How long to break a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by brightonchicks, Oct 10, 2014.

  1. brightonchicks

    brightonchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had my hen in the rabbit hutch for 4 days now and when I let her out to dust bath she does that and messes around but then wants to head back to the nest in the coop,so back in the hutch she goes! How long does it take to snap them out of it?
     
  2. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not quite sure I understand correctly. Is the rabbit hutch raised off the ground? I always thought the whole idea of breaking a broody is that she gets a breeze under her butt which literally cools her off. It's not just about a change of living quarters.

    To break her, you need to put her in a wire cage, raise it off the ground so air can get underneath her and leave her like that for a few days. Of course, she should have access to feed and water as well. Unfortunately, some birds are just going to be broody no matter what you do. Breaking a broody is not as easy as you would expect!

    Good luck!

    Krista
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  3. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm gonna give a different definition, for me the aim is to simply keep them off the nest 24 hrs per day. Mostly ours are done in 3 days, the worst has been a silkie who are notoriously hard to break and she once took a week. All my others are generally 3-4 days though. The important factor though is to make sure they can't get on the nest day or night though.

    This is our broody area. It's about 1.5m x 1.5m and not a cold butt in sight lol

    [​IMG]
    It's the entire area below the kids cubby house and there is plenty of room to wander round and dust bath etc. (ignore the nesting box you can see, it's currently being used as a broody hatching area instead, normally that isn't open to them)

    Is it possible that the rabbit hutch is a little too nest box like. Does it have a dark end she can feel she is nesting in?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  4. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you @appps,


    That is exactly what I was getting at - that the chicken may have been provided with a nice comfy nest.

    If she is in a dark, secluded box which is filled with nice soft hay or fresh shavings, I think she would be more likely to want to hunker down and be broody - not break the broodiness :)

    Krista
     
  5. brightonchicks

    brightonchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes the rabbit hutch is off the ground and nothing in there but food and water, but I let her out in the day without access to the nesting area just to exercise her legs and take a dust bath then back to the hutch, then in the evening about 30 minutes before their bed time I let her out in the yard with the other ones to hunt bugs and such but they are able to get back in the coop to go to bed and after she is out for just a bit she will head back to the coop and the nest so I take her right back to the hutch for bed.
     
  6. brightonchicks

    brightonchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh happy day!! I think, I put my hen in with the other hens and so far so good! She has looked in where the nests are but so far hasn't went in. Hopefully she is back to normal and not broody anymore.
     
  7. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    YAY!

    Well done!

    It looks like persistence pays off.

    It can be really hard going though, can't it? It's sad to see them separated from their friends.

    Glad it's all worked out for you.

    Krista
     
  8. brightonchicks

    brightonchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well it was short lived, she did jump in and on the nest so I gave her an hour incase she felt the need to lay an egg but no egg so back to the hutch. But at least it took her some time to go back this time so maybe it won't be long now.
     
  9. brightonchicks

    brightonchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can now say my broody hen is no longer broody! Back with the girls and very happy! Now I will wait for an egg from her and we will all be happy again [​IMG]
     
  10. Pharr-Out-Farms

    Pharr-Out-Farms New Egg

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    I have a few questions about breaking a broody hen. Its December now, pretty cold and damp with bitting winds here on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Our Bantam hen has gone broody. We tried the wire cage with out any bedding, it was warmer that day and the sun was out. Now it seems too cold to keep her in the cage out in the open-ish (they have a large run). So we have just been taking her off the nest several times a day. She will eat, drink, and take a dust bath (before all the rain) but is pretty annoyed with us and her flock-mates, she complains/squawks the whole time she is out. We thought putting an egg that will not hatch under her, thinking she would realize nothing is happening and give up. Could that work? If we try the cage again what do we do with her at night? Put her back in the coup then put her in the cage in the morning? Could she snap out of it on her own? Why is she broody now, its cold, the days are short, and we collect the eggs every day? How do I stop fretting over my feathered babies???
    Thanks for your help!
    ~Pharr Out Farms :)
     

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