No more broody


In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 25, 2013
Hi, not sure if this goes here or in the chicken behaviors one, but anyway,

Our hens are broody for about two weeks, and then they get off their eggs and never get back on. We've had to throw away two sets half-formed chickens, and its happening with the third. These are still warm so if I can save them, I want to, but I don't have an incubator. All we really have is a shoe box, lamp and cotton balls.
The eggs are still in the nest for now, hoping she'll get back on them, but I don't think she will.
She got off this morning for food and water and I felt the eggs to make sure she was still sitting on them and they were still warm. I went down there just now, which is about two hours later and she still wasn't on the eggs. Another chook was, but she has now got off, I don't think she's broody.
What should I do?
And how do I fix the problem of them leaving their eggs after two-ish weeks?
Have you checked the nests and the broody hens to make sure that they are not infested with mites? Mite infestations are one reason that broody hens will qut.
Actually, I think they are! I always see these little bugs on her and her eggs! She got back on them, thankfully, but I would still like to know what to do if she does happen to get off again and no get back on.
How do I get rid of the mites?
If the nest is infested, remove the eggs and all bedding, dust the nest with Sevin, add fresh bedding and replace the eggs. If the eggs have a while to go before hatching, I would also dust the hen - either that or treat her with Ivermectin. Mites can seriously debilitate hens while they are setting sometimes to the point of death. You might want to treat all of your chickens and especially any hens as they go broody.
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I use food grade Diomatecous Earth instead of Sevin. Also, you can place olive oil on the legs of your hens, and oil their perches once a month. It helps! I also add garlic to the feed for my girls!
DE is fine under normal situations, but you may need something with more 'bang' if your hen's health/life is at stake. Do not oil your hens legs while she is setting - the oil will get on the eggs and impede their development.
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Thanks! I'll have to get some next time I'm in town, hopefully she'll be fine until I can get some!

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