Game hen going broody

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by suburbanhomesteader, May 10, 2007.

  1. I do not have any roosters; my meanest game hen laid 8 eggs in 3 days, which I had collected as usual. Today, I came home from work and she was sitting on the nest. Since normally she is terrified of me, I reached down towards her and.....

    nothin'. She has apparently gone broody. I moved in with fire gloves (she kept strking at my forearms, and drew blood before I got the gloves on) and took the only egg under her. She moved back to the nest after that.

    What else can I do to break this up?

    This is a completely new one to me! I didn't know game hens were supposed to go broody!
  2. soonerdog

    soonerdog Songster

    The best way to "break" the hen from being broody is to isolate her into a pen by herself. Usually for a week or two and then she will not be broody anymore. Of course, when she starts to lay again she will go broody again everntually. Just try to gather all of the eggs and this will discourge the hens somewhat from broodiness. Some hens will go broody on an empty nest, but more so if there are eggs in the nest. Each time just know that you will have to isolate the broodies to themselves for a while to break broodiness. Good luck. [​IMG] BTW, game hens are the best setters and mommies too.
  3. prariechiken

    prariechiken Songster

    Feb 9, 2007
    Broodiness is a "fever" like state that a hen goes grandfather used to catch em and dunk em in coooold well water a couple of times and this broke em from setting. I've even heard of people giving them aspirin to "break" the fever but wouldn't recommend this. Isolate her, and just be sure to keep the gloves handy, and maybe throw her a bone and let her hatch an egg or two one year, just be prepared, like soonerdog said, game hens are excellent mothers and I've had them die protecting their chicks (hen attacked a fox to save her 12 chicks)...
  4. Thanks, everybody.
    Oh boy, I got some BAD info; the person who sold me the game hens said that they were a very active chicken, that they liked to fight and did not go broody. Now I wonder if he even knew what that meant!

    Interestingly, when I got the three game hens (as "trial chickens", before I got my chicks), this one was plumper and my first thought was, "she'd be a good mama".

    I don't really want to let her raise chicks, but I guess I could see about finding some fertilized eggs.

    Separate her? Oh, my lord! Now I see how all of ya'll end up with all these coops!! LOL! One for the pullets, one for the roos, one for the chicks, one each for broody hens...LOL!

    Yup, it's an add-chick-tion!
  5. So, if I want to find a few fertilized eggs, how fast do I have to get them under her? She was sitting on two new eggs this morning, and this was her 2nd day of sitting.

    I have no idea how I"m going to separate her from the others; I have a hard enough time finding an undisturbed place for the tractor!

    How much space would she need? Would a small dogloo and a covered 4x4 portable dog fencing system work adequately?

    Thanks so much. The search engine doesn't seem to work when you try to add 2 words, connected by a + sign; it only searches the first word, it looks like. I'm sure the answer is already here somewhere, but I could not find it with a 30 minute search of old posts
  6. Freebie

    Freebie Songster

    Feb 4, 2007
    Bloomingdale, MI
    I put my broody in a large dog crate. It worked just fine. They don't get up much, just sit and might get up to get a drink or a quick bite. Rarely even go to the bathroom. So she really does not need a run. Thats what I did for mine anyway.
  7. prariechiken

    prariechiken Songster

    Feb 9, 2007
    For setting eggs, the sooner you set em the better, two weeks of collecting at most, but the longer you wait the lower the fertility. They don't need much room, and actually prefer a small secluded shelter they feel safe in, but the droppings you get outta them when they do come off the nest to eat/drink/poo, will make you want room to get away from the rank ball of feces they leave. Your 4x4 idea is more than enough for the girl....and a pet crate works very well too.
  8. birdlover

    birdlover Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Sorry to tell you but my little OEGB hen was ALWAYS going broody and she would sit for SIX WEEKS waiting for her "babies"!!! It broke my heart so I got her a couple of newly hatched chicks. Did that 3 times and, each time, she raised them just like she'd hatched them. (I've done that with many broodies, btw) I always fenced off a corner of the coop for her and the babies with chicken wire until I felt she was ready to take them out (after about 1 week). My point is, you can give her baby chicks (not more than a few days old) instead of fertile eggs and, that way, perhaps you can select the breed you want! [​IMG] You can do this after they've been broody for about 2 don't have to wait 21 or more days. Hope this helps.

    Oh! Almost forgot. Most people I know who want to break their broody put her in a cage with a wire bottom. The idea is to not let her belly be warm and cozy. The cold air that comes through the wire will break her in a couple of days. Good luck with her!

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