Breaking Broodiness

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Our hen Mary became most unwelcoming around two months ago when she decided never to leave the nest and make horrible noises and pecking motions when we came near. I had heard about hens going broody before but this was the first time one of our girls became broody. Mary is one of our oldest girls, over two years old now, and I wasn’t too surprised when she decided to stay put on her nest; however, my husband initially thought she was ill! A quick glance at a chicken reference book I had stated that she’d likely be broody for 21 days, but 21 days quickly came and passed, and we were suddenly going on two months and I knew we had to intervene. My husband and I both work full-time, so redirecting her throughout the day isn’t an option – and we didn’t want to block access to the coop in case the girls needed to retreat due to a hawk. So I briefly looked around on the internet and saw fresheggsdaily’s article, So You’ve Got a Broody Hen – How to Break Broodiness in Chickens and decided to try a few of the suggestions. The article explains how it is important to lower the hen’s body temperature to break broodiness, and so I decided to remove her yesterday evening from her box and quickly popping two frozen water bottles into the nesting boxes – this would make it uncomfortable to return to the nest and if she did, it would lower her body temperature.  Because she likely wouldn’t return to the nesting box, she would roost at night with the other hens and also allow for a chance for her temperature to lower.  I checked on her this evening when I got home from work, and it worked!  She was out walking around with the other girls and when it was time to turn in for the night, she did not go to the nesting boxes but right to the roost!  This was a very easy and quick fix and I only wish I would have looked into it sooner.

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3 thoughts on “Breaking Broodiness

  1. Pingback: Week Four | Bittersweet Homestead

  2. There is also the option of purchasing some fertile eggs for your broody hen to sit on. Very sweet to see them hatch the chicks and they do everything themselves. I use it as an opportunity to get a breed I don’t have already.

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