Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beautiful Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
I have a lovely Cochin who goes broody often. There are a couple of "remedies" to snap them out of it. Though they can seem a bit harsh, remember that it's very hard on a hen's body to be broody. They often don't leave the nest to poo or eat for 3 days in a stretch, which is really harsh on their body. By getting her out of it, you're doing her a favor.
Here are 3 options:
-1- Do you need chicks? There's no easier way to raise chicks than to let Momma do it. They're pros. Let her sit on some eggs for 2-3 weeks. Then go to the feed store a buy fresh chicks (preferably 0-3 days old) or order from a hatchery. During the night, remove her eggs and replace with the chicks. You have a very good chance that she'll wake up and think her eggs hatched. I've done this and got some very healthy chicks with little effort, and a very happy non-broody hen.
-2- The isolation method, where you put her somewhere with good ventilation I've been told works well, though I haven't tried it. The key here isn't to keep her uncomfortable so she can't "nest". The actual science behind it is that by putting her on a wire-bottom cage, you have good air-circulation to her underside, which helps cool her down. When hens are broody, their temp goes up. By cooling them down, you can break the broodiness.
-3- I've done this one very effectively. I would dunk the lower half of her body in cool (not cold) water for a couple of minutes to cool her off. If she went back in her nestbox, I'd do it again. It didn't work for a whole day. Then my 7-year-old decided to "help", and unbeknowst to me, she put the hen in cool water for probably a good 10 minutes. After bringing the poor bird back from the brink of hypothermia, she was no longer broody, and started laying the next day. I wouldn't recommend my daughter's method, though - that was a bit much.