Well, I have a broody :/ 6 month old Barred Rock.


8 Years
Jul 4, 2011
Alberta, Canada
So, I have a lovely Barred Rock named Dorothy. She gave me my first egg about 5 weeks ago (at 21 weeks old) and has laid almost every day since. Of my two birds laying so far, she is (was) the most consistent. I thought Barred Rocks don't get broody? And especially not so young?

Last week, while on vacation, I got a text message from my sister, who was house-sitting for me. "Sooo, one of the black and white chickens hasn't moved for three days, she is sitting on an egg and won't let me have it." Yep - sounds broody. I just told her to try to get the egg away without getting pecked and ignore her. Got home yesterday and peeked into the nesting box, yep, there she is. I took her off the golf ball she thinks is her baby and put her down by the food and water. Checked this morning, yep, there she is again. Took her off the nest again.

Now, I know there are lots of threads about how to "break" a broody, so that isn't my question. My question is, if I'm not interested in "breaking" her per se (mostly because I'm lazy/busy with other things), how long could this phase last for her? I don't mind taking her off the nest every day but I don't have time to make a project out of it. I don't necessarily need the eggs from her. And, no, I can't let her hatch. I have all the chickens I need.

Thanks for any input!
Update: so I figured out that it actually isn't Dorothy. Those Barred Rocks are so hard to tell apart! My broody is Chickadee, who, as far as I can tell, only laid 4 or 5 eggs before going broody. That is weird, right?
The experience I had with my broody Orpington and Pekin bantams was that they'll stay put until something hatches! In the end, I took them out of the nest and closed the pop-hole until it was near their bedtime. It took 3 or 4 days (might take less or more with yours) and they lost interest in brooding. It means your other hens can't get in to the nest box of course, but they'll find somewhere to lay their eggs. So long as they have access to food and water, they'll be fine.

I know there are other methods to stop broodiness, but this worked for my two. My blog dated July 5 "Latest brooding news" has a lovely picture of the pair of them (they had decided to brood the same clutch of eggs, so shared a nest).

hmmm, that means I'll have to build a pop door. It's a fully enclosed run and coop, so I wasn't going to bother with a door until it gets cold at night. I'll think about doing it sooner.
When I found that she had plucked her stomach bare, I decided I'd better break her broodiness.
It's not going that well so far.
So what method are you using to break her broodiness? I have a couple of birds that have gone broody on me a couple of times - the speckled sussex is not aggressive to me so I can lift her off the nest and put her outside to get food and water and exercise - but she will not stop being broody so, after a few days of trying, I put her in the broody breaker - a rabbit cage with food and water that is set up off the ground on two 4'x4' posts. It takes three days of her being in there to break her broodiness. The other recurring broody is a light brahma and she is wicked mean while on the nest. Fortunately for me, she seems to come out of her broodiness on her own, usually within a week or so. I just give her food while she is on the nest and remove the eggs when she moves from one nest box to the other (which happens twice a day at least) or when she is outside briefly. Good luck! ~Laura
Thanks, Laura.

I did basically what you did for your sussex. Just moved her to a smaller space with food and water but no nesting materials. She was in the "broody box" for about 4 days before she stopped heading straight for the nest when I opened it up to clean it. Happy to say she has rejoined the flock!

I'm still really surprised that it happened at all, though.
I have a barred rock who did almost the same thing. She starting laying at 19 weeks and did so for about a month. Then she went broody. Now she lays for about a month or so....and then is broody again for three weeks. She is now a year and a half old and the cycle continues. She did go broody in the winter as well. Twice a day I take her out of the nest box to make sure she eats. The only benefit was when I added pullets to my adult flock. Right away she took them under her wing so to speak! Followed them around, herded them away from the other birds. She is also the chicken that grooms my crossed beak hen. So she doesn't lay as many eggs now but I figure she'll lay them for a longer time.
Huh, that's so interesting, TheSitcomGirls. She sounds sweet! I hope mine doesn't go broody that often, but if she does, it's good to know that she could maybe raise some chicks for me if that's something I ever decide to do.
I was/am in your situation. I didn't have the energy or time (or heart) to break my girls from being broody. So they sit in their little bucket trying to hatch pine shavings for about 28-30 days or so. I take them off their nest once or twice a day to make sure they are doing ok, but that's it. Their poor little chests are plucked clean and hotter than anything!!! And, just about when I think they will not stop being broody...they are over it. So, if you don't want to go through trying to break them of it...don't. They'll move on.

(Although, my sister does have one girl that is determined to be a momma. She was broody for ove 3 months straight. Lost a bunch of weight. Looked terrible. And no matter what they did to try and break her, she just wouldn't have it. So they finally gave her fertile eggs. She is the BEST momma ever. It is her lifes purpose.)

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