Managing a broody at night

tinselheart

In the Brooder
Dec 30, 2020
22
25
44
I have a Wyandotte who is obsessively and repeatedly broody. She's had chicks previously but this bout we just want to stop her brooding.

She's currently in a wire dog cage with food and water in shade, raised on bricks for air flow. It's hot as we're in Aus, so there's a mister set up near her keeping her cool.

Each night I've been allowing her back in the henhouse for fear of predators, and obviously she goes straight to a nest box and broods all night. This has been going on for four days so far.

Would it be better to keep her in the broody cage 24/7? Her broody cage is a standard dog crate which I imagine would be very hard for a fox to break into, but I know there are foxes in the area.

Our other chickens usually break after a day or so in the cage but this one is determined!
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,533
11,558
712
Nevada County, CA
I have a Wyandotte who is obsessively and repeatedly broody. She's had chicks previously but this bout we just want to stop her brooding.

She's currently in a wire dog cage with food and water in shade, raised on bricks for air flow. It's hot as we're in Aus, so there's a mister set up near her keeping her cool.

Each night I've been allowing her back in the henhouse for fear of predators, and obviously she goes straight to a nest box and broods all night. This has been going on for four days so far.

Would it be better to keep her in the broody cage 24/7? Her broody cage is a standard dog crate which I imagine would be very hard for a fox to break into, but I know there are foxes in the area.

Our other chickens usually break after a day or so in the cage but this one is determined!
When I break broodiness, I leave them in the crate. Can you put the crate inside your coop?
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,533
11,558
712
Nevada County, CA
You might also block the nests, maybe?

Can I ask why you want to break her? Is she deteriorating?

I have 2 hens who are seemingly always broody. I used to try to break them because I was worried about their health. I had another, older hen who'd gone broody a couple of times when she was younger and lost tons of weight and plucked herself bald. But these two manage it well. They don't lose much weight because they will leave the nest for a few minutes to eat and drink. I stopped trying to break them and just let them do their thing. I keep an eye on them, of course, but they eventually cycle out of it and rejoin the flock.

What I'm taking too long to say is that if your girl isn't causing herself harm, maybe it's not so bad??? I'd rather have a broody hen than feed a fox. But if you're confident about your fenced area, you can leave her overnight.
 

ForTheLoveOfSilkies

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Aug 18, 2019
828
2,002
271
Australia
Yep I agree with previous posts, 24/7 in the crate to break the broody. Keep her in the crate and move it to a safe location for a few days and nights and she should be broken. Mine usually take 3 days and 3 nights to break.
.. Your lucky you have warm weather! I'm cold here in Tassie! Back to wearing a jumper again but looks like by next weekend it will warm up hopefully as my next lot of chicks under my broody will be hatching in a few days and I prefer it was a bit warmer weather for them!
 

tinselheart

In the Brooder
Dec 30, 2020
22
25
44
Can I ask why you want to break her? Is she deteriorating?

I had thought the same, that she would just cycle out of it and it would be kinder to let her do that. Unfortunately the other chickens were put off laying in the house when she was in there (which was all the time!) as she's a bit of an aggressive broody. We had one just go start laying elsewhere.

I really don't want her to feed a fox either as she's a beautiful nature generally and one of my favourites. I just want her to rejoin the flock!
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,533
11,558
712
Nevada County, CA
I had thought the same, that she would just cycle out of it and it would be kinder to let her do that. Unfortunately the other chickens were put off laying in the house when she was in there (which was all the time!) as she's a bit of an aggressive broody. We had one just go start laying elsewhere.

I really don't want her to feed a fox either as she's a beautiful nature generally and one of my favourites. I just want her to rejoin the flock!
That makes perfect sense. The only broodies I've had in the past year are my little Silkies. I think they are broody so often that the big girls don't even pay attention anymore.

Let us know how it goes!
 

tinselheart

In the Brooder
Dec 30, 2020
22
25
44
So to update: she's spent two nights in the crate and this morning I let her out to stretch her wings and she is happily free ranging with the others. Thank goodness! She's still doing little broody clucks now and then but showing no interest in running back to the nesting boxes.

Thanks for all the advice. Next time we have a broody we'll do the 24/7 thing, it definitely seems to work quicker.
 

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