what to do with a broody hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crabby chickens, Apr 5, 2013.

  1. crabby chickens

    crabby chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2012
    Paso Robles, CA
    We have 15 hens and no rooster. We have 4 nest boxes, which they share well, but lately one of our Golden Wyandottes has gotten really broody and sits on the next all day. Does anyone know what to do with her? I'm afraid she is taking one of the boxes out of use for the other hens.
  2. allison finch

    allison finch Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 12, 2009
    Chapel Hill, NC
    The only thing to do with a broody hen is USE HER!! Stick some fertile eggs under her! As for using a nest box, I have 4 boxes for 14 hens and they all want to use only two boxes. They stand in line for theose two. I would shift the broody hen (with an egg to keep her happy) into one of the least used boxes.
  3. aayto1

    aayto1 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 29, 2013
    Queensland Australia
    You can leave her there. Although she is broody when a hen goes like that you will find all your chickens will want to lay in her box. This is because they know she is broody and wanting to hatch chicks so they want to help out. If you didnt want her to sit you can chuck her off the nest a few times an that should do the job but otherwise the other chickens will lay the same using all 4 boxes
    but most hens will lay where she sits.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2013
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    North Eastern Md.
    Build, buy or borrow a broody buster. A broody buster is just a simple wire cage that you place the broody hen in. I use a wire boxtrap that I have around. You could build a simple one with chicken wire and scrap wood. Broodiness is a hormonal thing with some hens. A lot of it has been bred out, but not all. If you are not going to have the hen raise chicks, then you will be doing her a huge favor by helping her get past the broody stage. It's hard on them to go through this, they don't eat or drink properly. they don't get out and get proper exercise. And they can stay in this condition for WEEKS. They can't help themselves, So it is a good thing to help her through this if you are not planning on hatching any eggs.
    What you do is, put her in the broody buster for usually 2-3 days. Have the broody buster elevated so air can get under the hen. That's why it is important to have a wire bottom on the buster. Air HAS to get under the hen. You should put water in there, along with a little feed container. After 3 days, she should be back to normal, but if she goes back to sitting, back in the box for another couple of days.
    I have 2 out of my 3 BOs that go broody kinda regularly. I just had one in the box this past week. She did a couple of days, and now shes back out enjoying the fresh air again. I'm giving some thought to maybe getting some fertilized eggs and put under one of them someday.
  5. crabby chickens

    crabby chickens Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 21, 2012
    Paso Robles, CA
    Back Yard Chicken members are the greatest! Thank you so much and Henny Penny thanks you too. You are totally right on everything. I have had to throw her off the nest and lock the hens out of the coop a few hours, so she can eat some fresh grass and scratch (her favorite) as I'm afraid she is not eating. We will try the broody buster and get back to you soon, otherwise we will have to find her a home with a rooster, so maybe she can hatch eggs. Thank you again
  6. charthorn

    charthorn Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 19, 2012
    New Mexico
    If left alone, how long will a hen stay broody?
  7. crazycluck86

    crazycluck86 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2013
    Im having the same problem with my silkie cross, but she's soooo stubborn! Iv been locking her out of the nest boxes for weeks and shes not having it! I think ill have to give in and let her sit. My brahma hatched 4 chicks about 5 weeks ago, and she was broody then! If I left her, would she eventually give up?
  8. Sibtiger1

    Sibtiger1 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2015
    My silkie is gone broody and it is getting to be winter time soon so i don't think it would be a good idea right now to let her hatch eggs.. I could be wrong any input would be great she won't leave the nest even though i collect the eggs. My rooster is not old enough to fertilize any eggs yet. Help
  9. Bernadine503

    Bernadine503 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 20, 2015
    Oregon~Yamhill County
    I'd like to hear what others say too. I have two Silkie hens and just gave each of them a few eggs to hatch. We're in Oregon.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop

    1 person likes this.

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