6 Easy Ways to Break a Broody Hen

6 Easy Ways to Break a Broody Hen

I have to smile at this article about the broody hen.  Since I currently have two hens determined to be broody!

Fortunately for us Northern chicken keepers, broodiness is pretty much confined to the summer months.

Broody hens can mean trouble for your flock and egg supply!

To make matters worse, broodiness can often spread throughout your flock, so you need to ‘break’ broody hens as quickly as possible.

So let’s get straight to giving you some tips and tricks which can deter a hen from being broody.

broody hen

Our Choice of Treats for Our Chickens

Happy GRUBS - Ultimate BSFL Feed (5lb) - 50X-80X More Calcium Than Meal Worms - Non GMO, Chicken Feed Add, Molting Treatment, Treats for Hens, Wild Birds, Reptiles, Ducks (5lb)
  • Egg Armor For Your Girls Eggs -Due to the higher amounts of calcium in this bird treat, it increases the strength of your girls' eggshells.
  • Healthier Feathers - This product is better than bulk dried mealworms and helps keep your girls' feathers healthy and grow back quicker during molting season.
  • Laying More Eggs - Because of the nutrient dense profile of dried black soldier fly larva, your hen's egg production will increase!
  • Totally Safe for Reptiles and Other Birds - Happy Grubs is worm food that can also be enjoyed as bird food, reptile food, and turtles as a treat!
  • Easy-To-Use Scooper - Our bag comes with a scooper that makes it easy to feed your hens. It also has a clip so you can clip it onto the resealable bag. You can use it for feeding your other pets too!

What is a Broody Chicken?

A ‘broody’ hen is a hen that wants to hatch its own eggs.

This can be caused simply by your hen getting older and maturing, or simply by the days getting longer.

The increasing length of the day encourages the body to release prolactin (hormone) from the hen’s pituitary gland.

The combination of prolactin and sunlight makes her broody, and she will sit on the recent eggs she has laid.

She will also likely steal other hens’ eggs to make a ‘clutch’ of eggs.

Broody Hen
A broody hen will sit on its eggs all day.

Some breeds are more prone to broodiness than others, notably: Cochins, Silkies, and Orpingtons.

How Do I Know If My Hen Is Broody?

Usually, a broody hen will start by making a nest in a quiet, dark spot and will spend all of her time there.

She will start carrying bits of straw and feathers to line the nest, and she will even pluck her own feathers from her breast to keep her eggs warm.

They will develop an ‘attitude,’ growling and grumbling at you even if you look at her!

She may even give you a nasty peck if you try to move her.

She will fluff up her feathers to make herself look bigger and more threatening. Her tail feathers will fan out like a turkey display- she does look quite fierce like this.

They leave the nest perhaps a couple of times a day to eat, drink and poop. She takes little in the way of nourishment, so she is likely to lose weight.

Her normal poop will become large, infrequent, and very foul-smelling. Her feathers will lose some of the usual sheens.

You will also notice that when she gets out of the nest to eat or drink, she will be insistently clucking as if to let everyone know to keep out of her way!

Why ‘break’ a Broody Chicken?

If her eggs are unfertilized or sitting on ‘invisible’ eggs, she needs to be broken.

She will sit until something hatches- which clearly isn’t going to happen!

This prolonged period of brooding takes a lot out of the hen.

She is not eating well, only drinking a couple of times a day, and is infrequently pooping. This is not good for her in the long term.

In extreme cases, a hen can starve herself to death.

It has been said that broodiness is contagious- one starts, and others will follow! This means fewer eggs for you for the next eight weeks or so.

broody hen

How Can I Stop A Broody Hen?

You can use several different methods to ‘break’ a broody hen- they range from mild to ‘chicken jail’ for as long as needed.

1. Removal

The first step is to keep removing her from the nest.

Lift her and plonk her in the yard with the rest of the hens.

Offer her treats to stay outside.

You may need to wear gloves if she pecks at you.

Putting her under your arm and walking around outside for a while has worked in some cases.

You may have to do this several times a day- it really is a contest of will on your behalf against hormones on hers!

