How long can she stay broody??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Noble Rooster, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. Noble Rooster

    Noble Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2009
    So I have a little layer hybrid girl who has been broody for a month now. I've had her in a separate, broody-breaking cage during the day but have been returning her to the coop to sleep, especially on cool nights. She 's still determined to hatch something, real or imagined! Unfortunately we can't let her do so right now for various reasons. I'm concerned about her losing condition as the cold weather approaches. I hand feed her and encourage her to eat frequently, but if I don't she won't even try to eat. I have heard of the cold water/ice cubes approach and don't really feel comfortable doing that. Today I removed most of the shavings from the broody cage (which has a metal floor) to see if that would encourage her not to see it as her own private nesting palace. Hopefully that will do the trick. But I have a few questions:

    1. How long can she stay broody? At a certain point do hunger and the desire to live a normal chicken life just kick back in again?
    2. Should I not return her to the coop at night? I worry about how she'll do on cooler nights but we're in a bit of a warm spell right now so it's technically feasible.

    Thanks for any and all suggestions!
  2. kano

    kano Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2008
    Santiago de Chile
    You should brake the broodiness. A separate pen or cage, away from her nest, plenty of ligth, food and water. And a few days (from 3 to 6).
  3. JLS

    JLS Love my feathered babies!

    May 29, 2009
    My Coop
    You should not have any shavings for her to lay in (that's if I am understanding you post correctly). It has to be a wire-bottom cage so that the air can circulate under her belly. If it's warm and snug she'll still be broody. And I would leave her in there, dont take her out at night. In the cage she needs 24/7 access to food and water as well.

    The only other way I have been sucessfull in breaking broodies without a cage is to lock the bird out of the coop (safely of course) and have it free range during the day. I provide the water for the bird but it has to look for food which keeps it busy and not setting. Then I bring the bird into the coop and have it sleep in a seperate section without a nest box but I do give it all the food and water it wants while in the coop. It takes several days to a week but it has always worked for me.
  4. Cackling Hen

    Cackling Hen Just Scratching Around

    Apr 21, 2009
    Port Angeles Wa
    I just read on a post that someone used water bottles with frozen water and put them in where the hen was tying to sit I'm so going to try this Good luck
  5. Noble Rooster

    Noble Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 28, 2009
    Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. I left her in the cage overnight and will remove the smattering of shavings that are left in there this morning. Hope this does the trick!!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by