How to break a broody.

Abby is my first broody hen, and it was fun until she stopped laying yesterday which is so NOT cool.

“They” say it’s very difficult to break a broody, though many have tried, but a comment from tbnranch led me to try a solution which was new to me: make her nest on wire mesh.

As though sitting in a confined space without food, water or bathroom breaks wasn’t sufficiently self-punishing, this solution sounds mighty uncomfortable to me, and just might do the trick. I found a wire mesh thingy in the barn that seemed about right for the purpose, lifted Abby off her nest, placed the wire mesh so it rested an inch above the sand and let her back into the box.

She was not happy:

She paced around looking for a loophole for some time (see video on the Heedley’s Hens Facebook page), and then she let me have it. WOW. I have never heard chicken cursing quite like this before.

Should be an interesting couple of days.

Update 5:30pm: She is still squawking, fluffed out, growling, perched on the lip of the nest wall, rocking back and forth trying to keep her balance, because she can’t balance AND stay fluffed up:

How long can she keep this going?!

Update 8pm: At bedtime, she was still growling and balancing on the fine edge of a 2×6. I feel like a monster.

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4 thoughts on “How to break a broody.

  1. Once you do break them, it takes a good 2 + weeks for them to start laying again. Even when only brooding for less than a week. My very good layer went broody for 5 days and took another 14 additional days off from laying. That was when I was only getting 1-3 eggs a day too. I was not happy lol.

    Hope she gives it up sooner rather than later.

    • She was out all morning, and is now back to perching on the edge of the nest box. Sigh. Good thing she’s amusing.

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