If you try this for a couple of days and get frustrated, move along to stage 2: closing the nest.

2. Closing down the Nest Area

This means exactly that. The area or nest box that she has chosen needs to be firmly closed for the time being.

She will try her hardest to re-open the nest, but if she can’t, she may decide not to be broody anymore.

If it happens, you have more than one broody. They will ‘steal’ someone else’s nest, so be prepared to shut down several nests at once.

3. Frozen Water Bottle and Cold Dips

I haven’t tried this one yet- luckily, I’ve broken mine quickly!

You need to place a cold or frozen water bottle under her while she is sitting for this step. It is thought that the cold will ‘switch off the need to brood.

If you don’t have a frozen water bottle, then a cool bath (undersides only) works on the same principle.

Note: Please don’t do either of these methods if it is cold outside. A warm sunny day is best.

4. Remove all Nesting Material

If you have a large flock, this may be totally impractical to do, but if you only have a couple of hens, it will be much easier.

By removing the nesting material, you will deprive her of a suitable space for a nest, and chances are she will give up on nesting.

5. Stop Access to the Coop

This step is slightly more extreme than just closing the nesting box.

It involves closing your entire coop up, including the nesting boxes.

This could be problematic if you have other hens who need access or have a nesting site outside the coop.

This method is normally only used when all your hens are broody at the same time.

6. Send Them to Chicken Jail

Also known as ‘the cage’ or solitary confinement!

This consists of a wire cage or pet travel box. It will need to be very sturdy to hold the hen. You are going to place her inside the cage with food and water only- no bedding.

The cage is then suspended from the ceiling with the hen inside. The idea is to make it uncomfortable and drafty to the undersides of the hen to discourage her brooding.

The amount of time needed to ‘break’ the hen will depend upon how determined she is.

Check her daily by removing her from the cage. If she returns to a nesting box- back to jail she goes!

7. Give Her Fertile Eggs

If you don’t need her eggs for the breakfast table, consider humoring your motherly hen by giving her a clutch of fertilized eggs to sit on.

If you add a few chicks each year anyway, this will cut down on shipping and chick costs because you’re letting your broody hatch some babes of her own (kind of).

A broody hen is a very dedicated mother, and she will sit on those eggs until they hatch, and once they do, she’ll fulfill her need to mother some chicks of her own.

If you don’t have a rooster, ask friends, neighbors, or put an ad out for a few hatching eggs.

You can break a broody hen of her broodiness through any of the methods on this list, but a natural way to do it is to give her some foster eggs to care for.

Our Choice of Treats for Our Chickens

Happy GRUBS - Ultimate BSFL Feed (5lb) - 50X-80X More Calcium Than Meal Worms - Non GMO, Chicken Feed Add, Molting Treatment, Treats for Hens, Wild Birds, Reptiles, Ducks (5lb)
  • Egg Armor For Your Girls Eggs -Due to the higher amounts of calcium in this bird treat, it increases the strength of your girls' eggshells.
  • Healthier Feathers - This product is better than bulk dried mealworms and helps keep your girls' feathers healthy and grow back quicker during molting season.
  • Laying More Eggs - Because of the nutrient dense profile of dried black soldier fly larva, your hen's egg production will increase!
  • Totally Safe for Reptiles and Other Birds - Happy Grubs is worm food that can also be enjoyed as bird food, reptile food, and turtles as a treat!
  • Easy-To-Use Scooper - Our bag comes with a scooper that makes it easy to feed your hens. It also has a clip so you can clip it onto the resealable bag. You can use it for feeding your other pets too!

Summary

It can be tough to break some hens.

If you have a particularly determined hen that resists all your efforts to stop her, the only solution may be to give her some fertile eggs so she can hatch them.

My two broodies are both Rhode Island Reds- not known for broodiness at all!

Since I currently have eggs in the incubator, I have taken some out and put them under the Mama Hen.

If she hatches them, both she and I will be happy. There really is no comparison between an incubator and a Mama Hen.

A Good Mother Hen takes out much of the work involved with hatching and rearing and is fascinating to watch.

