How to Break a Broody Hen

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

  1. GoldieChicken

    GoldieChicken New Egg

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    May 2, 2013
    I understand! One little Banty Cochin of mine hatched four babies - and the other hens saw. The craze began and EVERYONE went broody! I didn't have enough nests for everyone to be broody at once and the fight has been on to get these hens to STOP setting. Interestingly enough, I thought I could use some of this broodiness to hatch some eggs but the hens wouldn't STAY on the next and kept getting up, letting the eggs cool off and ended up ruining several batches of hatching eggs. So since I don't trust their staying power as brooders, they are confined to only being laying hens... just wish there was a magic feed I could give them to get them out of this setting mood.
     
  2. candychick

    candychick Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 22, 2012
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    Thanks thats a really good idea!!!!!
     
  3. Egrant97

    Egrant97 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2013
    So upset. Five days of solitude an it looks like all for nothing.... She free ranged for a while and when we got home she was back in the nesting box and not on the roost??? Back in she goes tomorrow or what??
     
  4. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Cheaperbythe12, ya gotta love a solution that results in MORE chickens!
     
  5. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    GoldieChicken, you may want to contrive some brooding compartments and give each setting hen her own place, that may encourage them to stick with the job.

    Egrant97, you must have a very determined broody, you'll have to return her to the Broody Buster ... or try Cheaperbythe12's solution!
     
  6. dwright1971

    dwright1971 New Egg

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    Feb 20, 2012
    We have a BO that went broody on 4/2/13. She hatched one chick and it died a few days later [​IMG]. Now she has hatched a total of 4 (which we have taken away and put in a brooder at day 2) with 2 more about to hatch any day now. At least one or two of the other hens move her over and lay in the broody's nest box so she just tucks those eggs under her. There is a collection of eggs...it just grows... We have decided after she hatches these next two, we are giving the rest to my son's friend who has an incubator. This is our first to go broody and I'm afraid to let her continue to set and hatch eggs - especially since she seems to have a never ending pile of them. She does get off of them once a day to go down to eat and drink but her coloring is lighter and I'm worried for her health. Not looking forward to breaking this broody spell. Funny how the gentlest of birds can turn into a fiesty girl!!

    My son informed me tonight (I'm at work) that he thinks our cochin is broody now...[​IMG] Wish us luck! I think we're gonna need it!
     
  7. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 8, 2008
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    It's not the BO's fault that she has so many eggs to sit on. You need to either separate her from the flock while she's sitting so other birds don't get into her nest, or mark the eggs she's hatching and remove any other eggs daily. Because you haven't removed the eggs, she has this growing collection of eggs in different stages of development AND she doesn't have any chicks to care for. That's kept her sitting long past the time she should have shifted from Sitting Mode to Caring for Chicks Mode. This isn't good for her, but it isn't her fault--it's a flock management problem.

    Immediately mark the two eggs you think will hatch soon. A pencil works well. Then let her continue to sit, and remove any unmarked eggs under her every single day. When these chicks hatch, let her mother them. She'll keep them in the nest for up to three days, but sometime during that time she'll switch from sitting to mothering and she'll get up and lead the babies out. She'll care for the chicks for anywhere from three to seven weeks, and then will gradually stop caring for them and will want to return to the flock.

    You can either break your Cochin, or continue as I've suggested above--find her a quiet place to sit and/or mark the eggs you want her to hatch. I highly suggest both. Remove any new eggs daily. In 20-21 days, the eggs will hatch and your Cochin will begin to mother them and stop sitting.
     
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    That is good advice. I always like to give my broody hens their own private accommodations to prevent these problems. It also helps prevent egg breakage and hen injury when there are several hens contending for one nest. Plus the broody hen may get misdirected on the way back from her coffee break and go to set on a different nest, leaving her egglings to cool & die.
     
  9. flock4samuel

    flock4samuel New Egg

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    Jan 26, 2013
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    Thanks for the post - unfortunately we don't have a rabbit cage to sequester our 2 broody hens in, so we just waited it out. Our blue cochin stayed broody for nearly a month and our RIR for about 2 weeks. We tried everything from keeping the broodies separate from the flock to doing the hen dunk, and nothing worked. The only thing that worked for us was to simply lock them out of the nest. The remaining laying hen just laid her egg elsewhere for the few days that they were all locked out, and she resumed laying in the nesting box once we opened it back up. Now my big question is, my 2 broodies are no longer broody, but they aren't laying either. At what point after snapping out of their broodiness should I expect them to resume laying? Thanks!
     
  10. Egrant97

    Egrant97 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 30, 2013
    FINALLY!!! it took another day/night in the broody jail but today she was DONE!! I could tell instantly. When i walked out this morning to feed the girls she was standing in the cage and you could tell she was ready to get out. The past week she had just been lazying there looking at me as if she wanted me dead! Not a very nice look at all. And when i would open the cage to feed and water, she would just sit there and "growl" at me. Today, as soon as i opened the cage she jumped out as if to say thanks for getting that. and the rest of the day she free ranged like normal! WOOHOO. I really hope she does not deicde to do this all the time.
     

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