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Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

topic posted Mon, April 16, 2007 - 9:32 PM by  Unsubscribed
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Olga, my saucy strawberry blonde hen, has been brooding for a couple weeks now. Now rooster on the premises, and no eggs in her nest. She just sits in her nest all day, fluffed out & puffy trying to look fierce. I was told dunking her in water would get her out of her broodiness, or a good shake. None have worked. I'm getting a bit worried as she doesn't eat much either. Any helpful suggestions to break her biological clock?
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  • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

    Tue, April 17, 2007 - 8:09 PM
    I think the dunking method can be a bit dangerous in colder weather - the point behind it, and the wire cage, and my favorite method, putting a cup of ice cubes under the chicken's butt in the morning for her to sit on, is to get the hen's tummy cooled, which breaks the broodiness. Since she's gone on for two weeks, it may take a while longer to break her than if you'd done it sooner, but it should eventually work.

    I get all the bedding out of the nest box before I put the ice cubes in, to avoid mold and avoid warming the chickie.

    I've never heard of the shaking thing. Also sounds a bit risky to her health. But, I do push my broodies off the nest or remove them physically sometimes, and that seems to help too.

    Good luck!
    • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

      Tue, April 17, 2007 - 9:14 PM
      I just remove mine from their nest.....several times a day if need be.....but I also hug them and love on them, to me shaking or dunking my chickies would be child abuse.....my luck cps would be called...yes chicken protective services....
      Dont worry, she wont die from brooding, she will get over it sooner or later, plus if you think about it, it is really funny to watch them behaving this way.
      Good luck!
      • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

        Wed, April 18, 2007 - 10:57 AM
        we just had the same issue, and our hen starting looking ill and ragged. we do have a rooster so we let her sit on some eggs for 5 weeks (!). turns out our rooster isn't doing his job cuz those eggs weren't fertile. in a desperate attempt to help her ( cuz we tried all the tricks of removing eggs and removing her, to no avail), i went to the feed store and bought some day-old chicks. i snuck them under her butt and removed the eggs hoping she would assume her eggs had hatched.... and it worked!!!!!!! we are going on day five now and all 6 chicks are doing fantastic. she is a superb mother and all is well. we are delighted. i think this trick would work with less than 6 chicks if you don't want a bunch more chickens. it's super fun and i have a photo of the happy family in my profile if ya'll want to see the keeyuutest babies ever.
        • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

          Wed, April 18, 2007 - 1:49 PM
          That's cool. I wondered about this, but hadn't known anyone who'd done it. So, do the other chickens get anywhere near the chicks to pick on them? I have an enclosed coup and yard and wondered if I could try this.
          • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

            Wed, April 18, 2007 - 5:50 PM
            the other hens are super curious about the chicks but because they are so tiny we didn't want to take any chances so we built them a "nursery" where they can be outside in the sunshine but are protected from hens/cats/etc by the chicken wire. we may be over-doing it though cuz our neighbors have chicks every spring and they don't do anything for them other than supply chick feed. the mama hen apparently protects them quite fiercly. and i will say that our other hens certainly don't appear threatening to the chicks, they behave like doting aunties and just want to integrate them into the flock.
        • Unsu...
           

          Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

          Sun, April 22, 2007 - 8:14 PM
          considered the chickies thing, but the last thing we need is another animal to take care of at the moment. i like the ice cube idea, may give that a try. yeah, the shaking the chicken thing felt horrible; how is she to know i'm trying to help her? she didn't. we've dunked her several times, but she's broody, so i guess i'll wait it out.

          checked out your photos; i got distracted by your goats. they are heartbreakingly adorable!
          • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

            Mon, April 23, 2007 - 9:25 AM
            hmmm, well i totally get the "not needing any more animals to take care of".... we were in the same boat, which is why we tried, in vain, to remove her from the nest and take away the eggs etc...; but i must say that the chicks require little, if nothing, from us. mama teaches them everything and keeps them warm,. we built them a "nursery" but it wasn't really necessary. so the chicks don't require care from us.... having having said that, my old-school farmer neighbor puts her broody hen in a pen/animal carrier/cage with no nesting material of any kind, just a hard floor, for a week. she says it works every time. good luck!

            and yes, our little goats are insanley cute and super-duper fun! thanks for the compliment!
            • Jo
              Jo
              offline 8

              Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

              Tue, May 22, 2007 - 10:54 AM
              We've got a broody girl who we're going to let sit on some eggs (We've got two roosters, likely one of them is doing his job ;) )..you mentioned your "nursery" wasn't necessary.. what was it? Did you have to do anythign special w/food and water?

              (sorry- so many questions!)
  • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

    Thu, May 24, 2007 - 12:03 PM
    hello everyone and thanks for being here. I just did a Google search for brooding hens and found you. My hen Louie, yes I have Huey, Louie and Dewey, the Three Wise Hens and one just started acting weird and then I guessed it was brooding. Thanks for all the suggestions. I am going to try the ice and more hugs than usual and will let you know what works. It really is so weird watching a normally docile and sweet chicken become a puffed up cranky squawker.....
    Thanks again
    karen
    • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

      Thu, May 24, 2007 - 9:21 PM
      Yeah I find it humourous.....my little white bantie Delilia has been at it about 3 weeks now, everyday, several times a day I remove her from her little nest, steal any eggs (usually one duck egg and one chicken egg, not hers) tell her to go find something else to do then later I have to go remind her again. All the while she cluck clucks and scolds me for touching her. She is still doing it but god its funny! I might let her sit on a few..we will see.....
      • Re: Hen starts brooding, going on two weeks

        Tue, May 29, 2007 - 12:00 PM
        OK so I tried the ice trick. I put lots of ice cubes in a zip loc bag and placed the bag in Louies nest every morning and then again in the afternoon. I also removed her from the nest at least three times a day and gve her tons more hugs and treats than usual. It seems to have worked; she is still making crazy sounds and is still puffed up, but is hanging out with her cluck in the garden once again and not trying to hatch a bag of ice....Thanks again
        Karen

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