Do you have any tips to share with us in the comments section below? We would love to know what you do to ‘break a broody’…

Read Are You Prepared For Chicken Trouble? How to Create a Backup Plan

Broody Hen

74 thoughts on “6 Easy Ways to Break a Broody Hen

  1. Hi I had 4 broody Buff Orps I placed them in a secure run 8ft long sitting on a pallet to allow air underneath, food and water,left them out over night for 3 nights. Put them back with the flock, and Bingo they are back to normal again a great result.

    1. I only have six chickens. They are barely eight months old. THREE have been broody for more than a month. It is ZERO at night all the time
      What to do?

    2. I have an Orpington too who has been getting broody over and over! I just let her roam the backyard outside their coop for most of the day while the others are inside the coop. Then when I don’t think any will need the nest, I block them off and let the broody girl back in. This has stopped her pretty fast ( a couple days) but she gets broody again in about a month! This girl is really mixed up I think because she got broody in the middle of last winter! Any advise for me?

  2. So I put the frozen pack of veggies with my brooding chicken, but this was while she was out of the coop. All weekend she seemed to be out and about much more leaving the egg from the other chicken alone.
    Could this mean her brooding is over, and she’ll start producing again? ( She started brooding mid-May!!! I didn’t know I could do the above things in the article until this past Friday.)

    1. Hi Jenna,
      It certainly sounds like it yes- the frozen veggies is normally very effective 🙂
      Well done!
      Claire

      1. Mine just moved to another box to sit after I put the cold veggies in the nest. Closing down the house completely just makes my hen go crazy. I continue to remove her so I hope that will help. If not it will be jail time.

  3. Hi, we have a silkie bantham who is among two cockerels and three other females. She has taken to her nesting box ( one of four inside the main chicken go house where they all sleep together.) she stayed in for days and didn’t eat or drink so we took her and her single egg out to a quiet shelter in the stable (we’d love a chick!)? But she abandoned it (too cold?) and headed straight back to her nesting box to sit on a new single egg we think. What shall we do?

    1. Hi Jane,
      Bantam hens are notorious for going broody and then not completing the ‘cycle’! If you do want her to hatch a chick I would suggest leaving her be, when she starts brooding on a clutch of eggs 🙂
      Claire

      1. Thanks Claire,
        Do Banthams ever lay more than one egg at a time? before the broodiness we only got a single egg a day (if we were lucky!)
        Also, because of the rarity of eggs, we were considering getting some more hens, (maybe another better laying breed? )would the established Banham’s get along with newcomers do you think? We have a big free range farm and could extend the sleeping arrangements!

        1. Not a problem Jane.
          Yes they can do but it’s very rare. An egg a day is the most any hen lays 🙂
          You can get a better laying breed, I would just make sure to go for a tame breed who aren’t possessive. The last thing you want is larger aggressive hens bullying your bantams!
          Claire

    2. We have a silkie bantham and she did the same thing – leaving eggs she had started to sit on. We wanted chicks so we put her in a separate area, we call the “nursery” with food and water and only the one next box. She has successfully hatched many clutches and loves being a Mom.

  4. My spelling was very bad in my comment so here’s the corrected version.
    I have 8 hes and one of them is a spectacular Rhodesian Red. I have placed her in a wire cage, no bedding and her food and water right there with her. Her isolation caused an upset with her sisters and they sat around her cage in support of her. Tonight was the end of her third dayso I released her from isoation and will watch her behaviour and if shereverts back to being broody she will have another tour of duty in the isoation cage. I hope it has worked.

  5. Help!
    I’ve kept chicken for over 25 years, mostly bantam, phoenix & Silkies. Occasionally I let them hatch a few eggs, but generally I break them when they go brood by putting them “in jail”. This usually takes between 2 to 5 days.
    Well here’s my problem: My young Silkie went broody a couple of weeks ago for the first time. As always I put her into the cage on the grid, but unlike the other hens she went broody there too! After a few days I let her out, she ran around like a mad hen around the garden, scratched & ate, made a large greenish poo & I thought that was it, but no, back she went into the coup to brood! So back she went into the cage. I have tried this a few times since, but she still broods in jail & has stopped pooing or eating. The cage is in a place in the garden where she can see the other poultry, but not the coup.
    I fear for her health I think she might kill herself, she is pretty thin by now & her croup is empty.
    I’ve run out of ideas, it is winter, so no cold baths or ice bottles will do.
    Any ideas??

