To cull or not to cull? - Broody Hen


9 Years
Dec 27, 2010
I have a SLW who goes broody ALL THE TIME. She's over two years old now. The warm weather started a couple months ago and she went broody persistently as soon as it warmed up. Well I said to my husband "if that bird goes broody one more time, that's it, she's stew". I just... feel bad doing it. Am I doing the right thing? She went broody probably five times last year and I almost snapped. She's not only broody, she's a REALLY bad broody! Like bites you, bites other hens, walks around making gremlin noises, you can't break her, she will remain broody for the whole 21 days, eggs or no eggs, no matter how many times you kick her off the nest, cool her down, put her on the roost.... We just got new chicks two months ago so my husband says it's no big deal, we have lots of new girls waiting to join the flock but I still feel... bad. She was in my first flock.
I'd really try to re home her first. Lots of folks look for broodies and would love to have a good momma, especially a non feather footed hen!
Rehome her as a "serial broody". Some folks would love that!

Sounds to me like she was issued the Silkie Breed Manual rather than her own and is having an identity crisis.
Good her as "An Excellent Broody" someone would love to have her no need to make stew out of her for that, that is just silly. The biting you, biting other hens and making gremlin noises is NORMAL broody behavior...they scream, flare up, snarl, growl and scream more. Heck I would take her if I were closer because in 4 years I have had 1 successful broody and 2 hormonal neurotic confused nutcases.
Ya that seems a little harsh to stew a broody hen. The pecking and growling ALL broodies do that, that actually makes her a good broody believe it or not lol They're just being protective, they don't want you to take/hurt they're babies or potential babies. Why not let her hatch some? She'll do all the work for you in raising them and when she's done raising them she should go back to normal. Or if you don't have a rooster or want to buy fertile eggs you could always go to the local feed store and buy some day old chicks and stick them uder her at night. Or rehome her, like others said some people would love that! But in the end its your chicken so its all up to you.
I'm sure there are lots of people who'd love a good broody. Rather sell her.
i would go with the other sugesstions

a good serial broody is a god send to some chicken keepers

i used to by broody hens from farmers markets all the time and loved it
I have successfully broke broodies many many times! I have the broodiest bunch of girls here. Do you have a wire cage? You could put her in a wire cage with no bedding, no nest, no comfort. Hang the wire cage up off the floor. It takes about 5 days.

I have so many broody hens that I have a Broody-Buster pen. It is concrete flooring and only roosts. No nests, no bedding. During the day I close the pop door and they have to stay outside in the pen. On occasion I throw in a rooster to really bother them, too. No place to sit is what works here.

I am happy to report that today I have NO broody hens. It will change soon, I know. I have already had over 25 this spring. I quit counting. I had 6 at a time in the Broody-Buster a few weeks ago. I rotated them in (any hen on a nest at roost time goes in to the Broody-Buster), and took them out after 5 days.

Good luck! I know someone would LOVE to have your broody girl. I hope you don't stew her.
See? The consensus is try to break her with Kathy's method or rehome her. She'd probably make a wonderful broody for someone who wants to hatch, but hates to use an incubator. I know I'd rather have a good broody than use a bator myself, though I don't need chicks as often as many folks do.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom