How to Break a Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Sunny Side Up, May 13, 2009.

  1. albchickenfarm

    albchickenfarm Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2012
    The Coop :)
    Does this really work? How long until they start laying again? I have a hen who was broody and broke herself of it, but still hasn't started laying yet. It has been about 2 weeks. Does anyone know why she still isn't laying? Is it because she is a bantam? Thanks!
  2. JackE

    JackE Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    If you are asking if the BroodyBuster works, Yes it does. Three days or so in there, and the hen should be over it. If you let them get over it on their own, I have heard of hens going over a month before they went back to normal behaviour. How long was your hen broody? From my understanding, the longer they go, the longer it takes for them to get back to production.
  3. MrsMoose7911

    MrsMoose7911 New Egg

    May 1, 2013
    Is there any alternative to segregation? It's still getting pretty cold at night here and I don't have any way to keep my broody one warm enough at night except to put her in the hen house. I've tried separating her out all day but as soon as dark falls and I put her back in the tractor she's on the nest in seconds. All I've accomplished with segregation is ensuring she eats and drinks and now the other two have stopped laying. Any advice? Thanks so very much!!
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    Not really. And when you put her back in the tractor at night, you've undone all the work you did during the day. Can you place straw bales around her cage to keep her from breezes? A chicken will actually do just fine by herself in temperatures that are above freezing as long as she can get out of the wind.

    There's also your basement or garage...
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I have no idea what you are calling pretty cold. I’ve seen chickens sleep in trees when the temperatures dropped well below freezing. They were not in the wind, but in a protected valley and they could hide behind tree limbs and the trunk to get out of direct breezes. With that permanent down coat, they really can handle pretty cold temperatures with just a little bit of protection.

    Besides, you want her to cool off some. That helps break her from being broody.
  6. MrsMoose7911

    MrsMoose7911 New Egg

    May 1, 2013
    Hey thanks guys, really appreciate the input! It's still frosting at night so I worry about her being cold all by herself. I'm sure I can jury-rig a wind break etc for her, maybe a thick blanket over the whole mess, I just don't have a lamp at the moment. Sounds like that'll be enough for her though. Nervous Moms FTW right? lol Thanks again!
  7. anlawrence

    anlawrence Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 30, 2013
    Hi. I have only two hens and one (Margo) went broody after a dog attack nearly took out her roost mate (Betty) last Saturday (it's Friday today)

    Margo has been stolidly clinging to the nestbox (both girls are in an Eglu) and I have been putting food and water in there for her.

    I need to get Betty back into the coop. (At the moment she is in my spare room at night and out and about in the day) but anticipate trouble if M thinks she is hatching. (There is nothing there by the way and I have removed the empty yoghurt carton she attempted to hatch[​IMG]) On her first sortie into the Great Outdoors Betty did investigate getting into the run/coop but, as I am still medicating her, I figured if she went in I might not be able to get her out and of course there's Grumpy Margo to contend with.

    My question is should I force M to come off the nest box by waiting till she comes out into the run and closing the coop door? I did this this morning to give the girls a chance to associate with each other but Margo was obviously distressed (despite taking the opportunity to stuff herself and have a 30 second dustbath) and I chickened out (there really is NO other word[​IMG]) and let her back in.

    Whaddya all think?

    Warm regards
    Isle of Man
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I would try to break the broody's mood before returning the injured hen to the coop, that way there won't be 2 upset hens in the same place.
  9. candychick

    candychick Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 22, 2012
    is there another way to do it other than put them in a cage for 4 days or put ice cubes under them?
  10. cheaperbythe12

    cheaperbythe12 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2013
    Northern California
    I have used a couple of my broody hens to raise chicks. I let the hen brood for at least a week then buy a few chicks from the feed store (I have only used ones that were3 days old) and stick the chicks under the hen and voila. No need for heat lamps, etc.

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