Can a hen get stuck being broody?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by 8littlechickens, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. 8littlechickens

    8littlechickens In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2010
    Help with a broody hen! Our Welsummer went broody around 5/21 and is still sitting. We don't have a rooster, so there's no hope for her. She occasionally sits on eggs others have laid, but even if there's nothing under her she keeps sitting... After this long, is it possible that she'll still snap out of it on her own, or do we need to intervene? Ideas?

  2. I hear that some of them can snap out of it, but I've never found that before with mine. My broodies will stay broody as long as I let them. Right now, I have two taking up the limited space in our nesting area and one who seems to be joining them. I don't have the patience to break them right now but I don't know how easy it will be when I do. Some hens can be so broody that it can take weeks to break them. But for a first time offender, it should only a take a week on a wire-floored area with no access to any eggs or nesting material.
  3. OaklandChickens

    OaklandChickens Chirping

    Dec 2, 2009
    I have a little cochin who went 7+ weeks without snapping out of it on her own - finally put her in a wire-cage contraption as others had recommended and mainly kept her in it for a few days and nights. It worked like magic. She just had food, water and a big stick for perching - no other comforts of home. It also made it easier to get her special food since she was such a bedraggled scrawny thing at that point - drove the other chickens mad seeing her eating her dishes of delicious oatmeal and yogurt behind the protecting bars of her little prison! She's gone broody twice since that first time and each time just 3-4 days and nights in the cage have broken her, and she doesn't spend as much time pacing around the outside of the closed-up coop when we let her out for a spell. So you could always give that a try if you're starting to get worried about her. Or missing her eggs. Good luck!
  4. 8littlechickens

    8littlechickens In the Brooder

    Apr 20, 2010
    Sticking her in a wire cage just sounds mean [​IMG] Is that the only way to do it? Does it start to harm her to stay broody too long such that it's not a good choice either way and better just to do the cage thing and have her be able to move on? Do you let her out of the cage at all during the days, or just keep her in there until when? How do you know when she's no longer broody? Let her out and see if she goes back to the nest box?

    And for the future, if she's gone broody once, does that mean she's more likely to do it again?

    Thanks for all the help!
  5. Quote:I thought it was mean at first too. They get really agrivated and kinda nervous because they're out of their comfort zone. I have one hen who is SUCH a good mommy but I know that I have to break her for her own good, because if I don't, she will starve herself. The idea is to supress the urge to set. Give her food and water and plenty of treats in her cage, and that will help. The first few days are rough to watch because she'll be a bit panic-y and worrying, but after some time, she will start to act like her normal self again. You can tell the method is working because she'll stop or lessen that broody sound (the one that sounds like soft crooning, humming that they usually make when they're upset or concerned) and then you give her a few extra days to make sure she's broken. Even the term 'breaking' sound mean, right? [​IMG]

    Ya far as letting them out to roam during breaking-time, sometimes I break the no-no rule and do that a few days into breaking. But the result sometimes is that it totally messes the process up and when I put her back in her cage, she gets broody again. I'm sure this happens because she is able to see the nesting material while she's roaming. I do feel bad not giving her some fun-time, but its the only thing that REALLY works. Keep her in that cage until she lays and egg, or, for about 1 or 2 weeks. (I always stick to the latter because I find mine are broken and just don't lay the egg in their cages, and I get impatient.) If she's really broken, she won't go back to the nesting box and if she hasn't laid an egg yet, she will start up within the next few days. It's no exact science, but it's what works.

    Yes, she is more likely to go broody now that she has felt the urge. Good luck! I can assure you she won't hold it against you. [​IMG]
  6. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I had a BCM hen who was broody for THREE MONTHS! I finally just kept after her--taking her out of the nest several times a day, and she finally quit. I think the cage thing isn't really mean compared to some things I've heard like dunking them in cold water! Now, that's kinda mean in my humble opinion.....
  7. NewHomesteader

    NewHomesteader Hatching

    Mar 8, 2009
    Sauquoit, NY
    I will try the cage for my Black Astrolorps. Mama goes broody 2-3 times a year and this time it's lasted the whole summer so far. She has lost weight and last year she even got mites. Now my other BA has joined her and my new layers are so upset they are hiding the eggs in my garden. I built a new nest box so they have more private space but I worry that she won't snap out of it this time. I toss her out and put am now putting the two into the tractor I built from PVC and metal garden fence. They get so upset when the other hens go in and out of the coop that I feel so bad I just let them out. They are my only hens who have ever gone broody.
    Do you think there is hope for them? I don't care if they don't lay, I raised them from babies and I love them. I only have 6 rooster. I tried to buy fertilized eggs last year and she got up a few days before they hatched. Sad. I'd like to stop them from doing this because they get so thin and the other girls get so upset. I'll try a rabbit cage I have and keep my fingers crossed.

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