May 17, 2012

The Broody Breaker- When a Hen's Mood to Hatch Should be Interrupted

The sweetest hen in the flock sits in the same nest box all day, growling, puffing out her feathers, even pecking at intruders- both feathered and boot-wearing. She is not a beast to be trifled with. What's her deal? She is broody, which means she is determined to hatch chicks. If she is not going to be allowed to hatch chicks, she must be broken and the sooner, the better.

If she is going to be allowed to hatch eggs, click here for more information about caring for broody hens and facilitating the hatch.

WHAT’S A BROODY HEN & WHAT CAUSES BROODINESS?
 A broody hen is one that is inspired to sit on a collection of eggs until she hatches chicks. It is an instinct, influenced by hormones, that can be triggered by seeing a collection of eggs in a nest, another broody hunkered down in a nest box or the length of daylight hours.

A hen has a hormone surge prior to egg-laying that causes her to find and prepare a nest for the arrival. The hormones usually return to normal levels after the egg is laid, but occasionally they will  remain elevated, which causes the hen to sit in a chosen location, intent on hatching eggs.  Some breeds are more predisposed to broodiness than others, Silkies and Cochins, for example. I like to say that broodiness is a ‘calling.’ Not every hen will become broody in her lifetime, but those that do are committed to the calling and fiercely protective of their territory.

A broody hen left to her own devices will lay a clutch of eggs, which, if fertile, will wait until she is ready to sit on them, warming them until they hatch.  When she is ready to begin sitting on the eggs her body releases the hormone, prolactin, which stops egg-laying temporarily. Under ordinary conditions, she will sit on the eggs for 21 days, raise her chicks and resume egg-laying approximately 5 weeks later.

If there are no fertile eggs or she sits on an empty nest, broodiness can continue long beyond three weeks, resulting in negative consequences.
April was sitting on hatching eggs & puffed up when I opened the egg door.
Conventional wisdom suggests that broodiness can be discouraged by keeping eggs out of a hen’s sight. Collecting eggs frequently from nest boxes and hanging nest box curtains are two suggested ways of accomplishing this. That having been said, my experience with countless broodies has shown that a hen with the inclination to brood needs no encouragement. I remove eggs from the nest boxes at least three times a day and have had nest box curtains in my coops for years, yet certain hens still go broody at the drop of a hat. I guess mine didn't read the book.

HOW TO IDENTIFY A BROODY HEN
As a general rule, a broody prefers a dark, private, comfortable location in which she will sit until her eggs hatch. Her chosen spot may be a nest box, or a hidden location away from the coop. It is not unheard of for a hen to disappear, returning three weeks later with baby chicks in tow.
A stash of eggs found by Julie Bittinger in a prime brooding location- dark & private.
The sweetest hen in a flock is barely recognizable when she is broody. She is fiercely protective of her territory. When approached, she growls, shrieks, puffs out her feathers, and pecks at any intruder, trying to be as intimidating as possible in defense of her eggs.
This is the classic 'puffing out' of feathers that broodies exhibit when in defensive mode.
This is Rachel, my Bantam Cochin Frizzle, who is often broody but is no longer
permitted to sit on eggs as she kills the chicks when they hatch. 

A broody hen sits in her chosen spot, briefly leaving it once or twice a day to eat, drink and relieve herself.  (Broody poop is the most horrendous, foul and ginormous of all specimens as the droppings are retained for hours vs. being eliminated regularly throughout the day. A broody hen does not foul her nest, keeping it clean for her anticipated chicks.)
Rachel in the Zen-like trance I call The Broody Zone.They only snap out
of it when interrupted or interfered with.

A broody plucks her own breast feathers to expose the warmth and moisture of her skin directly to the eggs (hence the expression "to feather one's nest," meaning to prepare for something).

THE CONSEQUENCES OF UNWANTED BROODINESS
Her calling requires her to sit and wait for chicks to hatch. The lack of fertile eggs or any eggs at all do not concern her. She obeys her calling to sit and in doing so, she will neglect herself for the good of her anticipated chicks. She eat, drinks and eliminates waste once or twice a day at most.  Her comb becomes pale, her feathers lose sheen and she loses a noticeable amount of weight. This drastic change normal routine is tolerable in 21 day stints but protracted stints are unhealthy for her.

She will continue to lose weight and becomes vulnerable to external parasites settling in among her feathers. She stops producing eggs while brooding and for five weeks or more afterwards. She cannot be relied upon for contributions to egg sales or consumption for eight weeks total, on average. Her behavior often inspires other hens in the flock to go broody, multiplying the consequences already mentioned.
Within 24 hours of the first broody appearing last summer, every nest box in my coop
 was full of broody hens. Broodiness begets broodiness.

A broody occupies a nest box that laying hens may wish to use and they will either join her in it, creating an environment in which eggs can be broken, or may find another, less desirable place to lay their eggs. Neither option is ideal.
The Black Ameraucana was broody, Irene, the Welsummer
just wanted to lay an egg in peace.
Mabel couldn't find an empty nest box as they were all occupied by broodies.
Mabel takes it upon herself to find a quiet corner of the coop to lay her eggs absent a free nest box.

HOW TO BREAK A BROODY
A broody hen who is allowed to sit indefinitely can suffer long-term health consequences and even die from malnutrition. It is important to ‘break’ or stop a hen’s broodiness as soon as possible after identifying the behavior. The longer she is broody, the longer it will take to break her and the longer it will take for her to return to egg-laying. If the behavior is identified within the first day or two, it can be reversed within a day or two.  To break a broody, her belly must be cooled off and her comfy nesting routine disrupted.

There are many suggested methods for broody-breaking, some unreliable or ineffective, some cruel and inhumane. I strongly recommend against any technique involving water or ice.  I also do not recommend the ‘boomerang’ method of taking her out of the nest repeatedly, only for her to panic, cluck and run directly back to her chosen spot or to sit right down in protest before running back to her nest. I find this method unnecessarily protracted and stressful for everyone. Further, she continues to occupy a nest box during this time, making it unavailable for other hens to use.
This is a broody was taken out of the nest for illustration purposes only. She promptly assumed the broody position in the mulch. Shortly thereafter she was moved into the Broody Breaker.

THE BROODY BREAKER
To break a broody, I use a proven and reliable method consisting of a wire-bottomed cage placed in a well-lit location. As soon as a broody is identified, she goes into the Broody Breaker. A rabbit hutch serves this purpose perfectly. The wire bottomed cage allows cooler air to circulate under the hen, cooling off her belly/breast.
Since my Broody Breaker was occupied with adolescent chicks,
this broody had been sitting for several days & will take more than a week to break.
The Broody Breaker is Rachel's second home. Cochins are well known for their propensity for broodiness.

 Once in the Broody Breaker, she will be upset briefly but will soon settle down. Broody hens prefer comfortable, well-padded, dark, undisturbed locations for sitting. The wire bottomed cage is anything but comfortable. If she is identified early in her broody state, she should be broken within a few days and back to egg laying within a week or so. The longer she is allowed to sit, the longer she will have to remain in the Broody Breaker and the longer she will take to get back to production.

To test whether a hen is ready to join the flock as a contributing member again, I remove her from the Broody Breaker and watch her behavior. If she is still broody she will high-tail it directly back to her chosen nest, in which case, back she goes into the Broody Breaker for another tour of duty.

436 comments :

  1. Good to know. I hope I do not end up with a broody.

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  2. Fascinating. I don't even have hens (though I would if I could) yet I am thoroughly intrigued. Thx!

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    1. That is so cool to hear, thanks for following my chicken-ness. :)

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  3. I enjoyed this post! We're on the opposite end - I've had hens for 10 years or more and this is the first year we've had a broody hen and I WANT her to hatch those babies! The big mistake we made was not putting her elsewhere - when she get's up once a day the other hens dash in and lay an egg (or 3) - right now she's sitting on 28!

