How To TURN OFF Broodiness in a Broody Hen
Broodiness in itself is a natural act by hens that lead to the hatching of chicks. It is said that a hen is broody when she begins to sit on a few eggs with the intention of heating them so they can be hatched into live chicks. As natural as broodiness in hens is, farmers want to prevent it sometimes, especially when all they want is eggs and not chicks. In this article, I will be showing you some tricks that you can perform to force-stop broodiness in your broody hen.
Before I talk about how to turn off broodiness in that broody hen and get her to start laying again, I will like to address some of the things that may lead to broodiness in the first place. If you are able to avoid the following factors, you might be able to stop your hen from going broody at all.
Some Factors that lead to Broodiness
- Failure to pick eggs from the coop: The natural process of brooding involves a hen and her eggs. She lays a couple of eggs and then starts to brood. With this, we can safely say that a good number of eggs can stimulate a hen to start brooding over the eggs, in preparation for hatching. So, unless you want your hens to go broody, always pick the eggs from their coop.
- Presence of other broody hens:These social birds sometimes like to copy others. This copy-cat phenomenon is more common among laying hens. If a hen is brooding in the same coop with other laying hens, there is a high tendency that others will soon join her, and sit on their eggs too. Thus, you should endeavor to separate broody hens from the rest if you don’t want them to go broody too.
Here’s How to Know a Broody Hen
There are situations when you need to be sure if the hen is even broody. For instance, if you don’t know where your hen has been laying her eggs simply because you have not created enough time to figure things out and provide the necessary bedding material, you may not know where your hen has been laying her eggs. So, it is important to know the signs that will tell you that your hen is broody.
Signs Shown by a Broody Hen
- You hardly see her outside – broody hens usually come out of their nest only once or twice a day. They will usually return to their nest before 20 minutes.
- A broody hen will usually prefer to prepare her nest in a dark and quiet place, usually distant from other hens where possible.
- Broody hens are somewhat aggressive and will not hesitate to peck you if you don’t maintain a safe distance. They growl upon sight of anything approaching them.
- A broody hen will fluff up her feathers to threaten passersby and trespassers.
How to Stop Broodiness in a Broody Hen
There are a few steps you can take to stop a hen from sitting on her eggs. I can assure you that your broody hen will return to laying after doing one or more of these steps
- Remove the eggs: Some hens will normally stop brooding 2-3 days after their eggs have been removed. However, some will not mind brooding over nothing. Even when there are no eggs, they will remain there.
- Deny her access to the brooding nest: This is similar to the first. However, here, the hen has not only lost access to the eggs but also the brooding nest she has prepared. This method has been found more effective than the first. So, if you try the first and it doesn’t work for your broody hen, you can add this option.
- Deep in cold water: This method, no matter how you see it, is by far the most effective of all methods that you can use to stop a hen from brooding. If it is not cruel to you, you can get your hen to instantly quit brooding by dipping her into a bucket of cold water for 2-3 minutes. The target is to ensure that her abdominal area, including her vent, is immersed in the water. DO NOT BURY YOUR HEN IN THE WATER – SHE WILL COME OUT DEAD IF YOU DO. You can see this illustration.
ONE MORE THING: This last method should be used on a hot day or in the afternoon. Don’t do it on a cold day. The temperature difference is the magic – don’t kill it!
I hope I have been able to help you figure out how to get your hen back to laying. The truth about these methods is that whatever you have to do to get your hen to continue laying is the right thing to do. For me, using the cold water method is a foolproof way.
Did you know that hens don’t need to mate before they lay eggs? Find out here