Did I just stop broody hens so easily?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by wamtazlady, May 21, 2019.

  1. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    A few weeks ago I had 2 hens go broody. They wouldn't leave the nest until I kicked them out once a day. Then last week I had a third go broody. This was too much as I only have 6 hens. At the same time I am caring for a neighbor who badly broke her ankle. I have her in my home as I have no stairs that have to be climbed. I really didn't have the time to get the cage with the wire bottom out, raise it on blocks, and set it up to break the broody hens. Not having the time is the reason I did not do anything when the first 2 went broody.

    I started thinking about what else I could do. Came up with an idea. Took rectangular short plastic food storage containers and filled them with ice. Figured that would cool the breasts on those hens. If they wanted to be broody they would have to sit on the cold container. Replaced the ice every day. Now it is 4 days later. All the hens are out and about doing regular chicken things. None are sitting in the nest boxes even though I took the containers out of 2 nest boxes yesterday and only left a container in the 3rd nest box.

    I am eagerly waiting to see if they begin to lay again soon.
    Stiletto, Perris, DobieLover and 3 others like this.
  2. The Phantom

    The Phantom I love birds!!!

    Jan 9, 2017
    SE Wisconsin
    Thanks for sharing! I will have to give it a try
  3. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    I will be watching those hens to see what happens. If they haven't shown any broodiness in a week I'll figure I won this time.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Sure sounds like it worked. One might be coincidence but three out of three is a bit much for just coincidence. I'm glad it worked for you.

    Before a hen starts to lay she builds up a fat reserve. That reserve is mostly what broody hen lives on when she is broody so she doesn't have to be out most of the day looking for food. A broody will lose weight while broody but it's just fat put there for that reason, it doesn't hurt them. But before she starts to lay again she need to replace that reserve. The longer they are broody the longer that takes.

    A broody also makes some changes to her internal egg making system so she can stop laying. It takes her a while to reverse those changes. Just something else they have to work through.

    I've had a broody start laying 2-1/2 weeks after her chicks hatched. That blew me away, she hadn't even weaned her chicks. I've had some in late summer that molt while raising their chicks so it takes a really long time for them to start again. I don't know how long it will take for yours to start again, each one is different. I wish you luck on them staying broken and on laying soon.
    the cluck juggler likes this.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Brilliant flexibility!
    DobieLover likes this.
  6. the cluck juggler

    the cluck juggler Incubator Addict

    Jun 12, 2017
    Nice! Inventive and easy. :thumbsup
    DobieLover likes this.
  7. wamtazlady

    wamtazlady Crowing

    Jul 18, 2013
    Kalispell MT
    It's been 2 weeks since I tried this with my broody hens. They are all back to laying and none have returned to being broody. The experiment was a success!!

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