Discouraging Broodieness?

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
May 25, 2020
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Western Washington
Hey, everyone! Every year, I get several broody hens, and because I have an all-hen flock, they are just wasting their time and practically starving themselves in the process. Anyway, it can get quite annoying having to break a broody hen. Does anyone have any tips on discouraging them from going broody altogether and/or their ways of breaking a broody hen? I would love to know how others do it! Thanks!
 

Lobo123

Songster
Apr 11, 2020
111
188
111
Oregon
Collect eggs every day. Can't go broody if there aren't any eggs to sit on. Hens will try to lay a fairly large clutch of eggs before they sit on them. Collecting them will usually discourage a hen from becoming a broody. However, even doing that won't stop determined mothers. SwampHiker sent you a very useful link on breaking broodiness. Good luck
 

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
May 25, 2020
3,507
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Western Washington
I collect the eggs everyday, my one problem is I still have fake eggs. You see, several of my chickens will lay somewhere else if all the eggs are gone from the nesting box, even though they are two years old. :rolleyes: While we are at it, does anyone have any tips on keeping chickens laying in a nesting box, and not somewhere in the woods? My chickens usually free-range, so they find lots of hidden areas to lay.
 

Overo Mare

Mayor
Premium Feather Member
Aug 26, 2019
14,359
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Small-town, Virginia
Collecting your eggs daily help. Depending on breed (and individual) though, some hens don't need eggs to become broody. I have hens sit on air all the time.

Best thing to do with a broody that you don't intend to use for hatching, is to break them. Wire dog crates work great. I built broody jails.

The jail needs to be big enough to accommodate food and water and for the hen to turn around and move a bit. Set it up on 6-8" blocks so a decent amount of airflow can circulate underneath.

Keep her in there for a few days and try letting her out. If she goes to the nest box, put her straight back into the slammer. Take her out every day to let her dust bathe and socialize. If she tries to go back to her nest - straight back to jail.

Keep testing her until she proves she's broken by ignoring her "nest".
 

Starburst

Jesus Loves You
May 25, 2020
3,507
39,451
866
Western Washington
Thanks for the idea! I have done it before and it worked great, however, my hen that is broody is at the bottom of the pecking order, though she used to be at the top, due to a dog attack last fall where she received nerve-damage in the leg. She stayed in the house for several months as we nursed her back to health, and then she spent a long winter and spring in a covered chicken tractor, going into the coop at night. She is finally with the flock now, but whenever I put my hens in the 'broody coop,' as I call it, my chickens attack her as soon as she is back with them because the pecking order is unstable. I am worried about doing that to Jasmine, as she already has trouble defending herself, or even walking that well.
 

bjurbrat

Chirping
Mar 18, 2020
94
107
76
Hey, everyone! Every year, I get several broody hens, and because I have an all-hen flock, they are just wasting their time and practically starving themselves in the process. Anyway, it can get quite annoying having to break a broody hen. Does anyone have any tips on discouraging them from going broody altogether and/or their ways of breaking a broody hen? I would love to know how others do it! Thanks!
I dont know if this helps me but I never let eggs lay in the nest I have welsummers so they announce before and after they lay so its pretty easy
 

MANNA-PRO

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