Is there a solution for broodiness?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fluffychicksmomma, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. fluffychicksmomma

    fluffychicksmomma Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    I have read about it on this forum, but hadn't actually experienced it until recently. Two of our 5 Silkie hens laid themselves a "clutch" apparently. Of course we took the eggs, but they remain on their nesting boxes inside the coop, where it is totally dark, and refuse to move or join the rest of the chickens. They are usually very anxious to get out of the coop every morning and forage in the yard ,and I haven't seen them even leave the coop for the food and water which is sitting in the chicken run. We leave the door open to the chicken run and the coop so they can come and go as they please, but none of them have ever chosen to stay in the coop or even the run when they have the choice to go in the yard. Will they eventually leave their spot to eat and drink? Is there any way to end this behavior? I know that is probably a stupid question, like you can 'teach' a chicken anything. Should I pick them up and take them out of the coop and shut the door so they can't go back in until night-time? Thanks for any suggestions! : )
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The solution for broodiness is to let them hatch (fertile) eggs.

    Broodiness is hormonal. That's a far stronger drive ( for animals, mostly) than any training.

    Some people successfully "break" broodies, but that's hard on hens, fighting against their nature. Broody behavior is hard on them, too, but if you keep them fed and watered, they'll do fine. They will need to replenish after 21 days of near-starvation, though... But that's a cycle within nature, whilst "breaking" them is not.
  3. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

    Jul 17, 2009
    Broody Soup?

  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I agree with gryeyes. I have one now and I don't want to give her eggs (she kills chicks.) I take her off the nest and run her out of the coop every time I go out there. At least she eats and drinks a few times a day, and so far, doesn't feel any lighter when I lift her out of the nest, though I imagine she's lost a little weight.

    She has not gone broody often, I think only one other time in her 3+ years, so I'm hoping when she quits she won't go back to it any time soon. If this continues to be a problem, broody soup will probably be the solution.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 8, 2010
  5. justtoni44

    justtoni44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 13, 2010
    You can send them to oregon [​IMG]

    Really though.My friend had a SS that went broody this summer.
    I don't know how long she sat but it got to the point that we were all concerned about her health.
    They refused to give her eggs....finally, they took a just hatched chick of mine
    gave it to her and it was love. She still has that silly chick with her and it is about half her size.
    At night, mom stands up on the roost and the little one sticks her head.( all that will fit)
    under the hen..they are tooooo funny.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've put the broody in a seperate cage and suspended it off the ground. This gets air flow under her and keeps the temp down on her under parts, having that area cool helps break the broodiness. Course, the light, the bare wire on the bottom of the cage (NO nesting materials allowed) and the swinging motion when she moves don't hurt, either.

    At the least I would kick them out of the coop during the day. Remember, you're fighting genetic programming, literally the survival of the species. It's strong instinct!
  7. awesomefowl

    awesomefowl Argues with Goats

    Get some fertile eggs, wait 21 days!
  8. fluffychicksmomma

    fluffychicksmomma Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 19, 2010
    That all makes sense, and I think at least I understand it better. I don't have any fertile eggs, though(we had 6 roos in our original bunch of chicks and when they all started crowing this summer, they had to go!), and I don't want any more chickens so getting some fertile eggs is out of the question, but I will have to try the other ideas. My main concern is that I don't want them to get so frail from not eating enough that they end up dying or not being able to make it through the winter, we have lots of cold weather and snow yet to come. I think at the least, I will force them out every day and hopefully they will take the opportunity to eat. Thanks much for all the suggestions! : )
  9. math ace

    math ace Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 17, 2009
    Jacksonville, FL
    Quote:I know how to solve your problem - - - SHIP THEM TO ME ! !

    I would totally LOVE [​IMG] [​IMG] a Broody hen . . . [​IMG]
  10. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Is there a solution for broodiness?

    Eggs? [​IMG]

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