Will my silly broody hen starve herself sitting on the nest???

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by kristenm1975, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. kristenm1975

    kristenm1975 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    She's a first-time broody cochin and has been at it for about 5 days now. I don't have a rooster, so she's trying to hatch a chick out of a plastic egg. Maybe once or twice in five days there's been an egg in that nest from another hen, and unless they shared the nest for that time, she is getting off it at least very briefly. I'm just concerned that she's going to sit there and starve. I don't have the hens on a system where food is available all day because I have a really bad rat problem, so they are fed in the morning and if they don't eat then, the other hens will clean it up and she won't get any.

    Any suggestions? Keeping in mind that I work 14 hour days away from home and won't really be up for anything super time-consuming. Thanks!
  2. jonesgirl

    jonesgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    I read here somewhere you are supposed to keep water and food by them because they won't get up to eat or drink...
  3. shortcake1806

    shortcake1806 Sassy McSassington

    Sep 11, 2007
    First suggestion, get her some fertile eggs. [​IMG]

    Second move her to a private location where you can put a small dish of food and water near her.

    If you don't want her to brood take all eggs away even the plastic one. She'll continue to brood as long as she has something to sit on.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Are you going to try to get her to hatch some eggs? if not, you need to break her from being broody. A broody hen will normally get up to eat, drink, and poo as they need to, but being broody is hard on a hen. She needs to either become a mama or get her hormones back under control.
  5. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    There are a number of books on poultry that can tell you how to deal with a broody hen. Having her sit on a plastic egg is a waste of time. You should either get her some fertile eggs or read up on how to break her brooding cycle. It is possible from what I've been reading though I have no experience. Yet.
  6. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I agree with the above posts. If you're not going to let her hatch anything, try to break her of it. I had two broodies at the same time and one refused to leave the nest. She started looking VERY bad. I had to remove her daily and put her down by the food and water and even then she would barely eat or drink anything - and she refused food when I put it in her nest box with her. She finally has baby chicks and is fine now, but I was worried about her.

    I'm just telling you because you asked if she'd starve herself - and mine came close to it. If you are not going to let her hatch out anything, I would definitely work to break her of it.
  7. Slywoody

    Slywoody Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    I seen a video on you - tube last night where a woman dunked a broody in a bucket of cold water a couple of times to cure it from brooding. Anybody else ever hear of this method. Afterwards, she put it out in the yard and said " she'll be fine now",,,,,,,
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    We tried the cold water method, the ice cubes in the nest method, the open air cage method on my first broody hen. At the time, we had no rooster. She would not be broken, even with us hauling her off the nest daily to eat, drink and poop. By 20 days, she was in trouble, very dehydrated. Began twitching her head backwards, couldn't walk, etc. Emergency measures were squeezing a vitamin E capsule in her mouth daily plus syringing water into her mouth, etc. She snapped out of it on Day 23, but we were very close to losing her. The next year, she went broody again and this time hatched out chicks plus adopted 25 three-week-old chicks in the pen next to hers.
    Sometimes, the first time for a broody is just hard for her. .
  9. lovemychickies

    lovemychickies Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 1, 2009
    Northern CA!!
    I've been following your thread because I have a first time broody who is just about killing herself on unfertile eggs. She rejected day old chicks, so I'm going to go out right now (it's dark) and take her eggs I guess. Poor thing.
  10. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I've always had great success breaking a broody's mood by putting them in a wire-bottomed cage (like a rabbit or parrot cage)set up high, like on sawhorses or blocks, so air will flow up underneath. You just put food & water in there, and a roost if you can fit it, but no bedding. In 3-5 days the hen is usually ready to return to her regularly scheduled programming.

    After 3 days you let the hen out and watch where she goes. If she goes back to the nest, put her back in the cage. If she goes to hang out with her flock, she's broken her mood.

    I have a reclaimed parrot cage on a metal stand that I keep in the pen as a Broody Buster. It's handy to have something like this ready to use whenever you need it.

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