On-and-off Broodiness for a Longboard Time

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by PearlaMae123, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. PearlaMae123

    PearlaMae123 In the Brooder

    38
    20
    49
    Jan 10, 2017
    I have a 2 year old hen that is the first and only of our chickens to go broody. She has been on-again-off-again broody since about
    March. I don’t know if it’s the hot weather or what, but she sits in the run (which is in the sun) while the rest of the hens are roaming. I’m worried she’s going to overheat or get dehydrated.
    We’ve tried the ice pack method and that makes her get up and walk around for a bit, but she’ll just go back to a different nest box within a few minutes.
    How should we handle our always-broody hen?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    27,341
    13,458
    767
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The only tried and true method that has been used for centuries is a wire bottom elevated cage. That makes ambient temperature reach the underside which, if cool enough, breaks the hormone cycle. All other methods are sporadic in effectiveness. If they can plunk their bellies down on a solid or insulative surface, the hormone cycle will remain.
     
    aart likes this.
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    62,162
    52,337
    1,417
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I've been breaking a persistent broody, think she's finally done.
    She hatched in Mar, then went broody 3-4 more times.
    This last round of crating had to be done in the run and yard, moving her to keep her in the shade, as it was too hot to leave her in the coop. The change of venues might have actually helped break her. It's funny that the heat didn't seem to bother her as much as the other birds.

    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 with feed and water.

    I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) 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. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.
    This is the crate I use:
    upload_2018-7-15_8-50-2.png
     
  4. texsuze

    texsuze Songster

    129
    145
    144
    Dec 17, 2012
    Texas Hill Country
    I think we should start a Broody Marathon thread;) with awards for: Longest Continuous Broody, Most Broody Sessions in a Single Calendar Year, Shortest Time Between Broody Sessions, and Most Broody Hens in a Single Flock!

    I have some contestants already....!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: