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Un-Brooding a Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by meoddone, Oct 28, 2015.

  1. meoddone

    meoddone In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2015
    I have two RI Red hens that have gone broody. It's our fault, we didn't collect the eggs for a few days. We've been diligent since then and had noticed them in the laying boxes only a few times, but each time they were laying on eggs, until tonight. They weren't sitting on eggs. I've also noticed that we have declined from 5-6 eggs a day to 3-4, I believe that these hens have stopped laying.

    Does this sound correct? If the hens are broody, and not laying, how should I un-broody them, and will it start their egg production up again before 1-2 months?

    Thanks for your help.

  2. cavemanrich

    cavemanrich Free Ranging

    Apr 6, 2014
    Melrose Park Illinois
    THERE ARE WAYS TO UN BROOD HENS, BUT YOU MAY NOT NEED TO. Just keep collecting the eggs. RIR are not the most broody hens in the chicken world. Your egg production may have slowed down due to shorter days. My RIR went on strike in the last 2 weeks. They are not broody ether. Cooler temps also add to the slowdown.

  3. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Yes, broody hens will cease laying until they are broken. The best way to break a broody is to use a cage with a wire floor; it needs to be up off the ground, so the cold air can reach their belly. They'll think, "Oh no! My belly is cold, the chicks must have died!" and give up. Keep them in the cage for 3-7 days, depending on how broody they're acting by the time 3 days rolls around. They should return to laying in 1-2 weeks.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Leaving egg in the nests won't make a bird go broody...it's purely hormonal.
    If she's been sitting the nest for 3 days and nights, leaving only to eat, drink, drop a huge poop, maybe a dust bath then goes right back to the nest.....if she's hissing, growling, maybe biting when disturbed....then she's broody.

    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 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.
  5. meoddone

    meoddone In the Brooder

    Apr 12, 2015
    Thank you all for the advice. Sorry for my delay in responding. Wife's grandfather passed away, then hunting season, then winterizing everything, etc... I pulled the eggs and they stopped sitting in the laying boxes within a day or two. I had a friend hatch some of my eggs and it looks like I have some RIR BR crosses... I'm excited to see what they look like as adults.

    Thanks again!

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