my hen is in jail!!!


In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 16, 2009
Ok, so one of my 4 girls is broody. I have no rooster and don't want her to be sitting on the nest all day. So, I set up my large dog crate (about 5'X4') and put her in there, in the yard, and rigged up a little roof so she won't get rained on. Prior to these drastic measures I spent all last week taking her off the nest, and she would just run back. Now I am worried b/c she seems SO stressed. She is just pacing, looking for a way out. I even gave her sunflower seeds, and she didn't even notice. Poor girl seems PANICED. There is food and water (obviously) and I put her on a good long patch of grass. Is the constant pacing and distress worse than the broodiness? They free range all day and she had not even been leaving the coop in the morning anymore. But this level of confinement is very new, and now the situation seems worse than her hanging out in the coop. Thought please?



12 Years
Feb 1, 2009
Lexington, KY
Best way to break a broody is to put them in a wire cage where they can feel some breeze on their bottom. Don't know why, but this typically breaks them. You can let them out after they've laid an egg. Of course, what you're doing seems to be working too, albeit with a little more stress.


9 Years
Mar 29, 2010
It's kind of like when someone needs know what has to be done but looking is a bad idea. Just try to ignore it for a few days.


10 Years
Sep 4, 2009
She may decide to be broody on the ground eventually, which will just prolong the event. You're best bet is to cool off that intense broody-fever heat, especially on the belly area, and find a way to keep it cool for several hours. The wire bottom cage, slightly lifted up off the ground so there's some air under it, is a good idea.

Personally, I used the roost at night as my broody-buster. The cool night air under the roost helped my broody get over it eventually. I moved her off the nestbox, when it was really dark, and took her out in the night air, holding her sideways so that the cool breeze hit her belly skin. After a few minutes, I tested by placing her on the ground. If she tried to "nest" on the ground, I held her back up in the breeze a bit more. Once she could stand on the ground, I picked her up, opened up the henhouse, and carefully put her on the roost with the other birds. In the dark, she couldn't see her way back to the nest, so she stayed there overnight. Each day after the first, was a little bit better. After 5 nights of moving her to the roost, she went there on her own.


14 Years
Jan 5, 2008
Paris, TN
I use a tub of COLD ICED water and float the hen in it while you hold her tightly. I do this about 3 times a day for 2-3 days and it seems to work. You have to hold the bird tight and leave her in it until her underside gets good and cold. A wire cage up off the ground is actually the easiest. Give food and water but otherwise leave her alone.

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