OH NOOOOOOOOOO!!! Hen gone Broody??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by auto5man, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. auto5man

    auto5man Songster

    Jul 27, 2011
    What do I do, I don't want my hen to go broody? I only have small backyard flock of 6 in the city with no roo, so I don't want any broody hens. I only have 4 layers as it is b/c one is molting and another still is not laying yet. And now my 6 egg/week Barred Rock seems to being going broody. Of course I'm not for sure, b/c this is my first backyard flock, had them since June. So yesterday "Babe" the Barred Rock seemed to be staying in the nest box alot, but I didn't pay too close attention b/c sometimes she just takes awhile. Well, I was at work yesterday and the wifey calls and says "Babe won't get off the nest box and Lindsey (my daughter) had to pick her up and put her in the coop"! Our nest box is freestanding on the back porch (not attached to the coop). So today she wanted to stay on the nest ALL DAY and didn't lay an egg. When I get close to her she gives me a wierd noise, i call it the "trill of death scream", yeah its like screaming at me. I really don't think she's sick b/c she acts very perky, and looks just like she does when laying, all puffed up with tail in the air. So at one point I checked under her for an egg (none) and took her out of the box, when I put her on the concrete porch she acted like she was nesting on the concrete for about 15 minutes, then finally got up and acted like a real chicken for about 30 minutes. I left the porch and came back....yep, she was back in the nest box!

    Is there a way I can stop this? Or do you just have to ride it out, and if so what type of arrangements do I make for her. Does she need to be isolated? How long will it last? My flock freeranges all day and uses the same nestbox she is hording. and most of the day I'm not really home to monitor her. Help!!


  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The quickest and easiest way to break a broody is to place her in a open mesh-bottomed cage )no nesting material or solid floor) to allow air to circulate underneath her. This will lower her body temperature which is elevated to incubate eggs.

    No need to isolate her. In fact, it's better to keep her with the others in a well-lit area to discourage her instincts for darkness and privacy. I usually keep my broodies in their cage (protected from the weather) inside the run with the others during the day, providing food and water in with them. At night, I move them, in their cage, inside the garage and place a fan under the cage, increasing the air circulation. By the beginning of the third day, they are "broke" enough that they will usually not return to the nest. Normal egg-laying should resume in a couple of weeks.

    Some will say to break a broody is cruel and un-natural. There's no evidence that this process harms the hen. Quite the contrary, some broodies will starve themselves sitting on an empty nest for weeks and weeks. At the very least, it's a lot of stress for no good purpose.

    Good luck with your broody. And it does appear, from your description, you have a broody hen!
  3. chookhead

    chookhead Songster

    Sep 7, 2011
    she is broody 100% another quick way is to dip her face in cool water a few times andthen place her int he cage and if u dotn have a cage with a mesh bottom dunk then whole hen in a few times and wash her well she will snap out of it immeaditly and if she doesnt just let her sit on 2 or 3 eggs and give away the chicks or sell them
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    The OP has no rooster.
  5. Happy Chooks

    Happy Chooks Moderator Staff Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Northern CA
    My Coop
    Yep, she's broody.

    I've never broken a broody, but if you search breaking a broody, you'll find lots of advise.

  6. Oneacre Homestead

    Oneacre Homestead Chirping

    May 25, 2011
    I broke up my broody hen with the wire cage. I used a little rabbit cage I borrowed from a friend. It took a few days. Leaver her in the cage for maybe four days. Then it took my hen a while to start laying again, but once she did, she laid great. Good luck!
  7. auto5man

    auto5man Songster

    Jul 27, 2011
    THanks all for the advice and replies. I'm holding my breath but seem to have gotten off lucky. We just took her off the nest box two days in a row, which was easy because it's a separate box not attached to the coop, and manually picked her up and placed her in the coop at night by day three she quit trying to go to the nest box and hung out with the flock instead. She pretty much acted normal except no laying and she still gives the death screech when approached, but even that stopped today. Seems to be eating and drinking normally,,,phew!
  8. auto5man

    auto5man Songster

    Jul 27, 2011
    She is back to her old self from a personality standpoint, but still not laying yet...
  9. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Songster

    Mar 27, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    My Coop
    The only thing I've ever done with a broody hen is to remove her from the nest and take the eggs.

  10. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    She will go on an 'egglaying strike' for a period of time as her hormones adjust - then she will resume her duties. Yes, you got off lucky. Some can be very difficult to dissuade.

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