Tired of waiting on their favorite nest box?

Jrios58

Songster
May 1, 2020
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I was forking some hay off the round bale for the goats, and noticed some of the hens had made a nest at the base of the bale- found 3 eggs! 3 of my hens are broody and hogging the nest boxes. Several hens like to fly over the fence and taunt the cats, guess they decided to lay eggs while they were out there
 

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Jrios58

Songster
May 1, 2020
97
144
111
Well, some folks get fertile eggs from somewhere else.
Then break all 3. :D
'Splain to me what you mean by breaking-i assume breaking them of their habit of hanging out in the nest boxes all the time? I usually take them out in the afternoon before i shut them in their enclosure for the night, which makes them walk around a little.
 

rosemarythyme

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'Splain to me what you mean by breaking-i assume breaking them of their habit of hanging out in the nest boxes all the time? I usually take them out in the afternoon before i shut them in their enclosure for the night, which makes them walk around a little.

Breaking means to break them of their brooding by disrupting them from sitting in the nest. If you are not going to hatch, it's best for the bird's health to be broken out of the broodiness, as they'll lose some body condition as they set, and all for no result.

Broody jail: Put her in an isolation cage with some food and water, in sight of the others (in the coop if it's not too hot or in/near the run is ideal). A wire cage elevated to air flow under her would be the best option, however I've used everything from a brooder to a dog exercise pen.

Keep her in the cage around the clock for about 2 days. At that time, if she's shows fewer signs of broodiness (puffing up, flattening down and growling, tik tik tik noise) you can let her out to test her. If she runs back to the nest at any point (usually they don't do it immediately, but maybe after 15 minutes, maybe an hour) then she's not yet sufficiently broken and needs to go back to the cage for another 24 hours. Then let her out and test her again. Repeat until she's no longer going to the nest box.

IF the isolation cage is not safe for overnight stay (i.e. sits outside the run) then put her on the roost at night, and retrieve her from the nest box the next morning and put her back in the cage. It may take a little longer this way but better than letting a predator get to her.

With multiple birds: As long as crate is large enough and the birds are friendly enough with each other (even with hormones) that they don't fight, it's fine to put more than one in a broody breaker.
 

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