Queen Sheba: A month into her brooding
Queen Sheba is broody. We were surprised because our previous Australorp never went broody. But there she sits – protecting the nest box with the most eggs as if they were her own and as if they would hatch. *Sigh*
But we are done with broody hens. Having them raise baby chickens is beyond adorable, but we need a break.
Although the interwebs provided no useful information on breaking broody hens when I looked in 2012 (shoo her off the nest, dunk her in cold water), this time around I have found a potentially useful approach.
It goes like this: To break your broody, remove her from the nest, stick her in a cage with food and water but no nesting options.
The newly renovated Broody Breaker: nesting platform caged off, wire mesh bottom
So I have ironically renovated the Broody Box into a Broody Breaker. The nesting platform is fenced off so she cannot use it. The box has been raised and the open floor underlain with wire mesh. The idea is that it’s not very comfy, but she won’t be walking or sitting in poop.
Sheba pacing the Broody Breaker after being removed from the nest box
That’s it. From what I have read, breaking her broody is proportionate to the amount of time she has been broody. She’s about a month in so those hormones are in pure rage at this point. I don’t expect it will be easy, but I do expect it will be interesting. And hopefully successful.
Discovering food and water in the Broody Breaker
Broody Breaker raised for dropage of poopage
Forlorn broody hen in the Broody Breaker
UPDATE: It totally worked! One night didn’t do it. I took her out that next day and she played chicken for a while, but was back on the nest by afternoon. Four more nights in the broody breaker and when I let her out she was back to her regular chicken self. A day later she squatted for me, and then there were eggs.