New idea to break broody hens

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by homestead 101, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just was working out side on my coop when I saw I had a broody hen. I tried putting her in a rabbit cage, that didn't work. Then I tried putting her in water. That also didn't work. But since I had removable nest boxes, I took them out and she is now back to roosting and she was out all day munching on grass.

    Tell me your stories about how you broke a broody hen and tell me if this idea worked.
     
  2. Dazzalino

    Dazzalino New Egg

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    I'm in the process of trying to break a broody hen now- the last two days we kicked her out of the coop and then at night moved her up the the roost. In the morning we found her right back in the best again. Today we are going to try a broody buster cage (aka former dog crate). If you come up with something that works, let me know!
     
  3. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Removing all the nest worked for me
     
  4. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    There are varying degrees of broody hens, meaning some are easily dissuaded and others are as persistent as white on rice.

    The most persistent, as well as very resourceful, broody I've ever had would make herself a nest wherever she could. If I blocked off the nests, she made a nest on the floor. If I locked her out of the coop, she dug herself a "nest" in the sand.

    This is why the only tried and true method of breaking a broody is the open-mesh bottom wire cage so air can circulate freely under the broody. A fan is also a huge help and makes the process go quicker.

    Water dunking may seem to work if a hen is only slightly broody or almost over being broody. I've found it doesn't cool the hen down long enough to alter the hormone levels. It takes roughly 48 to 36 hours to bring the hormone level back to normal if a hen is well and truly broody. I have a Speckled Sussex that requires up to ten days in a broody cage to get the job accomplished. I think it's some kind of record. I need to check with the Guiness Book.
     
  5. Dazzalino

    Dazzalino New Egg

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    Unfortunately I can't remove my nests, they're attached to the coop. I've just put mine in her cage and she is pretty unhappy and stressed. It's so hard to see her that way!
     
  6. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Block them off
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Not a valid idea if you have other hens that need to use the nests.

    I'm curious about the details on your use of rabbit hutch not working.
     
  8. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only tried it for a day, but I just put her in there and I will leave her in there for a few days. The other hens were molting, so they didn't need the boxes. But how long do u keep her in the cage, like when will u know she is not broody anymore.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Most folks have said 3 days and that's what worked for me.
    The longer they have been broody, the longer it may take in the breaker cage.

    My experience went like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest, I put her in a wire dog crate with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day and she would go out into the run, drop a huge turd, race around running, take a vigorous dust bath then head back to the nest... at which point I put her back in the crate. Each time her outings would lengthen a bit, eating, drinking and scratching more and on the 3rd afternoon she stayed out of the nest and went to roost that evening...event over, back to normal tho she didn't lay for another week or two.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. homestead 101

    homestead 101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have her in her rabbit coop and I will do as u say.
     

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