I can't let her be broody....is this ok???

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by ZooMummzy, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    My little EE bantam Duchess Simone has her heart set on being a Momma [​IMG] This is my first experience ever with a broody hen....and my first with the possibility of chicks since we have a rooster now. I am still lost even after reading lots and lots of posts.

    My problem is I can't let her hatch right now. I am leaving for Ohio in 20 days and will be gone 14 days. I cannot saddle my kids and husband with this...it's bad enough I'm leaving the chickens for them to handle, lol. I would love to let her hatch some eggs...or at least try (I'd bring her inside since I am not set up outside for this right now), but not now. My question is...is it ok health wise for her for me to not let her try to hatch right now or should I give her plastic ones? I am worried something will go wrong with her while I'm gone and no one will know what to do. I have been taking her off the eggs for 3 days now and she looks so dejected. She is still eating and drinking just fine and acting normal otherwise when I lift her off them, just very lovey and on those eggs all day and still thinking she is on them at night!.

    Any advice? I'm already stressed enough trying to get ready to leave so this doesn't help but bless her heart [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2009
  2. cthrash1

    cthrash1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2008
    Somerset, KY
    Put her in a wire bottom cage for a few days set up off the ground in the coop if there is room, so a breeze will be under her and it is supposed to stop their broodiness somehow. Someone else that has used this technique hopefully will comment on this to make sure I didn't forget anything.
  3. tropicalchicken

    tropicalchicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 24, 2008
    What I do when my girls go broody and I do not need any baby chicks, is to set them up in a pen with screen on the bottom and a perch. This needs to be up off the ground so the air can circulate and cool the tummy off.

    If you feel your hen, you will notice she is very warm, much warmer than normal, and if you get her to cool down this will help break the broody cycle. Typically for us it takes at least three days to get them to stop being broody. It takes patience to do this and the first time I did this I felt really bad for the hen, until we had at least ten of the hens going broody at the same time.

    I just can't raise that many baby chicks, and to me it is cruel to keep letting them sit, knowing it will not end up with anything. After the first time it became easier and the hen (usually) goes right back to being normal again.
  4. neferset

    neferset Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 23, 2009
    Western North Carolina
    Are you worried that they won't be able to handle having baby chicks or is it something else? I know others have had trouble with broody hens and hatches, but with mine they tend to know what to do and handle pretty much everything on their own. In good summer weather we've even let them raise the chicks free range style. It's a little late in the year for that. (Our first snow storm is supposed to be tomorrow!)

    But pretty much, a broody is no more trouble than any other hen. If you cage her, they will have to feed and water her, but that's about the only ordeal and, IMO, it's not bad. The only thing I've ever done during hatch is watch to make sure the eggshells don't cap over the unhatched eggs. Afterward, Mama Hen becomes caretaker and teacher and doesn't require anything more than what attention she got while on the nest. Less in fact if you can still free range.
  5. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Thank you I will try the cooling her down technique tomorrow [​IMG] Yes, she is very warm to the touch and very calm and loving so she will pretty much let me do anything to her and I do have a wire transport cage that should work fine.

    I'm not worried she won't be able to handle it, I just don't want my family to have to handle it and worry about her....which they will. Plus the chicks would hatch while I'm gone and my family has said in no uncertain terms, lol that they do not want to deal with that. So even if she could handle it, I don't want to put my family through worrying about if she could handle it...if that makes sense? Plus it's just really bad timing right now to try and deal with chicks. I'd like to wait till spring or till after the holidays. Lol watch, I won't have a broody hen at all after this one [​IMG]

    Thank you for the advice. I just wasn't sure what to do and if it was ok to break the broody cycle or not.
  6. happi752

    happi752 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2009
    Casa Grande
    so why even stop nature taking its course? if she is broody, she will sit on the eggs, she will hatch her babies, she will teach them to eat and drink and scratch. no one should have to do anything. just leave her be, tell kids and hubby do not disturb her, and come back to a nice surprise.
  7. CheerfulHeart2

    CheerfulHeart2 Creative Problem Solver

    Apr 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    The wire bottom cage should work. You might put her in at night. Mine panicked when I put them in for the first time mid=day.
  8. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Quote:Not trying to be disagreeable, but I really can't do that to my family. It's really not that simple and not that fair. The chickens are my "thing" and I'm asking them to do me a huge favor and take care of them while I go to Ohio for two weeks....plus as I said, I'm really not ready to hatch chicks at this time for many reasons.

    Thank you again for the advice. It's nice to be able to come here and get the information I need when I need it. I'm sure I will have more questions when I do let her or one of my other hens hatch. She was up and about this morning so I'm going to watch her today and put her in the cage tonight if she still wants to brood. Hopefully I can break her cycle before I leave.
  9. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Just updating the broody little bantam.....

    She stopped being broody just as soon as I posted this [​IMG] The very next day she didn't sit on a single egg and hasn't since. She must have heard me talking about her and knew what was coming [​IMG]

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