Mad, broody chicken

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by FlagChick, May 28, 2010.

  1. FlagChick

    FlagChick In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    My BA is very unhappy with my husband and I because we've been kicking her out of the nesting boxes for the past few days. She's all fluffed up, making her little growling sounds and even flew at the wire fence to the chicken run when I was outside of it. I'm planning on separating her tomorrow first thing in the morning (nights are too cold to let her be out of the coop alone) - is there anything I should do or be aware of? She's always so skittish and gentle, it was a big surprise to see her get so aggressive. Thoughts?
  2. CoopCrazy

    CoopCrazy Brooder Boss

    Mar 3, 2009
    Yep she has the Broody Madness, be ready for the Stink eye, everytime you go near her she is gonna s act and sound like a veliciraptor that onyl wants to devour your Heart... Its amazing how our sweet lil ones turn into Devil spawn when they want to hatch some babies... Good luck and be careful....
  3. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Songster

    Sep 4, 2009
    I had success by moving my broody off the nest, at night after dark. I would pick her up off the nest and put her on the roost with the others, where it was too dark for her to see her way back to the nest. On the roost, the cool night air under her was enough to drop her broody fever.

    After a day or two of this, she was WAY less broody. After about 5 nights of moving her onto the roost after dark, she stopped brooding and went to the roost, by herself.

    Mine is also normally a gentle hen. However, when she was at her craziest and aggressive, if she was outside being nasty to me or to one of the other hens, I would flap my arms (like wings) at her. It's a dominance thing, I think, and it temporarily sent her scurrying. If I needed to pick her up off the nest and she screamed at me, I just talked to her gently and softly until I could pick her up. She never tried to bite, unless I moved at her too quickly. Good luck with yours!
  4. beachchickie

    beachchickie Songster

    Dec 6, 2009
    dunked mine in cold water long enough to get her belly under feathers wet. Separated her out of the nest for 3 days and she was all back to her sweet self.
  5. Young Sauterelle

    Young Sauterelle In the Brooder

    I'm feeling your broody hen pain. My sussex, Aunt Bee, went broody again this week, her second time in 2 months. The first time it only took ~36 hours in jail and she was back to her sweet self, singing for treats and following me around the yard, only sitting on her nest when it was time to lay her daily egg. This time, she has been in jail for four days now with no eggs, and she stills ruffles her feathers and growls whenever I come to let her out into the yard with our orpington, Clara. Whenever I let the chickens back into their coop & run, Aunt Bee makes a run for the closest nest and takes up settinglickity split (only to get put back in jail.) What is the longest it has taken for y'all to break broody hens? Should I be worried yet?

  6. FlagChick

    FlagChick In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Thanks for the input! I was laughing at my husband earlier because he was growling at her and flapping his wings after I'd kicked her out of the cooper yet again. I put her in "jail" tonight, and she seemed more afraid than mad. She's in the dog crate inside the chicken run, even equipped with a little roost. I covered it with a sheet and she seemed to relax a little bit - at least she's quiet. This is her second time going broody within the month, so she's pretty determined to have some babies. How will I know when to let her out?
  7. thekla

    thekla Songster

    I have had a bunch of broodies this spring - 3-5 at a time and about the time I get a couple "cured" a couple more go broody, very frustrating - I'm down from 45-50 eggs a day to about 35 or less, I have tried the cold dunk with no luck, and keep taking them from the nests (they are so noisy that they chase away other that want into lay). The one that was really mean (pecking and making noises right out of the exorcist) finally pecked me hard enough that I decided to call her on it, I put her on the floor of the coop and "pecked" her back with my finger while I held her down like a roo would, she screamed like I was murdering her, but I held her down until she relaxed and "submitted" making me higher on the pecking order than her apparently, now she doesn't try to peck me and jumps from the nest when I nudge her. I like the idea of putting them on the roosts after dark and will try that next (along with quarentineing the in the run away from the nests in the day). Hopefully they will start laying soon because I've had to tell way to many customers that I was out of eggs. Any other ideas for stopping the broody??
  8. jdellosso

    jdellosso In the Brooder

    Nov 12, 2009
    Alameda, CA
    There are so many good tips on this subject! I am experiencing this for the first time, and so far, my girl is stubborn, trance-like and quick with the stink eye, but not psychotic. Luckily, she is laying at night or early morning, and I am able to lock her out of the coop during the day. When her sister needs to do her business, I lock her in the coop, and take Miss Broody to the back yard alone. Poor thing, though. It's kind of sad to see how determined and persistent she is to get into that coop, and the desperation when she can't find the box.

    I have tried to take her out of the box and place her on her roost at night, but she just finds her way back down, over and over. I take the box out at night, so she just sleeps on the wire. Day three coming up, seems that time away from the coop is helping, but in the evening she will do ANYTHING to get back in. She even pecked my cat! Well, mainly because the cat was in the nesting box that was sitting on top of the coop. Let's just say that is no longer the nesting box hiding place...

    Hope this ends soon, we don't have a rooster and babies are not in their future so I hope she'll be fairly easy to break now and every time. Oh brother! Good luck!
  9. missred871

    missred871 Eggxhausted Momma

    May 5, 2010
    Perry GA
    I tried to break my first broody this season for about a month. Nothing worked, not even a week in jail... we decided we would take her up on her broodiness an threw 25 quail eggs under her after that it was all over all but one of our hens went broody and have been sitting for quite a while two of them are sitting with nothing under them and momma the one we couldnt break, shes taking care of some biddies hatched by some of the other girls. She is happy as a clam but when you go to give them food or change their water she not only gives the god awful stink eye but she will peck your hand OFF. LOL. So cute. [​IMG] Anywho, I have heard putting ice cubes in the nest before she gets back on it works, I havent tried it myself, with only one hen laying, and shes laying the the darn other hens nest, the one that actually HAS eggs in it, I am in serious need of eggs I sure hope my broody girls on the naked nest give up soon!
  10. FlagChick

    FlagChick In the Brooder

    Nov 4, 2009
    Flagstaff, AZ
    Great info from everybody, I'm learning so much - thanks! Quite honestly, I'm not 100% sure why them being broody is bad and why to remove the possibility of nesting. I'm using common sense here and am assuming it's because if they sit on the nest all the time they won't eat and drink? Does removing them for a couple days make them forget about sitting on the eggs? My girl is chilling out, but still seems determined to get to the nesting boxes. For those of you who have removed the chicken from the coop for a few days, how did you know when she was "clean"?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by