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  4. I have had many hens go broody...some give up before the 21 days is over (which is great when I have my incubator going...I have hatched out several chicks that a broody starts and I finish!)...some hatch out their chickies and are proud mamas. However, just like your Rachel, I have a broody who hatches her chicks out and then kills them. At first I was thinking that the other chickens were killing them, until I found one dead, in her nest with a peck to the head/neck region...now I know it's her...the rest were all the same type of "death." I need to make a broody breaker ASAP...I cleaned out her nest today, as she moved to a different one. I have two other broodies, and they may need to be done too...otherwise I should just get rid of my incubator ;) Thanks for the great post, wheels are turning for a broody breaker now...

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    1. My pleasure, thanks. ☺ There are lots of creative possiblities for broody breakers, including elevating a cage off the ground with blocks or hanging it from the ceiling.

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  5. I love all of your posts, great information!!!

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    1. Thank you, JKey! Happy to have you following me on my chicken-keeping journey.

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  6. BOQUETBONNIE5/19/12, 10:28 PM

    MARK ALL OF HER EGGS WITH A PERMANENT BLACK MARKER. USE AN "X" OR A "DATE". THEN YOU'LL KNOW WHICH EGGS TO TAKE FROM HER (THE UNMARKED ONES) A COUPLE OF TIMES A DAY. IF YOU USE THE DATE, YOU'LL KNOW WHEN THE EGGS SHOULD HATCH, DEPENDING UPON WHEN SHE STARTS BROODING THE EGGS. A BROODY HEN WILL SIT ON & HATCH ANYBODY'S EGGS, NOT JUST HER OWN. YOU MUST THEN BE CAREFUL, WHEN THEY HATCH, THAT SHE'S A GOOD MOTHER.

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    1. That's eggsactly what I do when I have a broody that I allow to brood in the coop, which is rare now that I have options to put her someplace more private. The challenge when she is in the general population is to check for newly laid eggs underneah her without losing a hand! :)

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    2. In my embryology classes, at NC State ,we were taught to never use a magic marker, permanent marker on the eggs , to always use a pencil because the ink can go thru the shell and damage the embryo. I taught embryology in our local schools thru 4-H for years and found this to be quite true. The hatch rate with permanent maker eggs was much less and more deformed chicks, than with the pencil! Just a little info that may help! I loved the info on breaking the Broody!

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    3. Interesting to know, Jeanette. The problem with pencil is that broodies have direct contact with the eggs, which is not a problem encountered in an incubator and the pencil rubs off. I guess it's a trade-off to be able to track the eggs under a broody.
      With the wide array of things that can go wrong with hatching chicks, I think it would be difficult to prove statistically that the marker was the cause of deformed chicks vs. some other factor. I think it's a fascinating hypothesis though and would actually love to see a real study done on it!

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  7. Thanks Kathy, you just helped out 1 fat Jersey Giant, although she may not appreciate the help. Now, I have to acquire a broody breaker & I think I saw 1 in my cousin's house! he had rabbits.

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  8. I'm glad to hear that broodiness was her only problem, Pam. Let me know how it goes and if you have any questions along the way!

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  9. Glad I came upon this post. What to do if you have multiple broodies?? I have two right now, they have been at it for quite a while. Can I put two in the broody box?

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    1. I have put two in the broody breaker at the same time.

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  10. I have a hen who has been on six eggs since 6/23. One egg broke and there were maggots in the nest. YUK! I moved her and the eggs to the next box and they seemed to be fine. Day before yesterday, I see one got broke or something as I saw a tiny dead foot. Is it time to end it and put her in a rabbit cage? Thanks! Julie

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  11. I have hen who has been on a nest since 6/23. I found a broken egg three days ago and it was covered in maggots. I moved mom and eggs to a new box and she seemed fine. YUK! Yesterday there was a broken egg with a little dead foot sticking out. Is it time to put the hen in a breaker box? Or will I be removing her just as the eggs are ready to hatch? Thanks!

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    1. If you have an incubator I would move the eggs to the bator. She may be killing the chicks herself. I have a hen who does that as soon as they hatch.
      If you don't have an incubator, you'll just have to pay really close attention to what's going on underneath her and monitor her reaction. If it looks like she's viewing them as enemies, you'll have to take them and figure out a way to keep them warm until they finish hatching.

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  12. Very interesting, never realized it was this serious. I have a broody hen now.

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  13. Very interesting, I have a broody hen now.

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  14. I have an Old English Game hen that is incredibly broody! I've only had her since maybe June and she has gone broody twice. The first time, after removing her from the nest several times, she stopped and started laying eggs. This time, she just wouldn't stop so I have read your blog. I did already put her in a cage away from the nest. I might just move her into an empty rabbit hutch like you suggested. Since she has been doing this for some time (several weeks, to be honest!) I'm guessing it is going to take a while. Thanks for the help!!!!!

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  15. I have an Old English Game hen that loves to go broody. The first time, I removed her repeatedly and she stopped and started laying again. This time, however, she won't stop. (I had not read this blog, yet) So, I put her in a cage. THEN, I read your blog! She has been broody for a pretty long time so I guess she might be there awhile. I will probably move her to an empty rabbit hutch tomorrow. Thanks for the information!!!

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  16. I have a BO that has been broody for almost 2 months now. We keep making her get out of the nest box but she continues to go back in there. I do not have a rabbit cage to place her in, what else can i use to break her?

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    1. Any wire-bottomed enclosure will work. If you need to prop it up on cinder blocks, that's fine, air just needs to be able to circulate underneath her.

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  17. The very most effective way I have found to stop a broody hen from brooding is to incubate eggs indoors and as soon as they hatch place them under a broody hen. That way, no matter how many hens are broody at the same time, or for how long they have been broody, they can each get one or more peeps to raise and get back to laying sooner. I usually start incubating eggs as soon as the weather warms up - before any of my girls get broody. If no hens are broody by the time the eggs hatch I have a brooder inside, but I prefer to let the hens mama the peeps.

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  18. This is very interesting. I have a brahma that has gone broody for the last 2 years. This year she didn't go broody until the end of July. The first batch of eggs didn't hatch so I got her more eggs and we finally got 4 chicks. She will not stop until she gets at least 1 baby. Last year she went broody in April so I was very surprised when she didn't go until July. I was really hoping that she wasn't going to this year. So far out of my entire flock she is the only one that has gone broody. I hope none of the others will. It is nice having baby chicks that the mother takes care of instead of me. She is a great mother.

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  19. My Miss MoneyPenny was a Silkie/Cochin Cross...broody at the drop of a hat and MEAN about it too...it was like Jeckyll and Hyde. She was the sweetest thing until "The Broody Zone." Then she became a flat screaming pancake...oy.

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  20. Miss MoneyPenny, my Silkie/Cochin bantam would go broody at the drop of a hat. She was hell on wheels to break too...stubborn cuss.
    She turned into Jeckyll and Hyde.She was sweet but when she hit "The Broody Zone" all bets were off. She became a flat screaming pancake.

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  21. We just have 3 hens, one of which is a silkie who has recently become very broody. I hadn't realized how bad this can be for her health until I read this. Thank you. We have her set up now in a rabbit hutch with food and water. I'm wondering about night time though....should she stay in? It gets about 45-50 degrees at night where we live, not cold enough to close the coop door so she should be alright in the hutch, don't you think? we are new to chickens and love our little silkie, so I would hate for anything bad to happen to her! Thanks for your advice!

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  22. We just have 3 hens, one of which is a silkie who has recently become very broody. I hadn't realized how bad this can be for her health until I read this. Thank you. We have her set up now in a rabbit hutch with food and water. I'm wondering about night time though....should she stay in? It gets about 45-50 degrees at night where we live, not cold enough to close the coop door so she should be alright in the hutch, don't you think? we are new to chickens and love our little silkie, so I would hate for anything bad to happen to her! Thanks for your advice!

