Broody in winter help please.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Fluffychicky, Jan 19, 2016.

  1. Fluffychicky

    Fluffychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 broody hens 3 are clustered together and have been sharing 3 eggs one was the first to go broody so she got the brooder box and has hatched out 4 babies 3 more on their way out. My question is what to do with the three sitting on an egg a piece I'm starting to worry the ones they're sitting on aren't going to hatch and if so how can I break them when it's reaching the teens at night? I have a broody breaker which is a large open wire cage on cinder blocks it's sheltered by one wall but exposed to the elements otherwise. What can i do if these eggs don't hatch I don't want those three sitting another month they've lost weight and it's not good for them in this cold. Any ideas? If I take the eggs and lock them out of all nesting boxes during the day will it break them? They've been sitting so long will they realize the eggs aren't going to hatch and get up themselves? I've never dealt with this before and so I'm at a loss.
     
  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Go with your instincts and lock them out of the nesting boxes but ensure they are locked 24 hours a day. Do this for a few days to see if it helps. If not, then continue for longer. If that doesn't work then plump for your broody buster.

    All the best

    Ct
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    If you have other layers, locking them out of the nests will cause those laying to develop bad habits of laying elsewhere.

    The tried and true method of breaking broodiness is to place them in a suspended wire bottom cage with food and water. Depending on when you start, it can do the trick in as little as a day or as long as 3 or 4 days if you wait too long.
    Broodiness without the ability to hatch fertile eggs isn't good for the hens.
    The idea is that cool air has to reach the underside. If they're able to pluck themselves down on the ground, in a nest or in the coop bedding, they'll stay broody.

    Some hens will never give up. It's your job as the animal husband to manage this. In nature, they would have fertile eggs and after 3 weeks of setting, there would be chicks to raise.

    I have a friend that had a broody turkey hen and she was lazy about breaking the habit. After over 2 months the turkey couldn't move. After $3,000 of vet bills and physical therapy, the hen died anyway.
     
  4. Fluffychicky

    Fluffychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a broody breaker cage suspended on cinder blocks with a wire bottom, will they be ok in it with cold weather down into the teens at night?
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    That will be perfect. Just make sure it is in the building or raccoons will have a field day and it will keep wind off of them. That isn't too cold.

    After a day or two, take them out. If they go back into the nest - back into the cage they go.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2016
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