Questions on breaking a broody hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by tcstoehr, Oct 22, 2014.

  1. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Despite my attempts at denial it seems my 7 month old BO has gone broody. It started with 3-5 hour long sessions sitting on the nest and has now progressed to sitting in there all afternoon and through the night. Although this morning she did come out for morning scratch and a dust bath, but then back to the nest. Attempts at egg removal are met with shrieking and biting.

    I don't want more chicks so I don't want to do the fertile egg trick. I have read all about the broody-buster-boxes (BBBs) and am well along to completing the construction of one. I'm using 1x1" welded wire which is bur and snag free and should give her feet ample support.

    My questions:

    1) My coop is plenty spacious to accommodate the BBB. I would like to put it there as my hen will have occasional company of the other 4 birds and it is a familiar location. Less stress I'm thinking. It also is well lit with natural light. However she will be able to see the nest boxes and may fall under their spell. [​IMG] Although I could situate the BBB so that the nesting boxes are out of sight. Or I could just move the whole operation to my garage's wood shop where she will be isolated in an unfamiliar area. So what's best, the coop or the wood shop?

    2) I would also like to place a piece of 2x4 lumber across the floor of the BBB which I think would make extended time in there more comfortable. Standing on wire all day and night could be painful. But I wonder if this would defeat the purpose of the air flow under the cage wire. Is the 2x4 OK?
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    Good luck with breaking your broody hen! Keep her in the broody cage for at least 3 days--a week is even better. Hopefully, by then she'll get the point.
     
  3. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the information. I'm glad I'll be able to keep my broody hen in a familiar location. I'm not looking forward to making the transfer from nest box to broody cage.
    A whole week in solitary confinement sounds harsh, but in the hole she goes. Maybe I'll try just 4 days to start with. I hope she doesn't squawk the whole time.
     
  4. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After two days sitting in a nest box, I now have her moved into a hastily constructed broody buster. It was easier than I thought. She bit and shrieked at first but was motionless until a minute spent in the cage. Then she frantically tried to find a way out and has been squawking her brain off for the last 15 minutes. I hope she'll run out of steam soon but right now she is one PO'd BO. I can't help but think she'll never forgive me for this.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    It may just be the angle of the photo - but I don't see water/food available to her in the confines of her new home?
     
  6. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    Where's her feed and waterer??
     
  7. tcstoehr

    tcstoehr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may notice two plastic trays secured at the front of the box. These act as holders for a food and water dish. When I did put them in she of course spilled them all over the place so I have had to tie them down. Crossing my fingers that it will be strong enough. She does appear interested in food, but she seems most intent on getting back to the nest. Sigh.
    Side note... I had read about it but I wasn't actually ready for the smell of the "broody bomb". [​IMG]
     
  8. iwiw60

    iwiw60 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. ShockValue

    ShockValue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks good! My girl was ready to quit being broody after just 2 days in the box. But I know that time can vary depending on just how serious they are about it. If you have the time to spare, I would let her out every day to judge. If she wanders back to the nest box - back in the BBB. If not, let her rejoin the flock.

    - Not a pro, just what worked for me :)
     

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