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    1. Can the hutch be moved inside a garage or basement? If not, those temps are okay for a Silkie, but I'd worry about predators getting to her. If the hutch is in a predator-proof location, she'll be fine in there overnight.

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  23. Thanks so much for your explanation and suggestions for solving the issue of broodies. I had one a few weeks ago and had no idea what to do with her or what was going on until I read about broodiness. I did break her of her condition, but not without effort and your ideas are great. I will put them into use next time. I read that changing the nest frequently and adding herbs, edible flowers, etc. was helpful so I did this as well and their nests smelled really good, too. And you're right she is one of my sweetest chickens. Thanks again, I will be in touch when the next issues arises.

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  24. Thankfully I've been doing this correctly!  I use an old dog crate and it usually only takes 48 to 72 hours to break the broody streak.  I was away for a few days when Lily went broody & my fill-in didn't take her out so when I came home I had three broodies so acting quickly is definitely required!

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  25. TheChickenChick11/20/12, 10:16 PM

    You've got great instincts, Bridget!

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  26. I had one broody hen and now have two broody hens! They are both in a "Broody Breaker" I fashioned out of things around the house based on your description.

    Is it OK to have two together in the same Breaker at the same time?

    My Breaker is in the coldest part of the house for right now as I'm not leaving them outside in subzero temps without bedding, but don't want to get them too accustomed to the nice warm house, either!

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  27. TheChickenChick1/12/13, 2:09 PM

    You can put two together, Sunny.

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  28. They were kicked out of the house today and moved back to the chicken coop. Is it OK to keep them in the broody breaker in the coop? For reference, they are in a large wired dog kennel in a 10x12 shed we converted to a coop. 1/2 of the shed is partitioned off for the chickens and the other 1/2 is for supplies. Their breaker is on the supply side. It seems like the most broody chicken (a Mille Fleur D'Uccle) is throwing herself at the side of the dog kennel and flying around in there a lot more than she did when the breaker was in the house. I am wondering if it is because she knows her "nest" is nearby?

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  29. TheChickenChick1/12/13, 4:16 PM

    I'm sure she's upset because she is near her nest, but if you don't have a choice, that's where she has to be.

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  30. I have two bantam cochin hens and keep them basically as broodies. Unfortunately they went broody now...it is 9 degrees outside this morning. I went ahead and gave them eggs. Sally will sit there and practically starve herself to death...she has come close to it before even with me taking her off the nest.  Next time I will use an anti-broody pen. Thank you.

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  31. excellent and very helpful information here. thanks!

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  32. Peggy Eiland1/13/13, 3:46 PM

    I am dealing with this right now with my buff orp and now I think my blrw has caught it too.  Will be creating a broody breaker of my own to get them past this phase. Thanks for helpful info

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  33. Stephanie Larry Valdez1/13/13, 4:15 PM

    Last year, I tried everything with my broody RIR, Honey, including a broody breaker set-up like yours. Nothing worked with her. She had been broody about four weeks, and had stopped eating and drinking. She became so malnourished, I was sure she was within days of dying. After about a week of deliberating and increased desperation, I resorted to a cool bath. I filled a plastic tub with cool water, just high enough to dip her in up to her belly and lower breast. We held her the whole time and let her stand in there for about 30 seconds before taking her out. Within two days she was eating again, and within a week or so she was back to normal. This was a last resort for us, but I truly believe it saved her life. I think it is an important technique for chicken parents to know about and keep in mind just in case. I know my Honey would have died without it.

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  34. Wow!  I had no idea that broodiness could be such an issue!  You always supply the best information - thanks!

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  35. Fab tips here Kathy, as a novice I very much enjoy being updated from your site and read with great interest, look forward to the next post :)

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  36. Ruth Schlueter1/28/13, 11:01 PM

    Any ideas on how to break a broody goose?

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  37. TheChickenChick1/30/13, 2:29 PM

    I don't have geese, Ruth, but I'd give this technique a shot.

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  38. I've never had broodiness contagion so have never tried broody breaking - however I will file this away in my mind for future reference.  thanks.

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  39. I read this blog shortly after noticing I had a broody BCM.  I had a rabbit cage in the center of the coop for her.  Three days, and she was cured.  NOW, I have two that are "dry" broody.  They are clucking, and puffing up, but not sitting on nests. Any ideas on how to break that?

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  40. TheChickenChick2/4/13, 10:23 PM

    I've never seen it before, Lisa, sorry.

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  41. Hoping you will see this as I am so confused right now. I have 4 broodies right now and they are all right at 1 yr old and this is their first time. 2 are Silkies so I think I'm not even going to try to break them, plus, they're sitting together in a secluded place so not taking up any nest boxes. BUT, I have an EE and a BCM and they are broody too! I read your whole article and just have 2 questions PLEASE. 1) Can I put them in the wire cage together or do they need to be separate, they get along fine? I don't have enough room to make 2 of these boxes. And 2) If I let them hatch one egg each, and then take the chick after its hatched, will it go back to normal then? Thank you so much. Kim 

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  42. TheChickenChick2/12/13, 10:45 PM

    You can put them in the wire cage together and they should get along fine, but pay attention to them and if you get the sense that it's not going to work out, obviously separate them.

    If you let them sit on eggs, I'd give them more than one each- if their one egg doesn't hatch, they may very well continue sitting and by that point, breaking them would be a major ordeal. If you take the chick away, she may also continue brooding, but why would you want to do that? The best part of having a broody is letting her raise the chicks, Kim! It's totally adorable and no-fuss, no-muss!

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  43.  Thank you so much for your reply back! The 2 broodies are broken! Yay! It worked and only took 2 days. Thank you so much for the info. Now I have another one in there but since I caught her early I imagine it will go even faster. I hear broodiness seems contagious and it sure does. haha.

    As for the 2 Silkies that are laying, I don't have the chance now to give them more than 1 egg each since we're already a week into them sitting but I will remember that for next time. I have been going out there and picking them up and putting them outside for about 20 mins. They do everything together and seem to enjoy the break. They peck around, poop BIG poops like you say and drink and go back inside. Hopefully the eggs will hatch and we won't stay in this cycle.

    As for taking the babies away......I can't have anymore chicks and I just did that in Dec, it was wonderful having mom do all the work but putting her back in the flock was horrible! First others were trying to kill the babies so I separted them, then I tried to let them all out together and mom went into crazy mode and drew blood on anyone that even looked at her chicks, when they didn't even seem to care, So then at 6 weeks I took them from her, they are doing great but she was bottom of the totem pole when she went broody and is further down now. She's getting pecked so badly and its cold so she just hides everywhere and I have to sneak her food. So, the whole baby chicks with mom thing WAS cute, but its been horrible since. :( Not sure how I would go about it again when I am ready for more chicks.

    Right now I am full with chickens. Started with 25 and its been a slow growth up to 48! With a coop built for 40.  I was just planning to give the chicks away after birth because I don't need anymore AND hoped my broody would be back to normal. My business is selling eggs and broodiness in hens is not helping it much. lol. I guess I don't know what I'll do if taking their chicks doesn't break them?? Sorry for the long letter here. I don't have anyone to ask this too and didn't want to blow up your FB page. :) Thank you! Kim

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  44. Linda Arendt4/6/13, 2:53 PM

    I'm new at this and have 4 silkie/Cochin hens and 1 roo. 3 of my hens were broody at the same time. I decided to let them hatch as I heard silkies make such wonderful mothers. Not my experience. My first one to hatch I found dead under the mother at about 3 days. Two other hens shared a box and hatched 2 chicks. They seemed to be great mothers but never came out of the zen state to feed the chicks. By the time I realized what was happening, I lost those chicks too. I have my fourth hen sitting and have a brooder ready to take anything she hatches. It has been heartbreaking. Saying silkies make great mothers should be qualified with some warnings. I'm not willing to lose my beautiful hen either so take her off the nest once a day and give her high protein treats and make sure she gets back on her nest.

