Miracle two-hour broody cure! (Updated this morning)(Afternoon update)

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by azygous, May 20, 2011.

  1. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Awhile back, one of our BYC members, Bantamwyandotte, posted a broody cure utilizing ice. https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6363775
    The
    theory behind this unusual method of breaking a broody is to cool down the body temperature of the broody, thus short-circuiting the broody urge.

    Today I had an eleven-month old pullet go broody for her second time, so I decided to give this ice cure a whirl. It certainly seemed easy enough - I just slipped an ice pack into the nest under little Su-su, and she seemed happy enough to sit on it. It sure beats the agonizing imprisonment for three days in a broody cage.

    I really didn't expect it to work because I had tried soaking another broody in a cold bath a few weeks back, and it was a dismal failure. But when I returned to the coop a few hours later, prepared to exchange the ice pack for a fresh one, my little Su-su hopped off the nest and the half-melted ice pack, and she never returned!

    Now you might argue that Su-su wasn't really broody. I assure you that I know broody! Su-su had been moping around for the past few days, muttering the "broody cluck" softly under her breath, and she was showing signs of irritability. Today, when she planted herself on the nest after laying her egg, she flattened herself out, head down, and puffed up like an angry badger, chirring a warning when any other hen or I came near. Su-su was broody.

    And now Su-su is cured! It was so easy! I didn't have to do anything! All it took was sitting on an ice pack for a few hours and it was over! Amazing! Thanks Bantamwyandotte!
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2011
  2. Bengalcats1

    Bengalcats1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im going to try this tomo, I have a broody that had bad eggs and she refuses to give up, I just threw the eggs away tonight and put her on the perch but in the am she will race to her nest and sit, I will try the ice and see if I can break her, I do have access to 2 day old babies but don't think I want to go that route, I planned on doing it but I have quite a few babies running around and think I'd better quit now.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Update: Su-su remains un-broody this morning, 24 hours after going broody yesterday.

    I was skeptical that this ice cure would have lasting effects, but it apparently has, not only cooled her broody body temperature down, but has curtailed the hormone surge that keeps a broody broody.

    I'm convinced! I'll be using this ice method from now on! No more broody cage, fan, and hassle!
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    I'm going to try this! I just hate putting them in a wire bottom cage for days. That sounds kinder to me. Don't know if it is, but it sounds kinder. My third of three BO's is broody now. Argh. NO MORE CHICKS THIS YEAR GIRLS!! Got it? hehe.
     
  5. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Afternoon update: Su-su is back on the nest. My suspicion was warranted about the ice only temporarily cooling the broody urge, and her heating up again. So I have a fresh ice pack under Su-su, and we will see how long it takes this time to discourage her.

    I fear this may be a not-so-sure-thing.
     
  6. Bengalcats1

    Bengalcats1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got lucky with mine, I took her eggs away last night and put her on the perch and was sure she was going to lay on an empty nest and she is out in the yard having fun, I feel so bad for her she has been sitting for so long and all the eggs were bad, but Im glad she got herself out of it Finally
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Okay. Su-su is off the nest after sitting on a fresh ice pack for a couple hours. She's outside, acting normal, showing no signs of wanting to head back to the nest.

    I think this ice method of broody-breaking needs more study. At this point, I don't know if Su-su is broke or she'll be back on the nest again tomorrow.

    If she can be broke in three days of ice-sitting, I suppose it still beats the imprisonment in a broody cage.
     
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I think this is a great experiment. It's a lot easier than caging or bathing. People with small coops don't always have space to cage a chicken, either. I'm glad you thought of this. I hope you keep us updated on this.
     
  9. corancher

    corancher Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I got a couple of broodies that I would like to break so I am going to give it a try. Will report back.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Well, this is day three of the great ice experiment. The broody has had three relapses. This will be her third day of sitting on ice for a few hours, cooling down, losing interest in the nest, and going back to "normal". The effect seems to last overnight, but the broody urge returns next day. This will be a fine experiment if it involves a cure after three days, then it'll rival the cage method, which is arguably harsh. But if this drags on for a week or more, it'll have little merit over the cage method which can get a broody broke in three days.

    Su-su is sitting on her ice pack as I write, and she'll be off the nest in a little bit, if the pattern holds. Since you all have shown some interest in this experiment, I'll continue to post updates.
     

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