    1. Hi Miriam,
      The most important thing is to keep her healthy. So make sure she is getting plenty of water and feed. Green poo is a sign she is dehydrated.
      When she is re-hydrated and fed you can continue to cage her but the priority is getting food and water to her.
      Claire

      1. I have two silkies both broody. One is on week 6 of broodiness, we’ve tried everything to break it. What can we do? She does eat and drink sometimes. The second one has only been broody about 2 weeks. She doesn’t eat and drink much. We re at a loss

      2. I had to give food and water to my broody hen right next to the nest box because she would not even move. I also did pick her up (with gloves) and then place her in the yard. It would take a while and then she would walk sometimes even run around the yard. I finally had to dip her in cold ice water baths. She actually did not object and I that that a couple of times a day for a few days and she slowly stopped plucking out her feathers and after a couple of months she began to lay again.

  6. I have a broody silkie who been like this for nearly 12 weeks I’ve tried every thing I can to stop her but she is determined . Her beak is getting long now and hooked and she is getting really nasty with the others. I donthink know what else to do with her. She was broody mostrich of last summer.

    1. Hi Jon,
      Make sure to read our other Broody article where we talk about a few more techniques you can use- I’m sure there will be something in there you haven’t tried yet!
      Claire

    2. Put one baby chick under her at night, she will then care for her baby and will no longer be broody; this has worked every time for me.

      1. My silkie is broody going on 14-16 days now. She was sitting on non viable eggs. It is winter here and extremely cold at night.
        tried everything. How can I find a young chick to place under her at this time of year? She is so thin I worry for her health but she just will not break. I live in North Central Texas.

        1. I guess after reading This thread .
          I will try the baby chickens under her .
          I hoped she would raise another chickens baby
          And I guess she would be Happy too.
          They sell like dozen fertilized eggs around here .I dont need that many .
          Maybe 2 baby chickens She can Raise
          Thank you .The male duck was being fresh with my Pretty plump chicken .
          He has a duck girlfriend too.
          .

        2. Gloria Buster- I got my chickens from Feather Loving Farms. They are selling them now, and you could get some. They do sell a minimum of 3 chickens. So you can’t get just one, but it works really well. Look into it!

  7. You can also try buying a couple of chicks and place with the hen who won’t stop the broody behavior. Let her be a happy chicken mom!

  8. Great article! Im so thankful when those who know WAY more than me take the time to share their knowledge and experience. I’m looking for some help with my broody blue laced red wyandotte Hilda. The past several days I’ve tried to break her using the tips above. Yesterday I finally put her in solitary but toward the evening she flipped out and started flapping to the point where I was concerned she’d injure herself so I let her sleep with the gals. I put her back in solitary this morning and tonight I’ve brought her cage and set it outside the back door on the back porch- put a blanket over her and left the light on. She’s a city chicken- so predators are unlikely- I’m just not sure if this is the best way to make her feel secure at night or how I could prevent injuries if she starts “flapping out” again! I’m also concerned because she seems resigned to just nest where she is at. I haven’t tried the fan- I’ll go pick one up tomorrow. Is there something I’m missing or am I doing something counterproductive like leaving the light on? it was my husband’s idea but since we also use artificial lights in the winter for egg production it might not be the way to go! Thank you!!

    1. Hi Abby,
      Happy to help.
      I wouldn’t leave the light on 24/7 as this will cause her stress. Instead you can continue to keep the light on but make sure to follow the same lighting schedule as the main coop 🙂
      Claire

  9. I have been thinking about adding more chickens to my brood of 3. One of the hens has been broody for almost a month. They are freeranged but if I leave the coop open the Buff Brahman, Honey, is back on her nest . Would it work if I added 2-3 babies for her to raise? Could that also eliminate the introduction time for new chicks. Or should I try the other methods to break the broody first.

