Need help with broody hen! HELP!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jacquelyn213, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. jacquelyn213

    jacquelyn213 New Egg

    Jun 5, 2012
    Don't know what to do with my broody hen.

    1 year old Silkie hen
    Went broody 5-7 days ago

    Refuses to get off of nest. Very nasty. She hisses and pecks at me when I try to move her. Otherwise, she is such a sweet girl.

    I put her in the Broody Buster (raised wire cage to cool her, no bedding, etc.) for 2 days w/ food and water. She is VERY stressed in the cage and doesn't seem to eat or drink & paces. She is also "screaming" every chance she gets! Her bowel movements have decreased and I'm worried about her.

    So the next thing I tried is to close the coop window and make sure she cannot get in and then bring her into our garage at night (in her Broody Buster). That causes another problem since my other ladies are laying and now they are stressed because they cant get into the coop to lay their eggs. UGH. I don't know what to do. HELP!!!

    I dunked her also but she seemed very unfazed by that. I have no Rooster so having her hatch chicks is not an option.

    All my ladies are stressed now!! The Broody Hen is stressed in the cage and my ladies are stressed if they can't get into the coop to lay.

    What do I do? Do I still keep her in the broody buster a while longer or do I keep her with the other hens and just keep the window closed? She seems more stressed if she is in the Broody Buster with the other hens. I don't want to screw up my pecking order and take her out completely for a week. Thoughts???

    I know it can take time with a stubborn hen but I'm worried since she seems SO stressed out. ( & now I'm getting stressed)
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Leave her in the broody buster longer and let the hens get to their nests. Some hens are more stubborn than others, but as long as she has food and water, she'll be OK.

    You can look for fertile eggs if you wish. I don't know where you are located so some of these may not apply to you, but some places to look may be:

    Talk to the people in the feed store. Someone may know where you can get fertile eggs.

    If you are in the USA, you can call your county extension agent, in the phone book under county government.

    Go to the "Where am I? Where are you" section of this forum and find your State or Country thread. If you post in there, you might find someone real close that has a few fertile eggs.

    Try posting on Craigslist.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2013
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I don't even try to break broodies any more. I do, however, lift them out of the nest and prod them til they start moving around, at least once a day. Hopefully they will lose a little less weight and muscle mass with additional exercise. I wouldn't shut the rest of them out of their coop and nests.

    I usually have no trouble handling them. I reach behind their head and sort of make a loose loop around their neck. Of course you can always wear some heavy gloves and let them peck away.

    If you have a way to do it, it might work to move the whole flock for a few days. When we moved our bunch into the garden for a month or so to clean it up, I noticed several behaviors changed -- and it solved the problem for a couple of them who had been getting pecked or feathers pulled.
  4. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2011
    Pacific Northwest
    My Coop
    I'm with flockwatcher, I don't even try to "cure" broodiness any more. I tried everything - the elevated cool crate, the cold water dunk, nothing worked. Since then, I've come to the realization that it's a natural process for them, and who am I to disrupt it? Trying to break them of it causes everyone (including me!) too much stress. If you don't want her to hatch any eggs, you can put fake ones underneath her. I've had success with that - after about a month of sitting on the eggs and having nothing happen, she'll get over the broodiness on her own. But as flockwatcher said, make sure you're lifting her off the nest at least once or twice a day so she gets some exercise, food, water, and a chance to poo.

    If I'm letting her hatch eggs, then I put an X on the end of each egg since all of my broodies tend to steal eggs from the other laying hens and add them to the clutch. When I go to shoo the broody off her nest, I can grab the eggs without an X. I do this a couple times a day. I usually make a little nesting area for the broody where the other hens can't go, but right now I've got multiple broodies and no place to put them all!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by