Broody Hen : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Hi again,

I just thought of another chicken question.

I have a hen that's "gone broody." She's sitting on an empty nest and won't lay and won't leave. How do I get her off the nest?

Thanks again.

Stacy Rohan

-- Stacy Rohan (, December 20, 2000


Just put the hen in a small cage, remove food for 24 hours, give plenty of water and cover the cage with a blanket. Often this will break the brood. Uncover the cage when you feed again. Then just leave her there until she seems to stop setting. Often just moving her to a cage will do it on it's own. Broody hens don't like to be disturbed much.

Little Bit Farm

-- Little bit Farm (, December 20, 2000.

Thanks for your reply Little Bit.

I don't have any wire cages will a cardboard box work? I have a large one if I put her in there for a while do you think that would do the trick? This is the 5th day this hen has been sitting. I've tried taking her out of the nesting box but as soon as I turn my back she's right back in there.

Stacy Rohan in snowy Upstate NY

-- Stacy Rohan (, December 20, 2000.

Stacy I have a hen who has taken up just hanging out in one nest ---- I think cause she is cold!!!!!! She does get off to eat & drink---but she doesn't have that sound she sings when she is setting!!!!! I think she is just keeping warm in the nest-----when she is setting when she gets off to eat or drink she has that cluck & sing only a setting hen has--------did that make sense or do I spend tooo much time with my chickens????? Is she really setting or is she keeping warm??? Just a thought????? Sonda in Ks.

-- Sonda (, December 20, 2000.

If she is truely broody she will peck at you when you try to reach under her and you won't be able to get her off the nest. If you have some fertile eggs why not try slipping some under her(wear leather gloves to keep from getting pecked). As long as she is willing why not let her try to raise some chicks? I have some neighbors down the road that their hens seem to hatch out clutches on a regular basis. They had some hatch last week and there is ice and snow everywhere....mama hen seems to be taking care of them just fine.

-- Amanda in Mo (, December 20, 2000.

Hey Amanda-

She's truly broody--I get pecked trying to look under her or trying to get her out of the nest. This hen is a Rhode Island Red and I don't have a rooster with them. My Polish rooster is in with the Polish pullets. Could I slip pullet eggs under her for her to brood? The weather here has been very cold-not over 30 degrees during the day and single digit and below at night. Can chicks handle it being that cold?

Thank you for your help.

Stacy Rohan in cold Upstate NY

-- Stacy Rohan (, December 21, 2000.

Sure you can even put goose eggs under a broody hen if you want to (any kind of egg will do...well not quail but other chicken eggs are fine). Well I guess if you have a pretty snug chicken coop it would be worth a try. The hen is settin anyhow. I'd try it. Like I said in my previous neighbors hens are hatching out chicks and they seem to be doing ok. Of course summer would be better temp wise but if she manages to hatch out any they would be old enough to start laying this summer which would be nice. Try about 6 or 7 eggs under her if you decide to try it. Good luck.

-- Amanda in Mo (, December 21, 2000.

Stacy, I've tried putting the miss broodys in a separate cage for 7-10 days; it didn't work any better than just leaving them alone. Same time span. Eventually they leave the empty nest.

-- ~Rogo (, December 21, 2000.

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