    1. Hi Sandi,
      This can break her broodiness but only if she accepts the chicks as her own. This is the tricky part.
      Claire

  10. Hi Everyone, just a short tip on hatching the type of chicks you want, and without roosters!:
    First diligently remove daily on a setting hen the eggs, and replace with 3-4 golf balls.
    Let her set the nest for about a month where you want her to raise her chicks for a week or 2, before she re-joins the flock with her chicks
    Then go pick the chicks up at your feed store, and put them under her that night, and remove all but one G.ball…
    She will continue to set for a couple more days, talking to her chicks, but then will bring the chicks out.
    DO NOT move her or do ANYTHING different but slip the chicks under her and leave! Good Luck

  11. I have a buff Orpington hen that has been broody for a week and a half,I have been removing her from the nesting box twice a day and she just keeps running right back to the box, I have tried chicken jail and it didn’t work any suggestions?

  12. Hi I’ve been reading all the great comments. I’ve a broody hen, she started being broody in the last 2 days. We have 3 hens in total and 2 nest boxes and she’s using the same nest box all the time. We have moved her out a few times but still goes back so I think I will try the frozen water bottle to see if that works – unless someone has any other brilliant ideas. Thank you

  13. Hi Claire,
    Great article!
    We’ve only been keeping chickens for the last 6 weeks and deliberately chose hybrids as they are less likely to be broody.
    After 14 days of laying from our Rhode Rock she has gone broody this morning! She’s only about 23 weeks old. We always remove eggs as soon as possible and I thought it was weird Renee was still on the nest this morning after 3 hours. I even noticed Gertie our Pied Ranger who has only just started laying was in the nest with her.
    I decided to put my gauntlets on and see why – she hissed and pecked at me and I found she was sitting on her own egg from this morning as well as Gertie’s.
    I’ve removed the eggs and got her off the nest with some bribery in the form of mealworms. I’ve now blocked off her favourite nest box and will wait and see what happens over the next couple of days. Fingers crossed!
    I thought it was odd she has stopped wanting to free range with the others. I’ll keep you posted on her. Thanks again though for the article and all the ideas.
    Andrea

    1. That’s always the way isn’t Andrea!
      Best of luck and let me know how they get on,
      Claire

  14. I have a breed of chickens..red star sex links, that are not supposed to be broody and have not been up until now. I have one that has been broody for 2 weeks. I put her in jail after trying to get her off nest. She eats and drinks in jail but every time I let her out she goes back to nest. I have a fan but it has been hot. Going to try the frozen pack. Any other ideas.

  15. I put mine in “jail ” for exactly 5 days. until the 5th day, she makes her clucking..broody sound. at the 5th day, she is calm and not clucking

    1. This is great information about number of days. Mine’s been in the crate I use for the cat- so, very confined with paper towel, water and food. She’s been in there 3 days in the laundry and I keep it darkish. No view of anything. She is quiet now but I’ll leave her in there a couple more days and hopefully she will be normal again. She is drinking and eating better and poop is not smelling. Thanks for the great advice.

  16. I have a buff orpington that has been broody for a couple of months. I have tried almost everything. I pull her out of the nesting box several times a day- she goes right back in. I put her in a shallow roasting pan of cool (not cold) water and covered her with a tall tub for a couple of hours. She just got up and went into the nesting box. I have finally closed down the entire roost and nesting boxes- I have 4 hens and no one can go in. She moved her “nest” into the baby barn where I keep my 5 pullets until they get big enough to go to the coop. They free range and this silly chicken has commandeered their roost. My bantam blue laced red Wyandotte is now becoming broody as is my bantam silver laced Wyandotte. I guess my next step is letting them in the nesting boxes and putting frozen veggies under them. Last ditch effort will be jail for all involved. After that, maybe freezer camp.

      1. Thank you. The Buff Orpington has been broken of her broodiness. Hallelujah!! The bantam Wyandotte figured out to squeeze between the frozen veggies and the back of the nesting box to squat. But- she hasn’t beaten me yet. I will put 2 bags in the nesting boxes tomorrow. Ha!

