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Hen won't stop sitting...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by blueberrysilky, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. blueberrysilky

    blueberrysilky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Black Sumatra hen, named Midnight won't stop sitting on eggs that aren't there. She hatched out only one chick and I didn't have time to set up a brood for just one mama and chick. So I took the chick and slid it under anouther hens watch. (This hen went broody the same day as Midnight) It's now been 5 days and she hasn't figured out that there are no eggs where she is sitting. I've even forced her to stay outside by locking her out of the coop for a couple hours during the day. She just won't stop sitting. Does a hen have to finish going through their cycle before they get off? Or does she really belive that there are eggs under her? PS: I even took out the fake ceramic egg.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2016
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Most broody hens will sit on nothing. You will need to break her if you want her to stop, otherwise she could sit for another few weeks.
     
  3. blueberrysilky

    blueberrysilky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How do I break her, I have already been keeping her out of the coop during some days.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Consistently is key to breaking them quickly. A wire bottom crate slightly elevated off the ground is the best choice, sometimes just confining them somewhere they are not used to will do it to, as well as blocking the nest.

    The key is for her underside to cool off, if she's a stubborn setter than the wire bottom crates works well. If she gets agitated by being penned else where and doesn't set but paces or stands than that route will work too.

    Most break in 3 days of steady confinement, if they have been broody a long time it can take 5. Leave them in there, a short break to run around the yard is fine but back to confinement when she's shows a desire to return to the nest. Provide food and water.

    When you come to recognize the signs your hen is about to go broody they can be caught early and it can take a few as 2 days to break them. Most of us with broody hens keep the box at the ready. Most are repeat offenders especially in their first season.
     
  5. ctrygran

    ctrygran Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a girl who has been sitting for several weeks. I always take the eggs from under her and she is getting more and more aggressive. I live in Alabama and it has been running in the high 90's so I have been afraid to cage her up where she might get overheated. . I have a good shady spot that I can put her in an extra large Great Dane size crate with food and water. So you think I should leaver her 4 or 5 days since this has been going on for a while? Will it be ok for her without the bottom pan of the crate sitting on dirt only? I am afraid I am going to injure her trying to keep her from attacking.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I would definitely get to breaking her, 3-5 days should do it. Elevate the crate off the ground on some bricks if possible and put a roost in there, hopefully she doesn't try to set and instead paces. Keep her in the shade. Breaking is stressful, but not breaking them is more stressful, as they can lose weight and become overrun with external parasites while being broody too long. You will probably have to do it again as most broody hens are repeat offenders.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    If the crate has a wire bottom, use that. Airflow under her is a big help for breaking broodiness. If it's a choice between the pan and dirt, I'd go with the pan. It's harder, colder and less welcoming. She can still nest in the dirt, and that will simply drag things out.
     
  8. jas humbert

    jas humbert Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Or, you can just leave her be until she decides to give up by herself. I have silkies that set all the time and they will often set happily on no eggs if I'm picking up eggs every day. Most last about a month to six weeks and give up on their own. I used to worry about it in the beginning. , Now I don't even bother. Everyone seems healthy and I find it less stressful to let them do their thing. If your hen has been going a few weeks already, she'll probably quit on her own within a few weeks at most.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    For those who would like to break the broodiness quickly for the benefit of the hens health and any other reason.
    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 couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(you don't have to) 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.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     

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