Help with my Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Free as a Bird, Jan 27, 2015.

  1. Free as a Bird

    Free as a Bird Chirping

    Aug 20, 2014
    New England
    I have never had a broody hen so don't know how to "break" one. I have been reading up on ideas and tried to put an ice pack under her this morning. She seems perfectly fine sitting on that and hasn't moved. I tried moving her off but she eventually went back.

    I would really prefer not to do the dipping in water technique as it is about 15 degrees here right now.

    Should I separate her? I think the other girls are picking on her a little bit. I have a wire puppy crate but her feet would fit right through!
  2. If you have a pen with a screen bottom. So there can be airflow. The icepack and water aren't the best ideas due to exposure. I have a big wire cage I was using before I picked up a rooster. Propped it up on bricks. Took a few days for various hens. Now I cant wait for mine to be broody. :)
  3. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Allow me to introduce you to my Broody Buster cage, which we call Busterville. Inside you will see Red Bird, a perpetual broody hen who has done three stints in Busterville during the past 4 months!


    The only things in the cage are feed, water, Red Bird and a brick which is pinning down the sheet of fine wire I put on the bottom of the cage to stop her falling through. The cage is raised off the ground by about 5 inches to allow air to flow freely underneath. I keep my cage in the run so she can still see the other birds, but you could keep it in a shed or in the garage if you have bad weather. In hot weather I always put it under shade and place a sheet or corrugated iron or a bed sheet over the top for shade.

    I start off putting my broody hen into Busterville for 48 straight hours. After that I let her out each morning and afternoon to test her. If she runs straight back to the nest, I pick her up and put her back in Busterville. If she re-joins the flock she is cured. In hot weather it can take up to a week to break them, but in cooler weather I find 4 to5 days is about right.

    Occasionally I will give the broody a treat like a tomato to keep her occupied but generally I find that they don't mind being in there after the first day. It is peaceful, the other birds can't bother them, and it gives them time to be with their thoughts.

    - Krista
  4. great pic. mine looks just like that only smaller wire.
  5. Free as a Bird

    Free as a Bird Chirping

    Aug 20, 2014
    New England
    Thank you all! I have moved her inside now in a raised pen. I hope it works!
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a few bricks right in the coop(Much like kristas) and I would feed her some watered down crumble a couple times a day. .

    I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.

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