  17. Hi, I’ve got a silkie pekin x that has been broody now for 4 weeks, she’s very determined, tried the frozen vegetables but she just sat beside them till they thawed out then popped back on top (I’m in Western Australia so it’s warm), I’ve evicted her many times, today I’ve closed off the house so nobody can go in! Should I try that for a few days? Now my bantam Ancona has gone out in sympathy! Angela

  18. Hello, I have two frizzles who went broody, so after a few days of them sitting on the nest I gave them a cool water bath. I just held their breast under water for a few minutes, after the initial immersion they didn’t seem to mind. After I released them they just dried out naturally and totally forgot about being broody. They are now behaving normally, except have not begun laying yet.

  19. Hi I have a broody bantam who won’t stop! I took her eggs, removed her from coop, but I can’t really do the other things due to the fact I have a large flock… her eggs are NOT fertilized . She is currently sitting on “invisible eggs” and won’t come out… suggestions?

  20. I had a broody buff orphington that wouldn’t break for anything. I ordered some day-old chicks (none of them orphington) and snuck them in the nesting box with her one night after stealing her clutch. She pecked each of them once (scared me) and me a lot more (par for the course). Then she settled in on them and immediately the next day she was out as a proud momma! I figured the pecking was going to be the end of them, but it seemed more like a mom telling her kids, “It’s bedtime!”
    3 weeks later, they are all happy and growing and she’s out with them in the yard all day everyday. She protects them from the other chickens (more effectively now that they don’t look like mice anymore) and from my kids, the meter reader and the dreaded wild bunnies that also graze in the yard. Overall a big success except that my flock is now too big and I have to figure out who to get rid of!

  21. Great Article! My Hen just started this behavior. I think I will try the ice bottle method. Cannot go too extreme, because I have four other hens that use the box to lay their eggs. Miss Harriett has taken ownership the laying box and the other hen’s eggs too.

  22. I had a broody silky that wouldn’t give up so we gave her 2 eggs which she hatched andnow shes a wonderful brooding mother. How long do I leave the chicks with her and stop the brooding.

  23. Further to my first comment: I took my broody silkie’s week old chicks away for a very short time and she was frantic.
    I got 4 other baby chicks from an incubator and put them with her so they would have a mom but she pecked them and chased them away. The only time she accepted them was if she was sitting on them so I have them in a nest in the house. If I take her own chicks away how long will it take her to stop brooding?

  24. Great article and advice! We have a small flock (4 hens) with (usually) great production. One of my Golden Comets decided to start laying on the eggs and became quite broody. I separated her from the others and the very first day my 3 “good Girls” got back to laying. I plan on keeping her separated for at least a week. Will post back on success or otherwise.
    Thank you ALL for the great comments and suggestions!

  25. I have a broody pekin bantam. She’s been broody for 28 days now. I’ve stopped her going in the nest box all this time, but she just sits outside it all day, sitting on the ground, like a pancake, in a fake ‘nest’ with invisible eggs. We’ve tried carrying her away 50 times a day (we do this every day), but she goes straight back. We’ve tried locking her in our house (where we can keep an eye on her), but she is still broody. I can’t do the cage idea as she has poorly feet (recovering from bumble foot) and that would be cruel. I will try the frozen peas under her and will report back.

  26. Hi, I have a broody Buff Orpington and we tried the cold pack method and when we went to let them out this morning she had pulled all the feathers off her chest. Is this normal?
    Also, we blocked off the nesting boxes for the day and she is not happy.
    Thanks for your advice!

  27. I have 15 chickens, now 5 are setting. Can I put all five in a large dog crate? I can’t close off nests as the other hens are laying.

  28. I have a VERY broody Rhode Island Red and every time i pull her out of the nesting box, she’ll get nervous and pull out the tips of her wing feathers. This isn’t good because she’s a prize winning hen and has a contest next week! She’s never gotten a DQ but am afraid that she might this time! HELP

  29. I’m wanting to start raising chickens (small flock). I have heard that fertal eggs are better to eat and also expand my flock. I know this means I need a rooster. Is there an artical I can get information about this?

  30. I have a bantam hen and she was broody last year. If we shut down the area she goes crazy and flys on top of the roof. If we take her put she is constantly clucking and being really mean to our other bantam.If we let her have chicks will she fight with the other bantam?

