Can't break our broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by switters, May 30, 2010.

  1. switters

    switters In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2008
    One of our Buff Orpingtons went broody about ten days ago. For the last five days we've had her in a milk crate elevated on sawhorses so there's plenty of airflow under her. During the day, we take her out and let her free-range in the backyard for a couple of hours (she can't access the nest from the yard.) We've also tried putting her underbelly in some cold water (got that advice on another forum).

    So far we've seen no change at all in her behavior. She sits happily in the milk crate with her feathers all puffed up just like she was in the nest. Separating her from the next appears to have done nothing at all.

    Anything else we can do, other than letting her hatch some eggs?
  2. okiehen

    okiehen Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    I think it might be the size of your crate. I use a milk crate as a nest box for broody hens to set eggs in. They seam to like it have one in now on eggs.
    Try a larger wire pen, it may take up to a week. Lots of light also. And she may still go back to broody after a little while.
    If It was me and I have the space I would let her hatch some.
  3. grandads

    grandads Songster

    Nov 1, 2008
    put her under a large tub for 2 or 3 days. with food and water. works every time here.
  4. switters

    switters In the Brooder

    Nov 3, 2008
    We put her in an old wire dog crate in the run, and that seems to be helping. She's acting less broody, anyways.

    But now another hen has taken over her job and gone into the nest! She went in yesterday and hasn't come out yet. She's all puffed up, just like the other one was, and making those broody sounds.

    Is it normal for this to happen, where when one gets broody the others are more likely to?
  5. Miss Red

    Miss Red Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    Trinity, Texas
    My girls seem to get into sync. I never have less than nine together at a time. Less than a week apart, too.
  6. PhlyinPheBee

    PhlyinPheBee Poodles, Chicken, Goats--OH MY!!

    Mar 11, 2009
    Northeast Louisiana
    I keep mine in a wire cage with only food and water. I do not let them out at all for about 3-4 days. It always works. Good luck.
  7. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    It takes longer to break them if you take them out of the wire crate for free-ranging and stuff.

    The average here for each hen is about 4 to 5 days in the brooder-breaker crate...

    Good luck!
  8. anthonyjames

    anthonyjames Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    Port Washington, WI
    I have hung my girls in 24 x 24 rabbit cages in a covered section of my run. I leave them in their for 24 hours minimum with food and water and the have top and back cover only. If they go back to the nest box to sit I put them back in for 24 hours. Normally works first time around.
  9. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Buff Orps can be determinedly broody. If you break this spell she may want to go again in a month or so. If that's the case, you may not want to continue to fight city hall and let her incubate eggs instead. She could hatch any kind of eggs for you, chicken, bantam, duck, goose, turkey, guinea, peacock, whatever. Then you could keep what she hatches or sell them. She could help pay the feed bill for herself & everyone else.

    Or this could be her only broody spell. I have some hens who only have gone broody once or twice. Others keep going like clockwork. To break a broody try to give her the opposite conditions ideal for brooding -- lots of airflow & light, very little bedding or seclusion.
  10. thedeacon

    thedeacon Songster

    Nov 14, 2008
    The wire cage method works for me. Usually 2 days in the the cage breaks her. Feed and water only. Do not let her out to free range.

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