HOW TO BREAK A BROODY HEN?

JessMay

Songster
Jul 23, 2019
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Northwest Illinois
Our golden Phoenix just started laying about three weeks ago. She is now broody and stealing everyone’s eggs and sitting on them. She is clearly broody since everytime we go out there to collect eggs she’s somehow sitting on half on them. My question is how do I break this habit? We don’t have a dog crate or really anywhere else we can seclude her.. no garage. Our boxes are pretty open and I’m not sure how to block them off because I want to give the other hens somehwere to lay their eggs.. Also, she sat on eggs that were laid this morning, all day. Are they still safe to eat or should I be worried in a few days I’ll crack open a growing embryo?


Ps. We do have a rooster. All of our eggs are fertilized.
 

Mvan42

Crowing
Mar 15, 2019
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As long as you check the eggs everyday you won't get any developed eggs. Is there someone you could borrow a dog kennel from? The only other thing I know of is keep removing her from the nest boxes, if secluding her isn't an option. Others may have other ideas.
 

HenOnAJuneBug

Crowing
May 20, 2015
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I don't have a cage either, so I just block off the nests at night and make sure the broody is on the roost at dark; that usually means physically placing them there. I let them do what they want during the day. Has worked every time so far (15-20 times). Takes about a week or less. Have to remember to remove the nest blockage in the morning so the other hens can lay.
 
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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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Or try giving her a cold bath. Not too cold, of course. Just out of the hose, making sure to wrap her in a towel afterwards. That's what I did, and she slept on the roost tonight :)
That will certainly help break a broody but will not completely get the job done with a determined broody. They need isolation with no nesting material. The cool water dips and air circulation under them help cool them off and helps break the broodiness.
 

HenOnAJuneBug

Crowing
May 20, 2015
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That will certainly help break a broody but will not completely get the job done with a determined broody. They need isolation with no nesting material. The cool water dips and air circulation under them help cool them off and helps break the broodiness.
I've had some pretty determined broodies. From my experience, being off the nest 12 hours per day (roosting from dusk to dawn) during summer (longer roost times in fall/spring) is enough to disrupt their routine so that they abandon their effort within about a week. May not work for all chickens, but it sure works for mine.
 
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aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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You can get a small wire dog crate off Craigslist for cheap. It's a necessary tool if you are going to have chickens and don't want broodies to continue that behavior. It's time to bite the bullet and make the investment.
Ditto Dat^^^
Great tool!
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...rates-a-good-tool-for-every-chickeneer.72619/

I've had some pretty determined broodies. From my experience, being off the nest 12 hours per day (roosting from dusk to dawn) during summer (longer roost times in fall/spring) is enough to disrupt their routine so that they abandon their effort within about a week. May not work for all chickens, but it sure works for mine.
Have done this with broody pullets, but takes all day attention to keep them off the nest while leaving nests open for the layers.
 

HenOnAJuneBug

Crowing
May 20, 2015
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Have done this with broody pullets, but takes all day attention to keep them off the nest while leaving nests open for the layers.
I have enough nests so I don't have to worry about that. I wouldn't do it if I had to bother with it during the day.
 

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