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  45. Danielle Hillman4/12/13, 2:02 PM

    Hi there! I have to tell you that I am so happy to have found you Kathy! We recently bought a place where we can have animals, and of course I have chickens! My first time in 45 years and I am so excited! I received 12 nice hens from a friend as a house warming gift! They are all layers, and young and healthy! I have been devouring all of your posts and blogs and reading everything you recommend! (Sand, curtains, broody breakers, my hubby thinks I have gone crazy!!) Just two days ago I got my first 'broody'.... "Big Momma", the huge Orp! She's doing everything you decribed! My husband, who loves how I am obsessing over my newfound love of chickens, listens intently to all my newly acquired knowledge from your pages, but this one, -"BROODINESS", caught him off guard!! He said he had never heard of this and he thought I was a little off my rocker!! lol.... I showed him your blog and he realizes that Big Momma IS in fact "Broody" right now, so he helped make me a broody breaker! He thinks you are the bomb for being so smart about chickens!! He grew up with farm animals, but more the John Wayne way than your way, so he is learning the same time as I am! I Just love what you are doing for all of us, and I love my chickens!!! Thanks Kathy!!

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  46. i HAVE 2 HENS THAT ARE SITTING IF I PUT THEM IN THE CAGE WITH 16 MORE CHICKS THAT'S NOT HERS WILL THEY KILL THE CHICKS?

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  47. Anna Banana4/21/13, 6:54 PM

    Excellent article. We have had broody hens for about 5 years now and much of this I knew and I still learned a lot. I shared it with our Alaska farm & food group on facebook. My sister had a broody hen kill 3 chicks last night and she committed her first chicken "murder" in her church clothes this morning after being horrified to find the mangled babies. (She was not attached to this hen, obviously. She will now provide some good stew.) I'm finding that this is not un-common for broodies. We had a mean broody last year. They seem to be very unpredictable, you definitely don't want that with a mama hen.

    The other broody breaker we discuss on our farm group is a simple dog kennel (if you don't have a rabbit hutch) you can move them anywhere in a garage or in the hen house for winter time. No straw or anything comfy and lots of light. That has worked well for us before. Thanks for the great post.

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  48. TheChickenChick5/7/13, 8:04 PM

    I don't believe any particular breed is predisposed to it, but she has done it more than once. :(

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  49. TheChickenChick5/7/13, 8:05 PM

    It is not a breed-specific behavior, Leanne.

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  50. Gwendolen Mottern5/10/13, 6:07 PM

    Are there any consequences to removing the broody chicken and placing her in a separate dark pen to lay a nest full of eggs and letting the process happen naturally? I am assuming that the reason for breaking broodiness is to keep egg production up? We have over 70 chickens, at varying ages, so when one hen goes broody, we move her to a new location, let her hatch the chicks and bring her back when she starts laying again. However, we also have a large number of Rhode Island Reds that rarely go broody, so our egg production suffers very little.

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  51. TheChickenChick5/10/13, 11:08 PM

    Egg production is the very LEAST of the reasons for breaking a broody hen, Gwendolen. I mentioned the others in this post. There can be consequences to moving a broody hen- some flip out and can break the eggs and possibly injure themselves, so it's important to pay attention to her behavior at the time of transition and listen to it.

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  52. Great info and deeply appreciated..

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  53. Hi I have Queenie a Bantam who has been broody for 21 days now with 1 small egg and 14 hens eggs. I dont think they seem to be fertile although I have a bantam cockerel. How long shall I leave her?

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  54. I started on your post from today & ended up here...I'm learning so much!

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  55. TheChickenChick5/20/13, 9:40 PM

    I would candle the eggs tomorrow to see what's going on in there. If none are viable, I would try to find some day old chicks to put underneath her to break her broodiness.

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  56. Barbara Thorbjornsson5/23/13, 9:47 AM

    Thank you, I learned a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  57. susan ladner5/23/13, 10:59 AM

    Awesome information. I will definitely be using your method if any of my hens become broody. Thanks!!

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  58. Honey Dream Farm Girl6/5/13, 2:23 PM

    I appreciated the information on 'the broody breaker.' We recently had
    our silver-laced wyandotte go broody, and we let her hatch her eggs, but
    she continued to stay broody for several days after, and we were
    getting concerned for her health. I wasn't comfortable with the other
    options I researched, like dipping the chicken in ice water - I was sure
    there had to be a better way. After reading this article, I put her in our dog kennel
    with some food and water, but no nest, and sure enough, she was back to
    normal in less than three days. We kept the dog kennel close to the
    chicken coop, so she could see all the other chickens eating, scratching
    and dust bathing, which seemed to help the transition for both her and
    all the other birds. We now have our gold-laced wyandotte hen out in
    the broody breaker, and it's working it's magic again. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Honey Dream Farm Girl6/5/13, 2:24 PM

    I appreciated the information on 'the broody breaker.' We recently had our silver-laced wyandotte go broody, and we let her hatch her eggs, but she continued to stay broody for several days after, and we were getting concerned for her health. I wasn't comfortable with the other options I researched, like dipping the chicken in ice water - I was sure there had to be a better way. After reading this article, I put her in our dog kennel with some food and water, but no nest, and sure enough, she was back to normal in less than three days. We kept the dog kennel close to the chicken coop, so she could see all the other chickens eating, scratching and dust bathing, which seemed to help the transition for both her and all the other birds. We now have our gold-laced wyandotte hen out in the broody breaker, and its working it's magic again. Thank you!

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  60. TheChickenChick6/5/13, 8:53 PM

    I'm so happy to hear it, Becky. Thanks for letting me know!

    ReplyDelete
  61. My Easter Egger, Lola, does this at least three times every summer, never in the fall or winter. She always has a strange cluck when she is broody, sort of a nervous, high-pitched sound, and she does it whenever she is out of the egg box. I wonder if that is a sign of broodiness as well? We have a sectioned-off area of the chicken yard that has its own door. I usually stick her in there with a dog crate and food and water. She HATES it, but it usually gets her back to normal after a few days of not being able to go in the egg boxes in the coop. The way I can tell that she is back to normal, is the tell-tale weird clucking noise goes away. Is this just my chicken?:

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  62. Sunnychicks6/9/13, 7:58 PM

    Very informative! I have a girl sitting on a clutch of 13 eggs at the moment Tuesday will be 21days, she was a tiny girl to start with so I am worried about her loosing too much weight & passing away (she's a special girl!) I'm not sure if after21 days & if the eggs do not hatch what to do...hoping they do!!!

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  63. TheChickenChick6/10/13, 9:28 PM

    Sounds perfectly normal to me.

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  64. Rhoda Baldon Yost6/10/13, 11:10 PM

    Thank you so much for this time relative article. I've been trying to break an Ameracauna for 2 weeks with hit & miss removal. She will be in the hutch in about 10 minutes from now. :)

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  65. this is very helpful for me.. a relative newbie in raising chicks.... I hope one of my girls will go broody this fall when all my new hens are laying.. I wouldn't mind a few additions a year....

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  66. Help, I have just found my broody hen dead, with one hatched chick and seven eggs. I have put them in the airing cupbaord as i have no other warm place . what can I do ?

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  67. Do you have any other hens that are broody? You can put the chick and eggs underneath any broody hen. If not, you're going to either need an incubator to hatch the remaining eggs or they will be lost. The chick needs to be kept warm. What are the temperatures where you live now? You can email me: Kathy@The-Chicken-Chick.com

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  68. Hi we have managed to get a heat lamp from a local farmer and put the chick and eggs under that. During the night another chick hatched out. I have got chick crumbs and water for them and have fingers crossed that the eggs hatch too.How long will they have to be under the lamp. usually i leave it all up to the mother hens as to when they start taken the chicks outside. We live in the north of england ,weather not too good at the moment, temps of about 16%c to 20 on a good day

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  69. Question, my hen has chicks four weeks old, I found a egg in her coop is she done with motherhood?

