Mike Breder : Hi Gina, Thanks for your newsletter. I have a question for you.
Nevertheless, while we were out of town and Jupiter was serving her time in our dog kennel detention facility away from the others, she had time to think about her crimes and when I returned I let her back in the coop and whamo....no more broodiness. Well until a week ago anyways. Now a month since her 1st trip to the pen, I am getting ready to send her to the dog kennel again, but sometimes she's on the eggs and sometimes she's off......more on than off, but I don't want this to become a problem. Do you have any pointers? My research says that Buff Orpingtons tend to be a broody breed. As much as I'd like to cull her from our flock and onto our barbeque, my boys would be devasted and my wife would dissaprove (and I really don't think I could do it anyways). I was wondering if you could put this on your blog. I would love to get some tips from other backyard chicken folks. Thanks for your time. Mike Breder. Citrus County
This is all very well if you want her to hatch chicks, but if you don't (or it's not possible) long periods of broodiness can take their toll on her health and so it is sometimes necessary to take action to stop her being broody.
This is a video of Lisa Ruminski's broody Chinese Silkie Natasha protesting her incarceration.
When broody her body temperature will rise and she will obviously want to get herself comfortable ready for several weeks of being on the nest. The main ideas for stopping broodys are centred around stoping her getting herself too comfortable. Sometimes it can be as simple as removing her from the nests several times a day, but a determined broody can be hard to dissuade. The main method I have seen for persistent broodys (which is basically the same as Mike's dog kennel detention facility), is to put her in a raised wire cage (or wooden / plastic one with a slatted bottom) for a few days with food and water but no comfy bedding - the idea being that the cool air around her 'bits' and lack of comfort deters her from wanting to settle and hatch eggs. Another method common in 'the old days' which is still sometimes used is to dunk her in a pail of cool (but not really cold) water which will bring her brooding temperature down and perhaps make her indignant enough to give up on being broody altogether. This video shows one keepers broody hen 'Pipi' getting the cold water treatment - she had been broody for 3 days and two dips in the water was enough in this case to snap her out of it.A keen rooster can also 'bother' the broodiness out of a broody hen (if he's brave enough to!).