She's been broody for almost 5 weeks!

brandon00733

Chirping
Apr 25, 2016
90
20
91
Mid Florida
My Coop
My Coop
I have a one year old Easter Egger and she has completely gone broody on us. We've tried locking her out of the box and she just paces and really freaks out to go back in and it doesn't work with the rest of the girls because I don't want them randomly laying eggs everywhere. She stopped laying eggs about 3 weeks ago and is eating/drinking very little. I've read a lot I don't want to do the ice bath thing if somebody has tried it and it really -really worked please let me know. I've also heard to try and slip a fertilized egg under her but I've had some friends tell me she'll kill the babies once they hatch... I can move her to a separate area if somebody has tried the day old chick slip at night or sticking an egg or two under her I'm willing to give it a shot... I just would love advice from somebody who has gone through it. I've also heard as soon as one comes out of being broody another will soon follow... We have three eggers so I'm a little concerned about that... please any advice would be helpful. Thank You...
 

Pork Pie

Flockwit
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 30, 2015
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If you don't want chicks, then break her broodiness by putting her in a crate (raised off the ground a little - on a couple of bricks, for example) with food and water and keep her in there for 3-5 days.

Since she has been broody for quite some time, I would not give her fertile eggs to set. As you have noticed, she has not eaten properly for some time, and another 3 weeks of doing the same will lead to a further loss of general condition (and possibly being susceptible to illness due a compromised immune system). Having said that, there is no problem in setting fertile eggs under a broody hen, and I believe what you have been told to be total hogwash.

You could put chicks under her and she how she does, but its no guarantee. If you choose this route, then make sure you have a plan B in case things don't go as expected (i.e. a brooder and heat source).
 

aldarita

Songster
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Aug 2, 2012
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Another thing that you could do is just let her finish her broodiness, she might very well be at the end of it. I just had a broody coming out of the nest after 6 weeks of sitting on an empty nest. I just made sure she comes out to eat and drink water at least once a day. I took her out some times and she went around dust bathing and all, it seems they need a little push to get them out and once out they do what they need to do.
BTW I agree with CTKen, what they have told you is a bunch of garbage, don't believe everything you are told, take it with a grain of salt, do your research and be informed
 

Hillaire

Chirping
Mar 13, 2017
633
90
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Hudson Valley NY
so I have cochin bantams which are NOTORIOUS broodies... this year I have had 3 cochins and 1 silkie go broody I put eggs under the silkie immediately who hatched out 5 of 7 eggs the others I thought would snap out of it they went almost 6 weeks before I decided to put eggs under them since they wouldn't quit... one of the three hatched out 3 eggs I put underneath her and the other 2 are due any day now... so I say put an egg or two under her and see what happens...
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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I've put chicks under a hen at night with some success. However, if the chicks are more than a couple days old, they may not bond with her.
As has been said, it's too late to start incubation with fertile eggs since that would have her broody for 8 weeks.
I have a friend that wouldn't break her broody turkey hen but had no intention for the bird to hatch eggs. After 2 months the hen couldn't move on her own. $2,000 of vet bills later and 6 weeks of physical therapy, the hen died anyway.
Your friends that said the hen would kill the chicks knows nothing about broody hens. Did you ask where they heard such a thing?
The suggestion for an elevated crate is correct but I might add that it needs to be wire bottom. If a determined broody can get her underside against something solid, it won't disrupt the hormones.
The longer they are broody, the harder it is to break them.
We used to have about 5 wire cages suspended from the ceiling of the henhouse. There seemed to always be a couple broodies in jail.
If done correctly, it only takes a couple days to cure them. This technique has been used for centuries.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
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Agree with CTKen. Break her. A 3 week broody period is what hens were created for. They loose a lot of condition in that time. To allow it to go on longer will result in even more loss of condition, and weaken her immune system. Either give her chicks with a plan B in place. (but only do so, if you have the space to do so, and if you want more chicks) or break her. Bucket of cold water, or the elevated crate without bedding.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
27,022
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Thank you all I found a person who has been incubating some fertilized eggs and got 10 from her ... the moment my girl realized she had eggs under her she nestled down on them like it's what she's been waiting for her whole life. They are due June 11th so we'll see if she sits that long or breaks herself.
Perfect solution.
 

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