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  70. Hi, question. When putting them in a broody breaker that is well lit. Should they have light all night also or just day time? I need to do this asap.

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  71. Thank you. Going to do this first thing in the morning.

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  72. Hello. I am new to this and LOVED all the info. Of course being new to this comes confusion. I have 4 in a nice coop with 4 nesting boxes and a small fenced outdoor area. I noticed this exact behavior 4 days ago and started doing my online research and it led me to you!:) My two are sharing the same box and dont leave! I brought the water over so they could drink and only one drank for me. Im removing the eggs daily. I dont want them to make babies. I dont know who is laying the eggs but its usually 2 eggs a day so Im assuming one each??? Anyway, Should I try this crate method with both in the same crate? I can place this next to the coop. Its a large 32 by 46 crate I once used for my greyhound. Is this the right thing to do? Also , I would put a large towel over the top of the crate to cut out the summer sun hot rays. Obviously light still comes in from the sides. I want to make sure Im reading these suggestions right. Thanks so much!:)

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  73. Susan Berry7/4/13, 7:28 PM

    Hi Kathy and friends, just wanted to check back in and tell you that I put my Abigail in a Broody Buster that I made out of some recycled squares that were a chicken tractor and it worked fantastic! I am amazed! She was over it in 18 hours. I put her in at about 2pm and l took her out the next morning for breakfast. She came back in and laid for about an hour but went back out by herself and has not gone back. That was yesterday and today she did hang out in the coop but was walking around in there and visiting the 10 eight week old chicks that are in a brooder in the coop. I am so pleased. She is not cranky toward the little one anymore either. Thank you for the instructional post, I did not want to do the cold water thing, too cruel I think. Thanks again. Susan

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  74. Cindyanne17/4/13, 9:03 PM

    Hi there, I would like your opinion on this... I currently have some eggs in an incubator that have 9 days to go. I also have a broody Silkie who has been brooding for about two weeks. I had planned to give her these chicks when they hatch (and just tossing the eggs she's sitting on because I don't need more chicks than what are in the incubator), but what do you think about substituting the incubator eggs for the eggs she's sitting on now and letting her incubate them for those last 9 days? Would you just wait until they hatch and do it then?

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  75. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 11:03 PM

    Thanks for letting me know it worked so quickly for you, Susan. It's not usually that easy! lol

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  76. TheChickenChick7/6/13, 11:07 PM

    Thanks, Carrie. the cage must be elevated so that cool air circulates underneath the hens. If it is hot where you live, I would not put the crate in the run. It must be in a shaded area (even inside a basement or house) so the hens don't get heat stroke.

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  77. Oh for goodness sake - let the broodiness run its course; it is all hormonal. In about 6 weeks or so, the broodiness will most likely subside and the hen will go back to normal laying interval. Women would be in an uproar if they were pressed to have babies with the same fervor that some hen owners have about their hens laying eggs. The broodiness gives the hens systems a well-deserved rest; balance in all things!

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  78. What are your thoughts... I have a broody hen, I also have eggs in an incubator. Once the chicks hatch could I give them to the broody to raise? Email me at jmcarter1985@Yahoo.com

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  79. TheChickenChick7/22/13, 5:40 PM

    Absolutely! Most broody hens will gladly raise chicks they haven't hatched. I sneak them in at night and she wakes up in the morning to find she has 'hatched' chicks!

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  80. peartreehens7/26/13, 8:41 PM

    our area has a ton of predators--can I put my broody breaker inside my run? It'd be only about 8 feet from the coop. Is it important to not let her SEE the coop? Or just make sure she's cool and a little uncomfortable, and unable to GET to the coop/boxes?
    thanks in advance

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  81. Kim Williams7/26/13, 10:51 PM

    This is what I think I did! I live in Southern NM & during our 107 degree week my rumpless girl went broody on the days eggs (My girls are odd, they never lay an egg till after 2 pm) As soon as I realized she wasn't leaving the coop (they are free range) I tried to move her nest & her into the much cooler barn. She immediately gave up on the nest & not a chicken 1 has even thought about sitting since. I think they are protesting the unmitigated gall I showed by moving a nest!

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  82. Elizabeth Strong7/27/13, 9:39 PM

    oh my goodness... I should have recognized it long ago. Thank you for your great post on the broody hen. I have 4 all at once n my flock right now. my u tube 1 min video is "trains and hens in my backyard".

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  83. TheChickenChick7/28/13, 12:20 AM

    I wouldn't chance it. I keep mine in the garage or basement for the same reason I keep my chickens in the coop at night: too risky to let them sleep in the run even though it is well secured with hardware cloth.

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  84. Thanks for this! Very useful article. I have 2 broody hens, and this is clear instruction.

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  85. Thank you, Kathy. Excellent article. We are new, unexpected chicken owners - inherited a rooster from a moving neighbor and decided to by him a hen in hopes he would be friendlier. About two weeks ago I noticed Joanie was not roosting with Pinkerton, very unusual. I have only seen her twice in two weeks and was going to go out and beat the bushes today (literally, as they are free range in our privacy-fenced back yard), but your article has helped me to understand that I may (should, hopefully?) see some new chicks in another week or so. Very exciting! I will continue to explore your site to see what to do with new chicks, but if you have any quick words of wisdom, I would appreciate that very much. Thanks for your site! Cathy and Greg

    ReplyDelete
  86. Hi, I am ranch sitting and seem to have a couple broody going on .. not sure if I should even mess with them anymore as one pecked me twice now .. I am getting concerned and do not want to harm them or me so what should I do ?? thank you for your advice on this...
    Marlene

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  87. TheChickenChick8/11/13, 10:52 PM

    I would get in touch with the owners of the ranch and see whether they want you to break the broodies, move them, give them fertile eggs, whatever. It's their call.

    ReplyDelete
  88. Renee Rogivue Walker8/17/13, 1:52 PM

    Love the article. Im puzzled about something. I have a bantam Cochin at 5mo.. She has been laying almost daily but sporadically but what she is doing is trying to sit in the nest all day till the egg is laid. While of course all the others want to lay in the morning. If I put her in a broody breaker, she wont be able to lay her egg?. What I have been doing is just not letting her go into the coop. She is very stressed out but seems to be fine after a few hours. Four in the afternoon, give or take, is about the time she lays the most. So I let her go in then. Yesterday however she didnt drop her egg so Im thinking she might lay earlier today but ' when' is the question so I can let her go in the coop. Im the one that is running around like a chicken with my head cut off with this process...lol. So what is your suggestion for a hen that is trying to go broody and still laying?
    Thank you very much, Renee

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  89. Denise Allison Magil8/30/13, 1:17 PM

    non yet here fingers crossed

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  90. Everyone tells me my hen is broody but there r no eggs she is not sitting on anything, i was told to put golf ball under her is she broody with no eggs

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  91. Paula Treadway9/2/13, 10:16 PM

    I have a Cochin bantam and she just layed her first egg today and she's been making this terrible noise, its now 10 at night and there n bed and she's still loud. Do u think she's in pain?

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  92. Paula Treadway9/2/13, 10:22 PM

    Can anyone help.... I have a Cochin bantam and she layed her first egg to day and has not stopped making noise its ten at night and in the coop with the others , she is 22 weeks old and I didn't know if she was to young to lay .she sounds like she's in pain: (

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  93. I have a chicken who was sitting on eggs for 5 weeks...we don't have a cockerel so today I bought 4 day old chicks and placed them in the nest after removing the eggs. She is now happily raising them as her own!

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  94. TheChickenChick9/4/13, 11:45 PM

    Yes, she can be broody without eggs. If you're not going to let her hatch eggs, you should break her up.

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  95. TheChickenChick9/5/13, 12:00 AM

    Not from egg-laying.

