How long to leave hen in broody breaker...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by maddogdodge, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With the weather warming up here my 4 of my hens have decided to go broody including my 3 sussex hens who are extremely dedicated (but are not allowed to hatch chicks because they are chick killers. I set up a broody breaker, put one of my Sussex hens in there. Took about 5 days to break her out of it, she's all good now. Moved onto my next sussex hen... She's been in the broody breaker for 10 days now and is still 100% broody. She's always got food and water with her but I feel bad locking her up like that for so long.

    How long should I persist with her in the broody breaker?

    Is it okay to just keep persisting until she gives up even if it takes 2 weeks or longer?
     
  2. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd leave her in there as long as it takes as long as it's humane and she can still move around. Do you happen to have a picture or can you describe what you're using? My best broody breakers are cages with no bedding with wire bottoms (with roosts). It usually takes no more than 3 days - although they've been known to become repeat offenders after a week or so.

    I also know that doesn't mean I can't come across a hen at some point that will take much longer to break even in those same cages. My hens may be easier to snap out of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  3. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, I'm using a large dog crate propped up off the ground, so it's a wire floor but still enough room to move around if she choses to. But she just spends all her time sitting on the wire, broody as anything just like she was in a nest!

    Every time I go near her she kicks up a huge fuss, fluffs herself up and starts doing all those angry broody sounds, haha!

    I'll stick with it, hopefully it won't take too much longer cause I've got two other hens I need to break as well, haha!
     
  4. SIMZ

    SIMZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good luck! Those hens can get so frustrating. I just had to put two in my "broody breaker" rabbit hutch tonight, and we're not even going into summer like you are! It's getting down to 40 at night here.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I think the longer they are broody before going in the breaker, the longer they may take to break.
    Might want to get more wire crates.

    I let my broodies out of the crate a couple times a day, they only had water in crate,
    so they would go eat and run around a bit before heading back to nest, at which time they were put back into crate.
    That takes time to supervise, but if you have the time I think it helps to get them out and moving around with the flock.

    I've read about folks in hot places putting a fan that blows under the crate to speed the 'cooling' of those broody patches.
     
  6. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    Just another little thing you can try....Raise it a bit higher use bricks and run a fan under her..Her belly needs to totally cool to break her....

    Best of luck....

    Cheers!
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How high off the ground is your broody breaker? It sound like not much. You might try raising it higher to get more air under her.

    My normal broody buster is also my brooder, it has a wire floor and is about 18” off the coop floor. When that is being used as a brooder I hang a wire dog crate from the ceiling in my coop, that gives me about 2’ of floor clearance. While the wires are not real close together she can still maneuver.

    Like SIMZ it normally only takes 3 days but occasionally I have to repeat immediately when I let them out. And some do go broody again before too long. Not all chickens are the same. I don’t let mine out during the day but keep food and water in with them but nothing they can sit on and keep their bottom warm.

    Maybe you could post a photo of your broody buster. The only thing consistent about chickens is their inconsistency but yours are consistently taking an unusual amount of time. Maybe we can spot something that can help.
     
  8. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all :)

    She's at least 2 feet off the ground. Our temps aren't that hot yet, this evening was pretty cold actually so I really would have thought her belly would be cool enough by now. Will persist for a bit longer where she is and if it's still not working I'll shift the cage somewhere there is power connected so I can run a fan.

    Unfortunately I work almost full time so don't have time to let them in and out of the crate to eat and mingle with the flock regularly throughout the day. I never had this kind of problem last year when trying to break hens, usually takes 3-5 days I've found. This is a first for me!

    One very grumpy hen when I disturbed her from trying to hatch nothing but the wire of the cage, lol!

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. maddogdodge

    maddogdodge Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Haven't got a pic of the whole cage, will see if I can get one for you guys!
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Two feet should be plenty. I don't think that's a problem. This stuff gets frustrating doesn't it?
     

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