Still broody after cold water

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SurprisingWoman, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. SurprisingWoman

    SurprisingWoman Songster

    May 27, 2009
    South Weber, UT
    My broody has learned to fly over the fence of the side yard. I was using that as a way to try and break her. It didn't work.

    I put her in an old finch bird cage and she knocks it over and uses her food and water dishes to put her feet on. Evidently the wire hurts her feet.

    I decided to try the cold water dunk since nothing else seem to be getting it done.

    I even put ice in the water. I dunked her and swished the water around her making sure she got cold under her wings and every where. 1 hr later she was back in the box. I took her back out and made her stay in the cold water for a while. I lifted up her feathers so the protective oils were wet, submerged her head.... really got her nice and wet and cold. She got out and I was worried I had over done it. She was shaking and shivering, her feathers were soaked, her wings were droopy. She couldn't seem to control the shakes.

    She stayed in the sun and dried off and then went back to the nesting box.

    Any other ideas, besides fertile eggs?

  2. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Songster

    Oct 16, 2009
    If it were me I would give her fertile eggs to sit, but then I am a sucker for chicks,

    Suppose you will have to isolate her in a place with a cold floor for a week or so,but as broodiness is related to hormone change it is not guaranteed to work

  3. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I hate to say this but the cold water method, which I've never heard of before, seems cruel. What you do, is put your broody in a cage with absolutely no bedding, just food and water only. Do this for three days, then release her. If she goes back to the nest, do it again for another three days. This breaks most broody hens.
  4. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Songster

    Sep 4, 2009
    You may need to do some consecutive work. I agree the dunking in ice water (especially since she was shivering at the end) seems cruel. I think the real trick with the difficult broodies is a more extensive period of time where the belly is cool (not icy wet, tho).

    Try carrying her around with an ice pack that's been wrapped in a cloth or towel. Put that pack under her belly (where she's plucked out her feathers). Carry her around with that, for several hours. If she returns to the nest after that, do the same thing, the next day.

    I broke my broody by placing her on the roost at night, after dark. I would pick her off the nest, take her outside and hold her sideways in my arms so the cool night breeze would hit her belly. After a couple minutes of cooling, I put her on the ground to see if she would stand or sit. If she sat, I held her belly in the breeze again until she stood when I tested her. Then I took her back to the henhouse and put her on the roost with the other birds, where she couldn't see her way back to the nest in the dark. Did that, for about 5 nights, and she was no longer broody.
  5. SurprisingWoman

    SurprisingWoman Songster

    May 27, 2009
    South Weber, UT
    The cold water to break a broody is actually all over the internet and this board. Just do a quick search.

    After seeing that the wire in the cage I have hurts her feet it seemed the lesser of all evils.

    If dunking her in water to change her temp didn't work I really don't think letting a cool breeze or ice pack on her nether parts is going to get it done.

    I have been doing a lot of research on line and I think this guy sounds like he knows what he is talking about:

    "The temperature of a broody hen is around 2f degrees LOWER than a non broody hen in minimal activity.
    Her temperature will vary between 105f and 109f depending if she is at rest or working.

    The dunking in cold water idea, was I imagine thought up by someone who had simply no concept of a chickens anatomy.

    Across the back of a chicken are the lungs which are attached to the thoractic wall.Connected with the lungs are 4 pairs of air sacs placed on either side of the body ranging from neck to abdomen with a single median sac located in the thorax. Besides opening into the lungs these sacs communicate directly with most of the bones of the body. (Yes they can breath throught their bones)

    Dropping a birds temperature by immersing it in cold water affects all the sacs and lungs traveling into all the major bones in the birds body.

    The chances of that bird getting a respirory infection are massively increased by chilling and after she has got cold and wet her body temperture will be to low to dry her out.

    The 'cure' for a broody is to remove her to a coop with clean water and a grain feed.
    There is no need to chill her with wire bottonm cages or any other contraption, as it doesn't have any effect on her being broody it just drops her temperture to a dangerously low level.

    "Being broody is in the birds genes and they don't go broody just to p**s keepers off.

    Maybe, or maybe not. I am just going to keep working with her to see what works for her.
  6. will hunt for food

    will hunt for food Songster

    Feb 17, 2009
    SurprisingWoman, have you had any success yet? Can you tell me what else did not work and what did work? Thanks.

    I am in a dilemma with my best layer. I caged her in the run, and she freaked out when it got dark and the rest of the hens went to roost in the coop. I am sorry I did not just pull her from the cage and roost her at dark, and put her back in the cage the next day. She bloodied up her head trying to get out of the cage. Now, she is back to the nest! I am going to try the cage again, this time just a few inches off the ground where she can still see the rest of the birds. If she freaks again, I will get her out pronto.
  7. SurprisingWoman

    SurprisingWoman Songster

    May 27, 2009
    South Weber, UT
    whff, My broody is doing okay. She is still broody but I just let her stay in the nest for a lot of the day. I have done some research but I really don't see how cooling a hen will work. It's hormones and if she is anything like every other hormone tortured female I have known she just has to work through it.

    I keep Bright in the sun by opening up the nesting box so it's open to the light. I also will go and collect eggs often so she can't feel like she is really sitting. I took the golf balls away too.

    She comes out a few times a day and eats and free ranges with the other girls. I will go and get her and bring her out and she will stay for a while before heading back down.

    With the limited options available I think this is working for us right now. She isn't losing weight, her feathers are okay so we have time.

    I am sorry about your girl's head. I would put some neosporin on it. Is there any way you can open your nesting box to the light and air? Since doing that Bright comes out because it's not a dim little den. I figure sun and air will break her as fast as anything else.

    Keep me posted on how she is doing.

  8. princess araucana

    princess araucana Songster

    Nov 18, 2008
    Rhode Island
    Quote:If she wants to go roost with the others at night I think that means she is not totally broody. If you do not want a broody hen it seems like it will be very good for her to roost up high with the others?
  9. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Quote:Not only cruel, but dangerous to the chicken's health and completely ineffective.

    If this hen keeps going back to the nestbox, the way to break her of broodiness is to make it impossible for her to return to the nestbox. Put her somewhere that there isn't a nestbox or nesting material. If the wire in the cage is hurting her feet, you could put a piece of cardboard or a towel in there for her to stand on.
  10. When my silkies try and go broody I put them up in a stilt pen. The whole thing is made of of wire. A week or so in there and they start laying again. You want them to be able to feel air circulation underneath their tummys.

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