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  96. TheChickenChick9/5/13, 12:13 AM

    Good for you, Claire! Glad to know she's off the nest and happy to be a mom. :)

    ReplyDelete
  97. Valerie Gruber9/28/13, 8:14 PM

    Hi Kathy! I have a smaller white silkie that has become broody, but she did not have any eggs. She hasnt layed in quite a few days. I took an egg from my larger white silkie and put under her. Today she layed an egg, now she is sitting on 2 eggs. Will she keep laying? Im trying to hatch for a friend that wants a silkie. Now im a little nervous. I dont want her to die or get sick. I have observed her eating and drinking. Is she going to be ok? Thanks!

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  98. Thanks for this very enlightening article. Never understood how my chicken behaved few days ago until I came across this article. Now I understand why my hen seemed so aloof, and so protective of her nest she doesn't want to leave it. I am not in raising chicks so I will try your broody breaker suggestion. Thank you so much this blog is a great help to "newbies" in chicken raising.

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  99. We have our 1st broody & no fertilized eggs so we're going to be breaking her. She's been sitting ALL day & I collected the eggs for the day. Thanks to our buff orphington going broody our silkie thought it would be fun to join in half way through the day. Can we use the same broody breaker (an empty rabbit cage) for the two or do they need their own broody breaker cage?

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  100. TheChickenChick9/30/13, 10:31 PM

    Hens ordinarily stop laying when they feel they have a large enough clutch, which can take a week or so. She should be okay. This should help you care for her while she is setting: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/08/caring-for-broody-hens-facilitating-egg.html

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  101. ChristHomestead10/2/13, 8:06 PM

    When you put her in the Broody Breaker, does she need to be out of sight of the other hens?

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  102. TheChickenChick10/2/13, 11:12 PM

    No, not necessarily, although I have found that it's less stressful for the broody if she can't see them.

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  103. TheChickenChick10/2/13, 11:30 PM

    They can be taken from her at any time. There is no weaning process. You may wish to wait a few days so that she does not continue setting though.

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  104. Exactly what I needed....thank you. I am wanting my hens to go broody, but there don't seem to be any signs yet. How big does the nesting box need to be?

    ReplyDelete
  105. TheChickenChick10/14/13, 12:28 AM

    12x12x12 is the usual, but the hens are not exacting. ;)

    ReplyDelete
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  110. bedford harpist11/11/13, 6:26 PM

    We have a broody hen, (I just found out that we need to stop this! Thank you :) She has been sitting on unfertilized eggs. Are they still good to eat, or should we throw them out for having been so hot under her?

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  111. TheChickenChick11/13/13, 8:53 PM

    If she has been sitting on them for more than a day I wouldn't.

    ReplyDelete
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  117. I have a Buff Orphington who went broody about a week ago. We have been removing her from the nest 2 or 3 times a day so she can eat and drink. My question is since it it going into winter and temps are in the teens at night, won't she get too cold in the broody breaker?

    ReplyDelete
  118. I have a buff orpington that at 7 months she went broody. I did the broody box the first time and after about 2 days she was back to normal. however, a month later she went broody again. this time she was even more crazed and determined. I tried the broody box but it stressed her out way to much and she was trying to push herself through the cage. I decided to just let her sit in the nest and "wait it out". I did remove her daily from the nesting box and she drank, ate, bathed and dropped the "broody poop". After just about 7 weeks she gave up and is now finally, back to being a chicken. I didn't know what else to do and wasn't ready to increase my flock. Otherwise, I was thinking about a baby chick or a fertilized egg to put under her. The other chickens put up with her and thankfully, it didn't impact the other's laying ability. My second buff orpington would just get in the nesting box with her and lay an egg. I would grab it quickly though. funny chickens!

    ReplyDelete
  119. TheChickenChick11/24/13, 11:37 PM

    Bring her into the basement or garage.

    ReplyDelete
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  122. Hi Kathy thanks so much for your information I had my first broody chicken the other day and everybody had ideas as to what to do with her. I Googled and found you thankfully as the ice cold water idea didn't sound very nice even if it is summer here. I have made enclosure out of a trailer cage and she is settling down under the plum tree. I will leave her in it until she stops making a big fuss and puts her feathers down!!!
    Thanks again Cathy

    ReplyDelete
  123. Becky Jellick12/8/13, 8:32 PM

    I have a broody hen and I've put her into my own 'broody breaker', she's been sitting in there for over a week now and still not showing signs of improvement. I noticed she was broody straight away and moved her.
    My last two broody hens took 1-2 days to break, I didn't realise they were broody for over a week before they went in.
    How long does it take on average?

    ReplyDelete
  124. Sandar Clifford12/10/13, 4:44 PM

    Hello to my friends out there I am testifying about the good work of a man who helps me has been hell since the day my husband left me I am a woman with two children of my problem raised when the father of my children never help traveling he was living, but about two weeks since I got my eye on my husband tries to call me but did not take my call a few weeks he calls me tells me he has found love somewhere easy at first I need to be serous but one day after he arrived at the house to collect his things, that was the time I realize that things go wrong it will help, but the things that went wrong that day needed to talk to someone about it, so i went to his friend, but there was no help, so I let him month later I met online a man called PROPHET ROBSON on a sorcerer who never believe this, but I needed my man back, so the sorcerer gave me trouble at first did not trust him to i was doing to make love, but after three days my husband called me telling me that her return home but I still do not think until six days, the father of my children came to the house to ask me to give my love to him the work with told myself from that day I was happy with my family thanks to the care of PROPHET ROBSON

    if you have interest do contant him on this email prophetrobsontemple@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  125. Thank you Dr.Zabaza for a wonderful spell you casted for me that brought back my lover within 48 hours.. With these i am convenience that you are sent to this world to rescue people from heart break.. Whoever is having difficulties in his relationship should contact Dr.Zabaza at: zabaza.logan@yahoo.com Better still you can call him on +2348182620374 He is the solution to any relationship problem

    ReplyDelete
  126. CarolMcKenzie12/12/13, 6:04 PM

    Hi. Awesome information, thank you. Do you take them out of the broody breaker at night? I have a broody, sitting about 5 days now. I have only just discovered this site.Yesterday I had locked her out of the coop but she was circling it and quite distressed all day. Horrible. I felt terrible. I will get a broody breaker organized today but just needed to know if you leave them in it overnight? Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  127. TheChickenChick12/12/13, 6:09 PM

    They stay in the broody breaker overnight.

    ReplyDelete
  128. I am called Leopera from Spain, I am happy to be on this site because Dr.Zabaza made it possible for me to get my lover back within the period of 48 hours. First of all i came across Dr.Zabaza contact details on the internet, and i decided to give Dr.Zabaza a chance to see if he is capable to bring my lover back to me.. And i must say that Dr.Zabaza did a great job. The best place to get your lover back is at Dr.Zabaza temple which is: zabaza.logan@yahoo.com OR call +2348182620374

    ReplyDelete
  129. JORDI

    I never really believed in any of these things but when I was losing
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    ReplyDelete
  130. JORDI

    I never really believed in any of these things but when I was losing
    my woman, I needed help and somewhere to turn badly. I found
    okuntemple@gmail.com online and ordered a return lover spell. Several days
    later, my phone rang. christine was her old self again and wanted to come back
    to me! Not only back, my casting opened her up to how much I loved and
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    try . It will brings your lover back to you. The way things were meant to
    be. You can be happy in Love! okuntemple@gmail.com his contact is +2348076508617

    ReplyDelete
  131. Denise Conner12/30/13, 8:29 PM

    It is the middle of winter and the temperatures range from 5 to 45 right now. Do you put a broody girl in the cage when it is so cold? I was resisting because of the below freezing temperatures in the area. My bantam is doing all the things your article speaks too and there are no eggs that she is sitting on.

    ReplyDelete
  132. TheChickenChick1/1/14, 5:29 PM

    Only if she is brought inside the house (a warmer basement or garage).

