Can I wait out a broody pullet instead of trying to break her?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LedgeWoods, Nov 13, 2010.

  1. LedgeWoods

    LedgeWoods Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    It's been a good 10 days with not one, but 2 of the fluffy buffies going broody. I've removed the golf balls they were trying to hatch from their nest boxes [​IMG], but they are still in the mood. I've plopped them outside repeatedly, but they keep returning to their nestboxes. Question is - how long will it take for them to have a change in mood - especially if I just leave them be? I've got to say that they are just about the funniest things I've ever seen when they growl & puff up like a marshmallow in a microwave when you try to remove them from the nestboxes. [​IMG] I thought my son was going to hurl when he had to take care of their poo, too. [​IMG]
  2. donnavee

    donnavee Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Central NC
    I'm curious about this too. I only have one BO and she isn't broody, probably too young, but I know it will happen one day.
  3. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    How long totally depends on the hen--some of them give up after a couple of weeks, others will brood for months on end.

    I prefer to break them. They don't take good care of themselves and can lose a lot of conditon when chronically broody making them more vulnerable to parasites and illness. They're also out of production while they're broody so you miss out on all those yummy eggs. I break mine in a large wire bottom rabbit hutch--raptor girl goes in with food/water but nothing to make a nest out of and comes out a few days later as the sweet hen I remembered. I do have a couple hens (EE and BO) that I have to put back in on a fairly regular basis since they seem to only lay for a month or so between broody spells. They do the same thing when I let them raise chicks too though so I gues it's just part of life with a chronic broody.
  4. Aves

    Aves Out Of The Brooder

    I have more than enough hens so I get more than enough eggs every day for our needs. I let them ride out their broodiness, I just make sure they get off and eat & drink as often as possible during each day. I have noticed that if they go from broody to moult they will have VERY severe moults, almost go bald until the blood pin feathers start growing in. If you live in a colder area when they moult then you need to make sure they are able to stay warm thru the night and cooler days until the feathers start breaking thru the shaft and provide insulation for the hen. Hope that helps.

  5. LedgeWoods

    LedgeWoods Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 18, 2010
    Thanks for your input Aves & Kittymomma. One of the two is literally bald on her underside - is that part of being broody or the beginning of a major molt? We're in a cool wet weather pattern now and feel like I would stress her out if I put her in a wire bottom cage. Egg production from the other girls is doing just fine, so I'm not hard-up for eggs.
  6. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2010
    S.E. Michigan
    Sounds like that bald spot is a broody patch.
    I've read that hens pull out these feathers so their body heat will keep eggs/chicks nice and warm.
  7. bwyatt

    bwyatt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 25, 2010
    Adams County Ohio
    I put my broodies in a wire bottom cage off the ground with food and water for a few days with no nest box available to them.

    Has always worked for me.

  8. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:All valid answers, but Kittymomma said that it depends on the hen and that is the correct reply to your question. I have had hens quit the nest in just a few days and some that have set on an empty nest for 3 months. I never help them off the nest for food, etc. and the reason is that when they need it, they will get off and get it. Most will leave the nest once a day or at least evey other day to eliminate and eat/drink and often they will dust bathe and get a little exercize. Their instincts are good and all they need from us is food/water and security. If you don`t need the eggs, it will be fine to let them complete the cycle..........Pop

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