  31. We’re having the same trouble – bantams! I always put them in a sack (one at a time) and spin them round my head about ten times. Often works! They stagger out and have forgotten their pasts!

  32. My Orpington just became broody. I moved her out of the coop away from my other hens and put her in her own coop with a few fertile eggs. She was weirded out and is sleeping on the ground instead of sitting on the eggs. Since this is the 1st day should I give her a few days to see if she goes to box to sit or should I put eggs on ground under her?

  33. Hello, my mum has 2 Plymouth rocks. One called felicity has started showing baldness on her chest and she puffed out her feathers at me today just for being close to her. The bald patch is looking quite red and sore now. The other one, Susan, was showing a bald patch on the chest shortly afterwards but not as severe. I believe both have stopped laying now. We have 2 other brown chickens which are unaffected. Felicity doesn’t seem to be sitting on any eggs though. Any ideas how to help her?

  34. Hi,
    Since a month I have an Old English Game hen and another white cross hen, both about a year old and were quite good together and were very good in laying eggs. Now I started to notice that the OEG went more often to the nest, started to puff up, and laying around a lot. Wasn’t sure what was happening, she has lost a lot of feathers from her wings. She seemed the whole time very timid. Now all of a sudden she became this killer machine. So I had put her in a water bath, and tried again in the coop. This morning I had to ran out and rescue the other hen again. Our OEG has turned and is extremely aggressive. I have her now in a box separate if my other hen. I don’t know what to do. How long can I separate them? Or is there no way back?
    Thanks
    Kim

    1. if she is going broody you will need to try and break her.with the tips above they really worked for me.

  35. hi
    my bantam hen has only just stopped being broody and is laying again. but after shes has laid her egg she sits for ages in the nesting box, we have to take her out.
    and then after that she walks around the garden picking up bits of leaf and stick and chucks them behind her.
    do you know why?

  36. Just FYI: one of my hens went broody about 3 weeks ago. I tried your suggestions where I could. She was determined! She wasn’t eating and was losing weight pretty drastically. She would only eat a little Scratch when I pulled her off the nest. I put her in chicken jail 2 days ago and she is starting to eat again. Whew! Thank you for this post!

  37. Wow! I did not take your advice about putting the water bottle inside the nesting boxes as that would be very messy and a lot of water bottles but I did go around my farm and put ice cubes in EVERY water container, I’m hoping this will chill their core temperature just enough to get them off of their broody kick. This idea was most obviously inspired by your water bottle idea.

  38. This was so helpful! I couldn’t figure out what was going on because I never had a broody hen before. Getting some fertile eggs on Monday!

  39. I have one broody phantom an d she is fierce! She won’t leave the box and I don’t need more chicks what do I do?

  40. I can put up with my Show girl Silkies being broody which they seem to be doing one after another at the moment.
    My problem is I now have Polish hen that struts round the garden puffed up looking like a cockbird mounting everyone. Then follows them into the nesting box, waits for them to lay an egg then sits on it!
    Just waiting for her to start crowing

  41. the best way i have found in my 60 yrs of chicken keeping is, put hen in brooder house, with no nest or perches, and a rooster. the rooster will make sure she will not sit anywhere still for long. 2 or 3 days she is back to normal chicken behavior.
    but first i try counciling the broody hen, telling her it is not convient to go on maternity leave at this time. it is more important for her to concentrate on her career of produceing my breakfast every day.

  42. Hi, I have (amongst others) 2 young Araucanas. They are around 6 months old. Both are great layers. They always lay in the same place and then they sit on their egg for hours afterwards, getting quite aggressive if anyone approaches them. Does this mean they are getting broody? They are still laying every day. It s just that they spend a very long time sitting on the egg afterwards. One of them was laying in a spot so well hidden I couldn t find it, so I kept her contained until she started pacing and getting frantic. Then let her out and sure enough when I followed her I found a nest full to the brim of her eggs (easy to know they were all hers because they are blue). I have removed all the eggs now, at least I know where they are going forward.. The question is whether this behaviour means they are either broody or about to go broody?

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