Should I break a broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by crazychickymom, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. crazychickymom

    crazychickymom In the Brooder

    Apr 19, 2016
    Essex, Ontario
    I have an 7month old RIRxCol hen who has become broody.. I tried today to remove her from the nest box and put her with the rest of the flock (that were getting treats) and she turned and ran right back to the coop. It will be winter here in Southern Ontario soon, so I can not get her a few fertilized eggs right now. Does it hurt to just leave her alone? I don't really care is she doesn't lay right now.. I'm getting plenty from the rest of the girls. Hopefully in the spring if she goes broody again, I will be able to get her a couple of fertilized eggs to hatch..Opinions pls... My first time with hens!
  2. snywalker

    snywalker Chirping

    Feb 24, 2014
    Yeah, if you're not going to give her eggs, you should break her. Especially with winter coming. I live in Michigan, so I understand your weather. Hens can lose weight when they are broody, and you don't want that now that it's getting cold.
    1 person likes this.
  3. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi there crazychickymom I agree with snywalker in that if you are not going to give her eggs to hatch, then breaking her is the best option.

    Some broodies, if determined, will not self-break even after a number of weeks and while she is sitting she is not eating or drinking much at all and her condition suffers.

    Also a broody hen is a nice, warm, stationary invitation for mites and lice so if you are not hatching eggs, no point in putting out the Welcome sign for the pesky things [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Agrees ...If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, best to break her broodiness promptly.
    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 and I would feed her some crumble a couple times a day.

    I let her out a couple times a day(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.
    Water nipple bottle added after pic was taken.
    1 person likes this.

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