Very Broody Chickens

Shezadandy

Crowing
Sep 26, 2015
2,173
2,712
357
Portland OR
So I just finished building a broody cage, since we didn't have a dog cage. I put them in and they didn't seem very happy with me, but they have plenty of water and a buffet of food so they should be fine. How long should I keep them in for?
Likely 3 days, that's been the average for our hens. The main thing to watch for is they will begin to stand in the crate instead of assuming the broody pose. Once I've got a full day of standing, I try putting them back. If they return to the nest ... back to the breaker.

Anyways- I had a hen reject her newly hatched chicks, and had raised them myself for about 3 weeks --- then another broody hatched her own eggs. I had everyone in the bathroom at that point, the older littles were in one area and the new mom and her little bitties were in another.

The momma hen started talking to the older chicks, so I waited for dark and added one- and she took it ... added the others and everyone did great. They all bonded and that was that. Now that's a sleepless night and an early morning, because I did not (nor would I ever) just close the door and walk away, but by breakfast time it was clear everything was fine, the chicks were happy to have a mom, and the mom was happy for more chicks - and it did work out despite the age difference.

So, if you were still thinking of trying the hen that's been broody for 3 weeks, you could contain her in a spot where she can hear the chicks and the chicks can hear her - they may ignore each other completely- but if she talks to them, there's a chance she might raise them. I'm not saying it will work, and it will take dedicated supervision. Always add chicks in the dark. Most of the time when the hen shuffles around to make sure everyone's covered, and talks to them, things go well.
 

Katniss_Everdeen

Chirping
Nov 24, 2020
93
174
63
Australia
Likely 3 days, that's been the average for our hens. The main thing to watch for is they will begin to stand in the crate instead of assuming the broody pose. Once I've got a full day of standing, I try putting them back. If they return to the nest ... back to the breaker.

Anyways- I had a hen reject her newly hatched chicks, and had raised them myself for about 3 weeks --- then another broody hatched her own eggs. I had everyone in the bathroom at that point, the older littles were in one area and the new mom and her little bitties were in another.

The momma hen started talking to the older chicks, so I waited for dark and added one- and she took it ... added the others and everyone did great. They all bonded and that was that. Now that's a sleepless night and an early morning, because I did not (nor would I ever) just close the door and walk away, but by breakfast time it was clear everything was fine, the chicks were happy to have a mom, and the mom was happy for more chicks - and it did work out despite the age difference.

So, if you were still thinking of trying the hen that's been broody for 3 weeks, you could contain her in a spot where she can hear the chicks and the chicks can hear her - they may ignore each other completely- but if she talks to them, there's a chance she might raise them. I'm not saying it will work, and it will take dedicated supervision. Always add chicks in the dark. Most of the time when the hen shuffles around to make sure everyone's covered, and talks to them, things go well.
I like the idea, i just don't have the time or resources.
 

rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
13,405
25,271
842
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
So I just finished building a broody cage, since we didn't have a dog cage. I put them in and they didn't seem very happy with me, but they have plenty of water and a buffet of food so they should be fine. How long should I keep them in for?
(I wrote this for a solo chicken, still applies even with 2):

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.
 

Judys chooks

In the Brooder
Nov 27, 2020
4
15
13
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?
Hi there. I'm new at this forum but so hope I've put this is the correct place? Unfortunately my hen has been broody for 3 weeks now. How long do you think it will take to break her of this habit if I put her in a cage? Or am I nearly at the end of it? How long does it last if you haven't caged them quickly enough? If I'm in the wrong section please advise and I can do it properly next time. :)
 

RoosterML

Make Ameraucanas Great Again
Premium Feather Member
Nov 5, 2018
4,206
31,212
702
Tolland County Connecticut, USA
I haven't counted the exact number of broodies I have, and I don't always want to stop them from being broody.

I'm not going to comment on this thread anymore because I was here to help advise OP, not argue.
Hopefully OP can work it out.



Not very polite but I am trying to help, in case you hadn't guessed. At least you've told me why you want to know this time.

On a lighter note, I like your coop design!
:)
Don’t worry @aart is alittle grumpy at times especially if you don’t have your location listed. :gigJ/K
 

AllenK RGV

Chicken Addict
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2017
5,548
15,635
777
Deep South Texas Laureles,TX 10A
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.
I agree with @aart I call it broody prison and have two cat transport crates dedicated to broody breaking. If they are found in their broody spot they go directly to jail for the day. We also remove all eggs to prevent the other hens from getting crazy ideas.

Allowing a silkie to see 5 eggs or more never turns out well.
 
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rosemarythyme

Crossing the Road
Jul 3, 2016
13,405
25,271
842
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
Hi there. I'm new at this forum but so hope I've put this is the correct place? Unfortunately my hen has been broody for 3 weeks now. How long do you think it will take to break her of this habit if I put her in a cage? Or am I nearly at the end of it? How long does it last if you haven't caged them quickly enough? If I'm in the wrong section please advise and I can do it properly next time. :)
You should be close to the end of it, so probably no point in caging unless she doesn't break after 24ish days or so. Caging to break them works the best if it's done immediately.
 

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