What to do with broody hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mediazeal, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I added a question at the bottom about giving her fertile eggs to sit on. Advice welcome!!
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    I have an 8 month old Ameraucana pullet. For the past couple of weeks (it's hot here) she has been electing to stay in the coop on the nest when I let them out to free range. Attempt to check for eggs under here are met with pecking and nipping. (ouch - she doesn't really like me on a good day).
    Yesterday I forced her off the nest after an hour or so. She was sitting on the other hen's eggs and a wooden one. She put up a fuss but eventually walked around and ate the blueberries I brought.
    When I go to lock them up at night, she is on the nest, not the roost.

    About the time this started I had added 3 more pullets to the flock. She is one to dole out the trouble to the newbies.

    I assume she is broody, but today when I picked her up and put her on the ground she did not get up to walk around.

    So just checking with the experts.
    Broody?
    and if so, what do I do to break her?

    thanks
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  2. Hillbilly Hen

    Hillbilly Hen Overrun With Chickens

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    Sounds broody to me. I have never tried to break a broody though. Maybe someone can help.
     
  3. jennh

    jennh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2007
    Lititz
    Quote:Has she laid any eggs yet? She sounds broody, but???

    Jen
     
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The elevated wire bottom cage method has been the best for breaking a broody hen around here. I have used a rabbit hutch with good results. They aren't very happy about it, but I don't see any point in letting the hen get run down and losing out on the egg production if I don't have room (note I didn't say need, lol) for any more chicks, ducks, turkeys, etc. Here is a great thread that explains that method as well as a few others.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=181289
     
  5. HenNewbie

    HenNewbie Out Of The Brooder

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    Dayton, Or
    We went over 5 wks and she just broke her cycle yesterday. I posted what we did (no cold water baths or wire cages) with awesome results for us and her under "She Finally Stopped Brooding - Victory!! (last edited this evening). We are still waiting for eggs from her, but I'm sure they will come soon.

    Good luck!
     
  6. greathorse

    greathorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Colorado
    Your hen sure sounds broody. I have often taken them off the nest and put them on the ground and it seems like it takes a bit for the legs to start working again. I have discovered that the fool proof way to break a broody is to put some very nice (expensive) eggs under her, for me breaks them up every time. LOL.

    I think the thing that works best is to put them in a pen with a wire bottom for a couple of days. It seems to work for some, others it doesnt seem to matter what you do, except for high dollar eggs.
     
  7. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:hhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
    that totally cracked me up
    Isnt it always the way of things!

    She is in my layer flock. I suppose I could put her in an enclosure in the coop with food, water and some fertilized eggs from my friends breed coop. Today I put a wooden egg next to her though and she pecked it hard. She was really wishing she could get me instead I'm sure, but I dont' want her to break any eggs. She is just not a tame chicken.
    I dont' know that I would trust her to not kill them either.
    So if I risk like 2 eggs under her and a couple of wooden eggs...

    Do I have to reach under her to take out eggs she is laying that are not fertile? She will definately bite me.

    I really wish she would get over it.
    oh well

    thanks all
     
  8. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm thinking of giving her 3 fertile eggs I have in the incubator.
    I put 2 wooden eggs under her today.
    I have to fence off a little broody area in the coop for her with food, water and a nest and wire to keep the babies away from the others.

    So, do I have to give her eggs that are brand new? or can I give her eggs that have been incubating for a week?

    thanks for your help [​IMG]
     
  9. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can give her the eggs you have in the bator. Some hens will get freaked out if you put eggs under them and they hatch in a day or two (others don't care at all) but since your eggs have only been in the bator for a week you should be fine. Happy hatching! [​IMG]

    ETA: If you're going to move her make sure to do it before you give her the eggs. Some hens can be incredibly stubborn about only sitting in "their" spot and will stop being broody when they are moved. When I've had to move a broody hen I've had better luck if I do it at night and then cover her new spot for the first day so it stays dim. Most of the time she'll be back in her broody trance when you uncover her new spot and will stay put. Keep her on the wooden eggs until you're sure she's going to sit in her new nest, a day or two won't make any difference with giving her the eggs in the bator.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  10. mediazeal

    mediazeal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ok, this is really good advice
    she is in her new pen and I gave her 4 eggs
    she is NOT sitting on them
    so I will pop them back in the incubator and give her wooden eggs til tomorrow and see what happens
    thank you so much for the great advice
     

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