    ReplyDelete
  133. Collette Redman1/3/14, 2:59 PM

    My hen has been sitting on her eggs for 22 days now. If non of the eggs hatch will she just continue to sit and sit. do I use this method to get her to stop sitting.
    I will be so sad if none of them hatch.

    ReplyDelete
  134. TheChickenChick1/3/14, 9:07 PM

    Yes, this is the method I would recommend.

    ReplyDelete
  135. TheChickenChick1/3/14, 9:09 PM

    I'd give her another few days to see if anything hatches and if none does, break her up.

    ReplyDelete
  136. ELIZABETH

    I will love to share my testimony to you all the people
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    ReplyDelete
  137. excellent, i have trouble breaking a broody cycle.. this should help a lot.. especially since i have one showing the signs of starting soon

    ReplyDelete
  138. Altus Pienaar1/15/14, 8:43 AM

    Just what I needed to know...poor hen has been at it for almost two weeks now so it's going to be a tough one to break. She's hardly ever on a egg and every time I feed them and remove the eggs I kick her out but as you mentioned she just waltz right back.

    ReplyDelete
  139. Thanks so much for the great info on broody hens.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Jones Nicole1/20/14, 8:38 PM

    I and my boy friend as been separated for a long period, I cam across different spell caster and they were all unable to bring my lover back. I was so sad and almost gave up on him when i met a spell man called DR OLOKUM, who helped me get my lover back. Ever since then i have been so happy and couldnt believe it would happen. He also helped me with success spell, I have been living happily with my lover now and will be getting married soon. Here is his contact if you need his help. LAVENDERLOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM

    ReplyDelete
  141. Jones Nicole1/20/14, 8:40 PM

    great spell caster

    i want to thank God for using DR OLOKUM as my source of saviour after 2year of joblessness and my lover left me alone for 2 years,Have just been heart broken until i go in contact with DR OLOKUM after i saw a ladies testimony on how she was helped by this same DR OLOKUM,So i decided to get in contact with him and when i told him all my problems he laughed and said this is not a problem that everything will be ok in 3days time.Exactly the 3rd day my ex lover called me i was shocked and what surprise me the most was that a company i applied for over 4month called me and said i should resume work as soon as possible.Am so grateful to dr trust if you wish in contacting him LAVENDERLOVESPELL@YAHOO.COM or is cell number +2347053977842. He do cast the spell as following

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    ReplyDelete
  142. I have mostly wild chickens in Hawaii and it has been chalanging to find their eggs. The few who fell for the golf balls are easily scared off of the laying boxes if I remove all of the golf balls once they have gone broody. How do I break the broody cycle without

    ReplyDelete
  143. Thanks for all this info. We have our first hen sitting, she's not even a year old. We've only had her a few months. She has 5 of her own eggs and 2 of another hens eggs. I marked the other hens eggs & check them daily. If there is one there that it not marked, I remove it because they will keep laying in her nest. Is it a problem that another hen will lay eggs in the broody's nest? None of my other hens ever had the instinct to sit on her eggs. Also when the chicks hatch should I keep them with "mom" or take them inside and put them in a brooder pen until they are older? I didn't know if the other hens or rooster would go after the chicks.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Hello I am Lisa Jerry ,I am out here to spread
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    ReplyDelete
  145. I am trying to get my chickens to become broody. if they don't start setting how long should I leave the eggs out there. Right now there is a total of 12 eggs but from different hens .

    ReplyDelete
  146. TheChickenChick2/20/14, 9:51 PM

    You can't cause them to go broody. I suggest waiting until one has been sitting for at least a few days before putting eggs underneath her- otherwise, you're just going to waste good eggs.

    ReplyDelete
  147. Barbara Sherman2/21/14, 3:36 PM

    Thank you so much for all you post.

    ReplyDelete
  148. Jenny Boland2/21/14, 5:47 PM

    Thanks for the great information on both broody and not letting go broody. :) We have one very grumpy protective broody at the moment and we have done the right thing by putting her in a not so comfortable cage with her water and food. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  149. Jaimee Rivers2/25/14, 12:06 PM

    Thanks so much for the info. I have a broody Silkie right now and this is great info....thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  150. I read in the comments that"she can be broody without eggs. If you're not going to let her hatch eggs, you should break her up." There are currently no eggs, not knowing what was going on I was taking them when I saw them. Did I take her eggs that she was supposed to lay on? will she lay more? she has been broody for a week or two. I'll let her hatch eggs, I'm just unsure where she'll get them, I have a rooster should I be looking for fertilized eggs from the others? Thank you for all you do, your site is wonderful

    ReplyDelete
  151. TheChickenChick2/27/14, 10:58 PM

    Yes, you can give her fertile eggs from any other source- she won't know the difference. I wouldn't wait too much longer to get her started though because you really don't want her sitting for more than a month if you can help it.

    ReplyDelete
  152. I had a huge bust up with my partner and he left me, i was so frustrated and i email Dr. Stanley and he said he could help, I must admit, I was very, very skeptical as didn't really believe he would be back after all he said, but it was just a few days when he phoned and asked to come over to talk, we talked and talked and the silly misunderstanding was all forgiven and we are back together now for good, all thanks to drstanleyspelltemple@hotmail.com, I would highly recommend his services, they do really, really work. Lynda.

    ReplyDelete
  153. Where do eggs come from in the first place? How long does she carry them before she lays them? How do they get fertilized?

    ReplyDelete
  154. Stephanie Jolley3/5/14, 9:59 PM

    So I'm in the Phoenix area and it's mild at night, can I keep her outside all day and night in the breaker in the run area or is it better to bring her inside?

    ReplyDelete
  155. TheChickenChick3/6/14, 11:01 PM

    She'll be better off if you break her within the first few days of broodiness, Pam. And the process will be quicker than if you wait three weeks.

    ReplyDelete
  156. Marian Gregory3/9/14, 12:09 PM

    My life is back!!! After 8 years of marriage, my husband left me and left me with our three kids. I felt like my life was about to end, and was falling apart. I contacted Dr. OKORO LOVE SPELL and after I explained my problem, In just 3 days my husband came back to us and show me and my kids much love and apologize for all the pain he have bring to the family. We solved our issues, and we are even happier more than ever before Dr. OKORO you are the best spell caster. I really appreciate the love spell you cast for me to get the man back to my life i will keep sharing more testimonies to people about your good work. Thank you once again Dr. OKORO. You can also contact Dr. OKORO via email address: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail.com in case you are in any problem you can contact this man for help he is always there in his temple to help you solve your problem Contact Email is: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail.com CONTACT HIM TODAY VIA THIS EMAIL ADDRESS: dr.okorospelltemple01@gmail.com AS HIS POWERS ARE SO STRONG AND VERY EFFECTIVE AND HAS NO BAD EFFECT INSTEAD IT HAVE A VERY GOOD RESULT AFTER CASTING THE SPELL.

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    ReplyDelete
  157. Quick question! What if you have a broody hen who pecks at you if you try to move her? How would you suggest getting her and moving her to the "broody zone" with out anyone being hurt??

    ReplyDelete
  158. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:49 PM

    Do it at night.

    ReplyDelete
  159. Andrea Kibler3/16/14, 10:11 PM

    I'm sorry if this is already in the info. I didn't see it but is there a certain time of the year that they will go broody? I live in so. California. Thanks so much! Great info!

    ReplyDelete
  160. TheChickenChick3/16/14, 10:24 PM

    It can actually occur any time of year.

    ReplyDelete
  161. Andrea Kibler3/16/14, 10:37 PM

    Awesome! Thank you so much for answering so quickly!! =)

    ReplyDelete
  162. The Colorado Flockster3/19/14, 11:06 PM

    I admit I am chuckling over this article. I am _trying_ to get my Javas to go broody! I prefer to control my bloodlines and breeding your own chicks has been the easiest route for me. YMMV.

