I gave my chicken a cold?!?!?!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by CelestialChicks, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. CelestialChicks

    CelestialChicks In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2014
    Hi dear friends of the BCY community.

    I am fairly new to this chicken keeping thing and now have a very broody cochin bantam on my hands. She has acted this way for a week now and since I am not interested in extending my flock at the moment I want to try, for her health's own sake, to break her out of the broodiness. I have researched many methods and one of them is putting a package of frozen peas underneath her in the nesting box. This may sound silly but.... she will obviously get cold and perhaps freeze sitting on those frozen peas so is there a risk that she will get sick from the cold and get an actual cold? The only reason I want to break her from being broody is because I want her to eat and stay healthy so I don't want to do anything to jeopardize her health.

  2. krista74

    krista74 Songster

    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    Hi there,

    Personally I wouldn't go for the frozen peas just yet. I think it could well result in some sort of freezer-burn to her delicate skin, so I would not recommend that.

    The most reliable method I know of is the Buster Cage. Get a dog crate/rabbit hutch with a fine wire base and place it up on bricks to allow free circulation of air underneath. Put in a large pot of water (that can't be tipped over), some feed, and your broody hen. Do not put any bedding in there!

    Make sure the cage is protected from the elements (put a sheet of tin over the top to protect her from the sun, or put the whole cage in a garden shed if it's snowing/raining hard) and lock her in there for 2 days straight.

    After 2 days have passed, let her out and watch her behaviour. If she runs back to the nest, she is still broody. Put her back in the buster cage for 2 more day and try again. If she runs off and joins the flock, she is no longer broody.

    She may protest a bit when you first put her in the cage, but stick tour guns. She will adapt, and if she's anything like my girls will eventually seem to enjoy her little private oasis! Here is a picture of my hen "Red Girl" in Busterville:-


    I throw in the occasional treat, such a whole tomato, to keep them occupied during the day. My girls love tomatoes!

    Good luck!

    - Krista
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Agrees with the broody cage, worked great for me.

    'Colds' (respiratory diseases) are caused by bacteria and viruses, not from cold temperatures.

    But agrees that the bag of peas method is extreme, unless you are in a very hot climate.

    My experience went like this, might take longer if she's been sitting longer than a few days:

    After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a few bricks right in the coop and I would feed her some watered down crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
  4. CelestialChicks

    CelestialChicks In the Brooder

    Jul 8, 2014
    Thank you all for the very though through and descriptive answers. I really appreciate the advice!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: