Madder than a wet hen

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Mrs. K

Crossing the Road
14 Years
Nov 12, 2009
western South Dakota
ok, so my niece has a broody hen, and we did stick eggs under her, but (maybe temperatures of 112) nothing hatched. She needs to break out of the broody spell. So I took a bucket of cool water, gave her a dip, and put her in an elevated cage with food and water. I will keep a close eye on her... any advice. In all the years of having chickens, I have never had to break one.

Mrs K
I’ve had success putting them in a less familiar place -although close to flock. One option is a pen I have about 5’ away from the chicken run. The other is a big brooder box that has a door that opens into the run, where I can put a portable fence up. Sometimes just the act of separation (although within sight and sound of the flock) makes them focus on trying to get back with the flock. Not having a nest in this less familiar area helps break their trance, and finally, giving them yummy food (dry with a bit of seeds/scratch or wet feed with seeds) gives them energy and it seems to help too.

no reason not to let the chicken get fully wet in some cold water for a few minutes (body, not head neck) but, for fluffy breeds, will need to blow dry their under fluff. Luckily, they like the blow dryer.

good luck!
About how long...and how do you know when you are done?

How long? Depends on the bird - some are more stubborn.

When done with broodiness? When she is interested in her surroundings, walking around, perching. When she no longer flattens into a pancake or makes broody/mad/unique sounds. When she is no longer in a trancelike state when sitting.
About how long...and how do you know when you are done?
My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire(1x2) on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

After 48 hours I let her out of crate very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate for another 48 hours.

Tho not necessary a chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor,
gives the feet a break from the wire floor and encourages roosting.

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