How to Break a Broody Hen

Although in most modern breeds the broodiness instinct has been bred out, chickens still sit on their eggs year-round. And sometimes it's hard for someone to keep the chicks financially and due to their time schedule or simply do not want the risk of roosters. Read more to find out how you can break the broodiness out of the hen.


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    Rehome the rooster. Face it, a rooster has no real purpose but to fertilize the eggs and protect the flock. They have a lot of cons to them and trigger the broody instinct. Lastly of all, without a rooster there is no way for the hen to hatch the eggs.
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    Collect eggs daily. A chicken usually only sits on the eggs once she has a clutch of them. If you collect the eggs more, she can never get around to forming a clutch.
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    Remove her from the nesting box. By continuously removing her, although she might be stubborn, the hen might forget about the broodiness and drop it.
    • If you think the hen is simply laying an egg, leave her alone. You don't want to cause stress upon her.
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    Put a frozen water bottle in the nesting box. Some chicken owners say this tends to put the chicken off of sitting on the eggs due to the discomfort. Put the bottle in the nesting box she tends to use most.
    • Another option is to dunk her bottom half in cold water. It's unsure why but it stops the chicken from sitting on the eggs. It's said to be because she tends to preen her feathers now that they are wet and then becomes distracted and forgets about the eggs.
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    Block off the nesting box. If you have more than one nesting box, block off the one your broody hen uses. Once blocked off for about a day or two, the hen won't opt to using the second one to hatch her chicks in meaning she'll forget all about it.
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    Isolate the chicken in a wired cage. A lot of chicken owners tend to use this method. It's where you purchase a (rodent) cage and keep your chicken in it whilst it's broody. The isolation make's the chicken forget about the eggs.


  • Decoy eggs promote broodiness. Try removing them if you have some in the nesting boxes.

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Categories: Chickens