can you un-broody a hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by OHChick, May 26, 2008.

  1. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    or relocate her broodiness?? i have NH Reds (and BR) and one of my NH Reds has decided to go broody. she is the one i have with white legs, so i don't know if there is some other breed in her background or what. at any rate, every night for the last 5, she has been in this one spot in our hay, trying to brood the egg or eggs that are therem (which i reach under her and collect). while i am not opposed to her doing this, i don't think she would last. we have raccoons and other varmits really badly down near our barn and its one of those feed lot barns, so its all open down one end, no way to close her in. if she were 'broody' in her hen house, i'd leave her alone, but in the hay, i feel she would not survive to hatch the eggs. so every night i climb the ladder and pull one very ticked off chicken down and put her up with the others.

    ideas? suggestions? thoughts? how long is it to hatch out anyway, i had heard 20 days, is that about right? if it were like a week, i'd consider risking it, but 20 days, i think she'd get eaten.

  2. babyboy1_mom

    babyboy1_mom Songster

    Apr 13, 2008
    It takes 21 days for chick eggs to hatch. I would be worried about something getting her also. It is very hard to break a broody and it depends on how set she is on hatching some babies as to how hard it is. It would be best to lock her in a seperate cage to either sit on eggs or to break her broodiness. If you do lock her in a cage to break her broodiness, then do not put a nest box in it. If you remover her every night, then she may stop being broody, but she may not also.

    Good luck.

  3. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    take her off the nest. and lock her in a pen for a few days. usually after about 3 days. will stop setting. and in a week-2. start laying again. you could try moving the eggs/nest. and letting her set on them there. but she may not take it. who knows.
  4. seriousbill

    seriousbill Songster

    May 4, 2008
    Simple answer is yes. If you don't want to break her up, you can move a broody. More complicated answer: it's not always easy to get her re-oriented to her new nest. The key is to move her at night to the new nest with the eggs. Hopefully, in the morning, she'll still sit tight and not try to go back to her old nest. Make sure her movements are confined so she doesn't have that option. Put chicken wire around her or some other barrier to help keep her on her new nest. Hope for the best. Good luck!
  5. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    ok i just went down to the barn in the dark and took one very cranky hen out of the hay and relocated her to the hen house. i carried the two eggs she was setting in with us and put her on them. she immediately hopped down and ate. i hope she gets back on them. wish me luck!
  6. moms_pantry

    moms_pantry Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    I've tried to relocate a broody hen with her eggs and have not had any success. If I don't want them to set, I just put them in cage by themselves without a nest box. In a few days she will stop being broody. Though I have had some go longer than that. Good luck.
  7. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    thanks, after about 8 days of picking her up at night and putting her back in the hen house, last night she was *not* up in the hay. so i think we broke her mood. i wish i could have let her do it, but its not worth her life to set some eggs. if i want to hatch, i'll just get an incubator.
  8. miss_thenorth

    miss_thenorth Songster

    Dec 28, 2007
    SW Ont, Canada
    I have successfully relocated a broody, and in a day or two I'll need to do it again. If she is indeed broody.(she's teasing me right now) Hopefully this relocation will be as successful as the first one.

    My opinion only, but why get a machine to do what a hen can do naturally? [​IMG]
  9. OHChick

    OHChick Songster

    May 8, 2007
    Quote:well, i just meant that b/c i don't have a good place to brood. my barn is open and i was afraid she'd get eaten. we have coons like crazy. if she were brooding in the nest boxes (located in their hen house) where she'd be secure at night, i'd let her go to town and hatch all she wanted.

    my mom said 'well she probably thinks the egg she is sitting on is special and that it will become a chicken.' i said 'uh mom, *all* of them are fertilized (or very nearly so), they could *all* become chickens.' LOL. my mom = crazy.

  10. fivebigreds

    fivebigreds Songster

    Sep 9, 2007
    middle Tennessee
    I have milk crates for nest and moved a broody just this morn. I pulled her crate and all out and put her in a coop and she sat tight. My broody is a BO though and very determined. I just slid another crate in the slot for the other hens.

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