Supposedly Broody Hen, But No Eggs....

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TeriyakiChicken, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. TeriyakiChicken

    TeriyakiChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2011
    Western Australia
    Hello everyone!

    My Australorp pullet (8 months old) has been behaving oddly in the past few days. She has been plucking a few feathers out, and just won't get off the nest. However, she does not like to sit on her eggs (which are unfertilised), she prefers to sit on the cochin's eggs. I removed all of the eggs from the nest but she still just sits there and fluffs up her feathers and gets angry whenever I go to check on her. I took her off the nest for some fresh air and she ate grass, had a drink of water and pecked at her food. Any ideas on how to keep her off the nest?

    Thanks in advance,

    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
  3. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    When they go broody they don't need any eggs to trigger it, its just hormones. They'll sit on marbles, golf balls, even nothing at all. There are various ways people will suggest to break a broody ranging from removing access to the nest boxes to ice to cold water on the belly, etc etc. The surest way is to have her in a wire bottom cage off the ground for 3 days to a week. It's also more humane IMO than cold water and such. This way she can't sit and keep her underside warm, and that is the key to breaking the broody hormones.

    I have one that I can break just by blocking the nest boxes for a day. The others, I have to use the cage.
  4. C-M-D

    C-M-D New Egg

    Oct 29, 2012
    My 7-month-old Wyandotte went broody with no eggs. I'm a new chicken owner and this was my first experience with a broody hen. I read a lot of online advice, which all seems to focus on shaking up the chicken's reality and cooling her underside, preferably in a wire cage. I do not have a wire cage yet so I went for the change of reality and put her in a dog carrier with food and water. She spent the evening in my living room watching TV, and stayed there overnight. I always knew that TV addles your brain, and it did the trick for her. Next morning I let her out in the yard and she was back to normal, foraging with her buddies. This method was quite pleasant for the chicken and didn't make me feel mean. Perhaps I got lucky - we'll see if it works if there is a next time.
  5. As someone had said, it is hormones. I would truly let her do her thing and she will realize that whatever eggs she has is not going to hatch. Or, get some fertilized eggs and have her hatch them!

    Hope that helps,
    Half A Chance Farm
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    The wire-bottomed cage method works the best of anything I've tried.
  7. C-M-D

    C-M-D New Egg

    Oct 29, 2012
    I have four hens, no rooster, and two nesting boxes. My eight-month-old Wyandotte had been brooding without eggs - just sitting in everyone's favorite nesting box - for about 10 days. Other hens were climbing over her to lay. She didn't object when I removed their eggs. I tried removing her from the nest many times, sitting her on ice packs, separating her from the others, keeping her indoors in a cat carrier overnight, and everything else I could think of except the long-term wire cage treatment, which sounded difficult and inconvenient with sub-freezing winter nights and no garage space. She was still determined to brood. Finally I put 6 ping pong balls in the less-preferred nesting box and let her back into the coop. She was ecstatic and settled down on them for the night. Next morning she was off the nest, had snapped out of her brood, and was clamoring to be let out along with the others. There were ping pong balls scattered everywhere and a real egg in the nest. What happened? Whose egg was it? Did she notice there was something wrong with the ping pong "eggs"? Did she just get fed up with all the bizarre things that were happening? I have no idea but her hormone switch flipped and she's been completely normal now for a week. It's nice to have her back.

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