How long do they usually go before giving up? I don't have a rooster or I'd let them hatch some.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Most will stay broody for 6-8 weeks before giving up, though some can go longer. It's quicker to remove them and put them in a wire bottom crate slightly elevated off the floor for 3-5 days so they cool off which shuts off the hormones driving it. Provide food and water. The longer they have been broody the longer it takes, most break after 3 days.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    You could get some fertile eggs for one or all. ;-)

    You'll need to decide if you want her to hatch out some chicks, and how you will 'manage' it.
    Do you have, or can you get, some fertile eggs?
    Do you have the space needed? She may need to be separated by wire from the rest of the flock.
    Do you have a plan on what to do with the inevitable males? Rehome, butcher, keep in separate 'bachelor pad'?
    If you decide to let her hatch out some fertile eggs, this is a great thread for reference and to ask questions.
    It a long one but just start reading the first few pages, then browse thru some more at random.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/496101/broody-hen-thread

    If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. mpgo4th

    mpgo4th Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 8, 2013
    I have plenty of room. I used to keep 30-35 chickens but now I've downsized to 7. I sold off hens because I was overrun with eggs. Now with broodies I'm lucky to get one egg a day. Even then I don't know if they've been sitting on it so I toss them. I don't want to hatch chicks right now because I'm going out of town next month and I won't be able to care for them. Oh well. I'll just buy eggs until mine decide to lay again. Not enjoying chicken ownership right now. I settled on the australorp because of there temperament and egg laying. They are good on feed and beautiful. But I might go with a a breed that won't go broody next spring. Any suggestions?
     

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