What do you find works best when you have a broody hen?

What do you find works best when you have a broody hen?

  • Place ice cold water bottle under her to discourage her from nesting.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Close off her laying box.

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    10

bobbi-j

Enabler
Mar 15, 2010
15,231
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On the MN prairie.
If you don't want chicks, put her in a broody buster. A wire dog crate with food, water and maybe a perch. I have never done this, but @aart can tell you their experience with it.

If you want her to hatch, get some fertile eggs, and find a place for her to set. Some broodies are easily moved and will settle wherever you put them. Others are stubborn and will only sit in the nest that they have chosen. If I have one that sets in the coop where other hens have access to her nest, I willl mark the eggs for my broody with a Sharpie. i just draw a circle around the egg so I can see at a glance every day if she's had "donations" from othe hens. I remove all extra eggs from the nest. If you are able to separate her, I'd keep her where she is still in sight of the flock and has room to get up off the nest to eat, drink and poop on her own. I never take a broody off the nest to do these things, as I figure she knows her needs far more than I do. Once the chicks are hatched, if they're not already in with the flock, I like to integrate mama and babies when they're a week or so old. When they've hatched with the flock, I have noticed that mama will keep them away from the rest of the chickens anywhere from a few days to a week or so. In my opinion, the younger they are when introduced to the flock the better. Mama will still be protective, and they learn their place in the flock. An added bonus is that if anything happens to the mama, the chicks are already integrated and have learned their manners from the rest of the flock.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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If you don't want chicks, put her in a broody buster. A wire dog crate with food, water and maybe a perch. I have never done this, but @aart can tell you their experience with it.
Works great here.
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.
1606659635722.png
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
Mar 15, 2010
15,231
30,388
1,052
On the MN prairie.
Works great here.
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 2429553
(You know that I will tag you Every. Single. Time. I mention a broody buster, right?)
 

HappyClucker7

Crowing
Apr 28, 2016
3,711
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New York
As the others have said, it depends on what you want. If you want chicks, then give her some eggs to hatch or chicks to raise. If you don't want chicks, then you should break her.
 

CluckerFamily

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
Feb 14, 2016
4,214
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Wisconsin
It depends:
If I have room for more chickens, I will let her hatch some.
If I don't have room, I won't let her hatch any.
If she is sort of broody, I will just keep removing her from the nesting box.
If she is full out broody, I will keep her in a cage until she stops being broody.
 

jwehl

Crowing
Nov 3, 2020
3,250
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363
Atlanta GA
It didn't really occur to me (until BYC) that you could break a broody. I also didnt realize that hens go broody no matter how many eggs she has, so I always just thought I failed at collecting eggs in a timely manner and now they were hers. 😅 I feel guilty disposing of started eggs so I usually let them do their thing and set up an incubator if they have way too many (30 sometimes because WHY?) or if they abandon the nest when I move them somewhere safe (free range).
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
Nov 27, 2012
89,949
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SW Michigan
My Coop
When I have a broody and want her to hatch I wait until she's been in the nest most the day and all night for 2-3 days...along with those other signs I posted.

Then I put her in the broody enclosure with fake eggs in the floor nest, she won't like being moved, but if she is truly good and broody she will settle onto the new nest within a half a day.
Then I give her fresh fertile eggs and mark the calendar.

I like them separated by wire from the flock, it's just easier all around.
No having to mark eggs and remove any additions daily, no taking up a laying nest, no going back to the wrong nest after the daily constitutional.

I remove barrier about one week after hatch. The chicks are usually safe it's the broody who has to 'fight' her way back into the pecking order...which can be quick or take a few days.

Lots of space helps for re-integration.
 

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