Very Broody Chickens

Katniss_Everdeen

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Nov 24, 2020
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I have 2 bantams that have gone broody. One of them went broody about 3 weeks ago and the other 3 days ago. We have no rooster so their eggs aren't fertile and they are mainly just sitting on our other chicken's eggs anyway. Every time I go down to check on my chickens I pick them up, feed them and encourage them to drink some water, but they keep going back into the box (but they normally do have a dust bath beforehand). I have tried dunking them in water and putting ice packs underneath them. Does anyone else have any ideas. I want them to stop being broody in the next 1 or 2 weeks because I don't want them to be cranky when I introduce these new silkie chicks I have.
 

SulkyBantam

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How old are the silkie chicks? Broody hens will often peck less at newcomers because they are egg-obsessed but there could be other problems resulting from that.

Lock them out of the house.

I have tried dunking them in water

Really? Never heard that one. Is it a good idea in retrospect?
 

Katniss_Everdeen

Songster
Nov 24, 2020
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How old are the silkie chicks? Broody hens will often peck less at newcomers because they are egg-obsessed but there could be other problems resulting from that.

Lock them out of the house.



Really? Never heard that one. Is it a good idea in retrospect?

The silkie chicks are 4 weeks and I am planning on introducing when they are 6 weeks.

I heard the dunking in water one from my Dad, he used to keep a heap of chickens and he said he had used it and it worked. I was a bit sceptic myself, but I thought I would give it a shot but it didn't work so I don't know.
 

SulkyBantam

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Nov 3, 2020
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Hmm.
Well I heard that some 3 wk. old chicks were put under a broody hen, she raised them, protected them and was therefore not broody. others split up their young chicks under 2 or 3 broody hens.
I have not done this with older chicks, but very successfully with 1 wk. old chicks.
Just a suggestion!
How many chicks do you have?
 

SulkyBantam

···ʞɔǝꓒ ʎɹǝʌƎ ɥʇᴉM ɹǝʇɹoɥS ɓuᴉʇʇǝꓨ sI ʞɐǝꓭ ʎW
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Absolutely!
When it's dark, try slipping them under the most responsible hen, taking away her eggs.
Do it before they get older.
If it doesn't work, take them back and lock out the hens in the daytime.

Worth a try, right?

Keep me updated!
 

SulkyBantam

···ʞɔǝꓒ ʎɹǝʌƎ ɥʇᴉM ɹǝʇɹoɥS ɓuᴉʇʇǝꓨ sI ʞɐǝꓭ ʎW
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Absolutely!
When it's dark, try slipping them under the most responsible hen, taking away her eggs.
Do it before they get older.
If it doesn't work, take them back and lock out the hens in the daytime.

Worth a try, right?

Keep me updated!

Good idea do you think, @Katniss_Everdeen?
I gave 4 1 wk. old silkies to a broody Japanese bantam hen.
She loved them they loved her, no harm in giving it a go, right?
 

aart

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I doubt the broody would accept 4 week old chicks......nor would the chick accept the broody.

Cold cool water dunk can work,
where I think the expression 'madder than a wet hen' comes from,
but not good to do if it's cold outside.

If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, IMO it's best to break her broodiness promptly.
The longer you let them set, the longer they will take to break.
My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) 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. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.

Tho not necessary a chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
1606227931092.png
 
Last edited:

SulkyBantam

···ʞɔǝꓒ ʎɹǝʌƎ ɥʇᴉM ɹǝʇɹoɥS ɓuᴉʇʇǝꓨ sI ʞɐǝꓭ ʎW
Nov 3, 2020
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I doubt the broody would accept 4 week old chicks......not would the chick accept the broody.

Cold cool water dunk can work,
where I think the expression 'madder than a wet hen' comes from,
but not good to do if it's cold outside.

If you don't want her to hatch out chicks, IMO it's best to break her broodiness promptly.
The longer you let them set, the longer they will take to break.
My experience goes about like this: After her setting for 3 days and nights in the nest (or as soon as I know they are broody), I put her in a wire dog crate (24"L x 18"W x 21"H) with smaller wire on the bottom but no bedding, set up on a couple of 4x4's right in the coop or run with feed and water.

I used to let them out a couple times a day, but now just once a day in the evening(you don't have to) 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. Or take her out of crate daily very near roosting time(30-60 mins) if she goes to roost great, if she goes to nest put her back in crate.

Tho not necessary a chunk of 2x4 for a 'roost' was added to crate floor after pic was taken.
View attachment 2423344

Though she might well refuse them, why wouldn't it be worth a try? There's nothing to lose.

I don't really like broody cages as much as a couple of milder methods, and have found that locking them out works just as well with some, though not all, hens.

Are you still there, OP?
 

aart

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wouldn't it be worth a try? There's nothing to lose.
Sure they could try.....hopefully no chicks get hurt.

I don't really like broody cages as much as a couple of milder methods, and have found that locking them out works just as well with some, though not all, hens.
Well, the crate works best and fastest, especially if used right away.
I've broken a couple broody pullets by tossing them out of the nest multiple times a day,
if one has time for that. Can't lock one bird out of coop if others are laying.
How many broodies have you broken?
 

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