Breaking a Broody Mood
This is my Light Sussex Gwen, she's already had one clutch this season, and yet here we are... broody!
After a few weeks of taking her eggs out from under her and extracting her from her nest under the Wormwood to be locked away each night.. I believed she had snapped out of her brood, but this morning this crafty girl had an epiphany.
"She can’t take them away from me if I lay them in amongst the prickly blackberries"
Well played Gwenith, well played..
So this morning Gwenny got me thinking.. how else can I break her from her brood? and so this list is born, here are my top three methods for breaking a hen out of a broody mood!
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO 'BREAK' A BROODY HEN?
If you hens’ eggs are infertile, allowing her to remain broody can be dangerous. Hens will only eat and drink minimal amounts each day while trying to hatch eggs, in any normal circumstance (her eggs are fertile) this would only last for the 3 weeks until the babies hatch, but if there are no babies to be hatched, then she could be left sitting on her infertile nest indefinitely and eventually starve herself to death.
Remove eggs from under your hens daily.. eventually they'll snap out of it (this obviously didn't work for Gwen, and I do have a hard time snapping my Silkies out of their brood with this technique alone as well, but it's a great first port of call.
Lock her out of her nesting area. This may easier said than done if you're girls are free range like mine.. if they're nesting inside a nesting box, then just take them out, close it off and there you go, but keep an eye on them! They may just disappear and get creative with their nests like Gwen did!
Otherwise, if your girls are free range, it may be a good idea to invest in a dog crate to set them up in temporarily to break them from their brood in the same way, if they can't access their nest they will soon give up on the idea of nesting. Just ensure the crate is absent of nesting material so your girl doesn't just move her nest to her broody breaker cage! Buy your broody breaker cage HERE.
Utilize the cold, place a bag of frozen veg wrapped in something thin like a tea towel so as not cause cold burns on her little feet, underneath her in her nest, the drop in temperature should snap her out of her brood quick smart!