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How to treat a broody hen
Fri 13-May-11
11:36 am
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June S.
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I am a fairly new chicken keeper with 4 hens, one of which has just gone broody. Four about 4 days now she doesn't want to leave the nest box but is not sitting on eggs as they are removed as they lay. No cockeral so would be infertilised.

I have been advised to remove her from the box which I do after my other two girls that are laying have done so. She seems quite stressed about it all and I feel awful but wonder is there anything else I should be doing. Once out she does feed and drink and dust bath but keeps going back to the now closed pop hole.

At the moment she is laying in the sun quite happy. confused

Fri 13-May-11
11:42 am
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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Hi June, and welcome to the forum.

It seems that making it difficult for a broody chook to relax helps to shorten the period of broodiness.

Fiona made a special broody coop that we use for that purpose. Hope that helps.

Never knowingly underfed

Fri 13-May-11
11:51 am
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June S.
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Thanks for reply. One question and I hope I don't sound too dim, but does she spend the nights in there too?frown

Fri 13-May-11
11:56 am
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Danny
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No problem!

Yes, it is essential that the period of confinement is constant. We placed the coop in a covered area of the run to protect the caprive from the elements.

Never knowingly underfed

Wed 18-May-11
8:41 am
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typhoo
France - ex Ecosse

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The first broody we had, we were advised to dip her rear end coolish water (to lower her temp), worked a treat.  However the second one we had - no luck - so ended up doing what Danny said and kept her in a "special box" with water for 2/3 days, and away from the rest, that has worked.

Wed 18-May-11
7:48 pm
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Danny
Scarborough, England
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I never heard of that technique, Fiona. excellent.

It would appear that it should be easier and faster for the chook, and maybe a good first option before falling back on the broody coop.

How long do you immerse the hen in the cool water?

How often do you need to repeat?

Must tell my Fiona.

Never knowingly underfed

Sat 21-May-11
4:27 pm
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typhoo
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Danny apologies for taking so long, my machine is playing up.  We only did it once for about 30 seconds, as I said worked first time, not after, and totally different chooks.  So maybes aye, maybes no, worth a try.ok

Mon 30-May-11
7:40 pm
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johnmcc
Norfolk UK

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Dunking the bird's undercarriage in cold water can cure broodiness in some hens - but a lot of people think it's "cruel".  Maybe letting them starve and dehydrate because they're utterly broody and won't leave the nest box is less cruel?  Hmmmm . . . .

 

A broody hen's temperature is about 2 degrees hotter than normal, I believe, so the object is to cool her down.  I use an old dog cage, mesh on all sides, floor and top, and I don't try to protect them from the elements unless it's heavy rain.  You don't allow them any nesting material and you try to support the cage off the ground so that the wind gets under her tail!  You'll soon learn how a broody acts - strange quiet clucking to herself, sitting tight on the nest, getting aggressive when you grab her to move her (it's sensible to grab them from behind if they try to peck you - a peck on the back of the hand from a big bird can draw blood) but each hen seems to be different in the amount of time they need in the "cooler"; I've had some in the cage for a week before they stop running back to the nest box as soon as you release them.  The good news is that once you've stopped them being broody they very soon get back into lay.

What's wrong with the politics of envy, anyway?

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