Broody Hen: How to Break It

a broody hen in a nest boxAlthough commercial egg layers hardly go broody, it happens sometimes. When a hen is broody, it stops laying eggs and try to hatch some eggs. Sometimes a broody hen will sit on no eggs at all.

Why you should Break Broody Hens

If you don’t want to hatch any eggs, it is important that you break a broody hen whenever you find one. This applies especially if you raise them for profit or family eggs. This is because a broody hen will eventually loose weight and stop laying eggs. Another disadvantage is fighting in the next box. A broody hen will try to defend her spot in the nest and this can cause fights that will lead to broken eggs and subsequently egg eating.

How to Break Broodiness

Hens go broody due to warm vent and increased hormone secretion. To break this habit, transfer any broody hen to a cage with wire or slated floor so that air will circulate under her. Give her enough feed and water and in a few days, the broodiness will be over and you can return her back to the flock. If you don’t have a cage with a slatted floor, just place her in any cage. All part of the cage should be bright and free of anything that can be used as a nesting box.

Another way to go about it is the cold water bath. Lower the broody bird into a cold water to cool her off for a few minutes. From my experience, this may not work sometimes and you may still need to put the broody in another cage.

Finally, broody hens are great when you want to hatch some eggs. But if you want eggs for sales or consumption, broodiness should not be tolerated.

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