    ReplyDelete
  163. If I put my broody hen is a wire cage during the day, can I return her into the coop for the night? I don't have any other way to keep her warm and out of the elements during the night.

    ReplyDelete
  164. TheChickenChick3/25/14, 8:53 PM

    No, she needs to stay in the broody breaker. If it's not predator proof, you need to come up with a different plan- she can't stay out there at night.

    ReplyDelete
  165. mbartlettblante3/26/14, 8:24 PM

    My hen about 1 year old just started brooding. We have 3 and the other 2 are not broody yet. She has been sitting in the coop on the wire bottom since Monday(today is Wednesday) I just physically removed her from the coop and she is in the run with the other 2. She is not thrilled but is walking around, drinking, eating and scratching at the dirt. She wants back in but I won't let her. I don't have another place for her. And she weirdly seems to like the wire mesh she was brooding on. Any advice? I need to let her back in soon since its nearly 5:30. With the time change I am not sure when they will want to go in for the night.

    ReplyDelete
  166. mbartlettblante3/26/14, 9:11 PM

    my hen is about 1 year old. she started brooding on Monday and today is Wednesday. we have 3 chickens total and they are in a chicken run attached to a coop. she has been sitting in the coop but on the wire floor not in a nest box. she had one egg with her. we have no roosters. after reading some things about brooding I did finally get her out of the coop in hopes to break her of the desire to brood. but now I am seeing this my take a while. I got her into the yard and shut the coop door so she cannot get back in. she isn't thrilled with this. she ate some food drank water and is scrtching at the dirt. I am going to have to let her back in the coop soon since it ia jsut after 6 and they will all want to go in as it starts to get dark. any advice?? I do not have a container to put her in. and honestly she seems to like the wire mesh...

    ReplyDelete
  167. TheChickenChick3/26/14, 10:15 PM

    I wish I could give you a different suggestion for breaking her, but the information I've given in this article is the way to go about it.

    ReplyDelete
  168. Michelle Summers3/29/14, 5:54 PM

    I haven't had a broody girl yet, but am sure glad I have been armed with so much useful information for when the time comes. I have one question that I don't see an answer to yet. Do you take them out of the broody box to poop or just leave them in there to poop through the wire? Thanks for all the helpful information!

    ReplyDelete
  169. TheChickenChick4/1/14, 12:25 AM

    They poop in the broody breaker.

    ReplyDelete
  170. Chuck Stewart4/1/14, 5:05 PM

    We have three Polish frizzled hens and one went broody a couple of weeks ago. We are expected to receive about 10 new Silkie chicks in a couple of weeks. Should we allow the hen to stay broody so she can help take care of the new chicks? Also, can more than one broody hen be allowed to stay in the rabbit hutch during the breaking process?

    ReplyDelete
  171. why do a hen lay eggs in clutches?

    ReplyDelete
  172. TheChickenChick4/4/14, 1:24 AM

    I would break her. It's not healthy for her to set that long. Two in one broody breaker is fine.

    ReplyDelete
  173. Michelle Summers4/5/14, 1:43 PM

    Another question occurred to me, that I don't remember seeing an answer for... It apparently varies, as to how long it may take one or another hen to get over her broodiness, so how do you know they're ready to be reunited with the flock?

    ReplyDelete
  174. I was wondering if I am not keeping roosters (so no Hatching) if I should be choosing a different breed than the Buff Orpington? I love the sound of their disposition but I dont want sad chickens.

    ReplyDelete
  175. Vicki Singel4/16/14, 1:47 PM

    I have a broody hen that has been sitting on eggs for 2 weeks in a nest box. I was wondering if I she remover her and the eggs into a separate place from the other hens or I should let her alone. I am new to this any advice would be helpful

    ReplyDelete
  176. If I am only raising chickens for eggs (and pets) should I steer clear of the Buff Orpingtons? I chose them for their general disposition but dont want them to be sad because they will not be hatching.

    ReplyDelete
  177. Unimaginable and unbelievable. I am Mary Smith from the United States
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    ReplyDelete
  178. I have a Silver Laced Wyandotte who has lost a large amount of the feathers on her bottom, I thought she was molting but it wasn't consistent with the pictures you have posted. Yesterday when we got home from work she was in the nest book and would not come out even when we opened the door for them to free range. All our chicks have usually laid their eggs by this time so I was a little concerned. 3 1/2 hours later she was still there in the dark sleeping. My husband turned the light on assuming she couldn't see how to get to the roost. I went back out an hour later and she was still there. I got her out of the box (she had six eggs under her) and set her down, she wouldn't stand up so I put her on the roost. This morning I checked before leaving for work she was back in the nest box. I became concerned that she might be egg bound so I had my daughter go by 3 hours later and she was still there. I left work, changed clothes got everything prepared to bring her in and try the warm bath. When I physically took her off the nest again she had one egg under her, not sure it was hers. I set her down she went out into the run and was acting fine when I left. My question is egg bound or broody? How can you be sure? I also noticed that a lot of the feathers from her bottom are in one of the other boxes. Has she pulled these out to put in the box or can they molt like that? Sorry, I dearly love my chickens and have only had them getting close to a year now. Enjoy we're posts and the knowledge you share.

    ReplyDelete
  179. I have a broody Buff Brahma Bantam. I made a broody breaker today. She was 2 and a half days into a broody cycle. Do I leave the light on all of the time? I have her in a dog crate with hardware cloth on the bottom. I guess I will tonight. I don't expect you to be answering this late in the evening. Thanks so much for the help. Also, she is my smallest, hence, most picked on, chicken. Will there be major issues putting her back in with the flock? I fear she will be more alienated once she is back in. Any advice on that will help too. I can move her about if needed to stay with or near the group.

    ReplyDelete
  180. Do you keep the broody box well lit area around the clock? Our broody hen is on a rabbit cage, but we bring her into a stairwell at night so no raccoons get her. The light in that stairwell is pretty bright, do I turn it off at night?

    ReplyDelete
  181. Finally found the answer to the light NOT being on during the night. Just went down and turned it off. Do please let me know your thoughts on my reintroduction question. I greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  182. Hmmm, well my other comment is hanging in limbo on Disqus. Strange. I was asking about after the "breaking of the brood" with my Brahma Bantam, since this is my low chick of the group, will she get even more abuse from the other girls for not being with them for a while? Any thoughts? Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  183. TheChickenChick4/18/14, 3:49 PM

    No, they need normal lighting conditions.

    ReplyDelete
  184. TheChickenChick4/18/14, 3:51 PM

    No, don't leave the light on 24/7. She needs normal day/night cycles. When the chicks are a couple weeks old, try this method of re-integrating your hen with her chicks into the flock: http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2011/06/integrating-new-flock-members-playpen.html

    ReplyDelete
  185. Deborah Wilson4/18/14, 11:17 PM

    a i have been married for 4years and i have a break up with my husband 3months ago and i was worried and so confuse because i love him so much. i was really going too depressed and a friend directed me to this spell caster Dr. Laco and i made all my problems known to him and he told me not to worry that he was going to make my husband to come back to me and in just 48hours i receive a call from my husband and he was appealing that i should come back to the house. i have never in my life believe in spell and but now it have just helped me and i am now so happy. All Thanks to him and if you also want to have your Husband back to yourself here !! his email Address lacopowerfulspellcaster@yahoo.com i am so happy to testify of your work and kindness

    ReplyDelete
  186. Tanya Romero4/19/14, 10:42 PM

    I have a hen who just hatched her first clutch, 12 in all, about 5 weeks ago. Just within the last 5 days or so, the momma has started singling out and pecking at one of the chicks. Nothing is wrong with him. He's healthy and eats and drinks well with the others, and they don't single him out or pick on him. She doesn't seem to pick on him at night though, because they all still sleep together. Any ideas why she's doing this and what I can do about it before she hurts him/her??

    ReplyDelete

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