Official BYC Poll: What Do You Do With Broody Hens?

What do you do with broody hens?

  • Leave them without eggs until they stop

    Votes: 39 25.8%
  • Take them out every day

    Votes: 47 31.1%
  • Break them

    Votes: 59 39.1%
  • Give them eggs within the flock

    Votes: 50 33.1%
  • Separate them and give them eggs

    Votes: 36 23.8%
  • Other (elaborate in a reply below)

    Votes: 22 14.6%

  • Total voters

BYC Project Manager

BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Feb 22, 2009
A hen goes broody because she wants to sit on a nest and hatch chicks. During that time the hen can be very protective, growl, peck, and your sweetest hen could turn into a meany. The hen will get a clutch of eggs and sit on them even if they are not her own.

So what do you do with broody hens? Place your vote above, and please elaborate in a reply below if you chose "Other".

What Do You Do With Broody Hens.png

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Still learning
Jan 28, 2018
Gower, Wales
I give them eggs within the flock, unless I've already got 2 broodies, then I break anyone else who flips, as 2 broodies at a time is quite enough here; that hen will get her chance the following year.

This year I separated the broodies by fencing off the coop they were sitting in while they were incubating and until they brought their chicks out, and I think I'm gonna stick with that practice going forward, as it saves all the bother of other hens adding to the clutch, and broodies going back to the wrong nest because theirs is occupied when they return from daily ablutions.


❄️Winter is here! ❄️
May 21, 2019
Washington State, aka The pacific NorthWest
When we get broodies (which is year-round) we will let them sit on a few eggs within the flock (usually without separating them) during the warmer months. Once the eggs get up to about hatching time, we will try and separate the mother and her eggs for safety.
And then we go from there.

Right now we have had to refrain from letting them sit on anything as we are waiting for our flock number of 70+ to decrease (naturally). Which may take a while. Until then, no fluffy babies hatching left and right.

When we get broodies (during the times when we don't want them to hatch out chicks) we will take eggs from them, and toss them out of the nest boxes and into the hen yard.

(My blue wyandotte, our two bantam Cochins, and some of our Marans are some of the most frequent brooders)


Premium Feather Member
Mar 7, 2020
Meridian, MS
I chose break them, which is what I currently do. As soon as I free up a good place to separate from the flock I’ll give them some eggs and let them brood.


ʇɔıpp∀ uǝʞɔıɥƆ
Premium Feather Member
Mar 19, 2021
My Coop
My Coop
If I don't want more chicks (rarely) I leave them in the nest without eggs and take them out a few times a day.
If not, I give them eggs, but they stay in the flock


Premium Feather Member
Jul 24, 2019
Boston Area, MA
My Coop
My Coop
If I want chicks, I let the broody hatch and raise them with the flock. If I don’t want chicks, I break the broody in a “luxury broody jail” I made. It’s a sectioned-off part of the run that has rain shelter/shade, food, water and a perch, but no access to the coop and nowhere cozy to make a nest (I hose down the ground daily so it’s wet). I leave the hen there during the day, and put her in the coop on the roost at night. During the day she’s right next to the flock, separated by chicken wire. I used this method about 3-4 times last summer and it worked great! No stress from being confined to a crate, she has room to move around and do chicken stuff, but she has nowhere comfy to sit down and brood. That’s the point of the crate method anyway, so I wanted to achieve the same effect but minus the stressful confinement and the yelling. The broody is usually done in just a couple of days. That’s my go to broody breaking method now.


8 Years
Mar 22, 2013
Very South Texas
So far my method is to just gently prod them until they get off of the nest, as many times a day as needed. Usually by day three they give up trying to sit. If they persist I put frozen eggs in the nest box, and rotate them out to keep them cold. Then if that doesn't work I'll wet the hen's belly area and close the coop off during the day.

Edited to add, my layers do not have a mature rooster, so no fertilized eggs just yet. I am looking forward to seeing my girls raise some chicks in the spring!
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