Our hen wants to hatch eggs but we are not allowed to have any more chicks. Please help!

Jkc00412

Hatching
Aug 18, 2019
3
1
4
We have an Americana hen that we believe is brooding. But the problem is that she hasn’t gotten out of her nest for weeks. Even when we take her out of the nest and collect the eggs from our other chickens (which she keeps under herself) she comes back to the empty nest and sits on it all day. I’ve heard that you can stop brooding by putting a fertilized egg under her and let it hatch, but we can’t afford to do that since we’re not allowed to have more than three chickens on our property.
 

Rick M

Crowing
Jun 21, 2018
324
1,917
287
Southwest Missouri
We have an Americana hen that we believe is brooding. But the problem is that she hasn’t gotten out of her nest for weeks. Even when we take her out of the nest and collect the eggs from our other chickens (which she keeps under herself) she comes back to the empty nest and sits on it all day. I’ve heard that you can stop brooding by putting a fertilized egg under her and let it hatch, but we can’t afford to do that since we’re not allowed to have more than three chickens on our property.
Do you have a rooster?
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
Aug 3, 2018
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This is normal behavior for a broody hen. To break a broody I’ve read that folks put the hen in a cage just big enough for her to move around in a little bit, food & water at hand as per her customary routine before the broody bug bit. You might have to keep her in this solitary confinement for up tp two weeks.

I just put my would-be broody in with the meat birds. They’re in a chicken tractor, on grass, and I move them twice a day. There are roosts, so if she needs to she can get away but there’s nothing in there that’s feeding her nesting urge. Hoping it will work. :fl
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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But the problem is that she hasn’t gotten out of her nest for weeks.
How many weeks @Jkc00412 ?
The longer she sits the longer it will take to break her.

If you can't let her hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.

My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run 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.

Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
upload_2019-8-19_9-27-11.png
 

cmom

Hilltop Farm
13 Years
Nov 18, 2007
27,275
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Florida
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:welcome :frow I agree with @aart. I have done the same thing. I have a girl that is broody right now. Every evening I make her get out of the nest box. Now the past couple of evenings when I go out to collect the eggs and she sees me she is getting out on her own. Good luck and have fun...
 

Jkc00412

Hatching
Aug 18, 2019
3
1
4
How many weeks @Jkc00412 ?
The longer she sits the longer it will take to break her.

If you can't let her hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.

My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run 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.

Chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
View attachment 1882631
She’s been there for about 2-3 weeks I believe and thank you for the advice, hope it works!
 

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