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Non Broody Hen Not Laying

Posted by scortes Seattle, WA (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 29, 11 at 22:27

I have two little bantam cochins that have both gone broody (after a neighbor chicken sat and didn't collect their eggs) We are dealing with that and allowing them to finish their time brooding. The problem is that our other laying hen (10 mos old) who is not broody has stopped laying.. she was partial to the nest the broody hens are in but I'm surprised that she's completely stopped laying now for like a week. The hens live in a run so there's no chance of her laying elsewhere. Any advice you could offer would be gratefully accepted!

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RE: Non Broody Hen Not Laying

  • Posted by corrine1 7b Pacific Northwest (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 10, 12 at 12:51

1st time on this forum & I saw your question.

Our kids have raised 4-H chickens in King County for years and had several go broody. Cochins and other feather legged birds are famous for it!

You might break up the broody nature, but putting the chicken in a wire bottom cage like a rabbit cage in bright light temporarily so she can't go hide in the dark nest. Sometimes, just moving them does the trick! At first they may try to sit in the cage, but in a day or so they're back to normal & want out! The kids would move the cage on top of the wagon & pull them out to the bright sunshine while they played nearby, then move them back into a part shade location. I think the moving the cage around helped break them up, too. Also, sometimes they'd set the cage on a piece of firewood so it would be off balance and she couldn't sit easily. The constant moving around was probably key. I've read to hang the cage from barn rafters, but in our suburban locations we don't have barns.

Be sure to put food & water in the cage and best attached with zip ties or rubberbands to prevent spilling. You can use a double cup method to remove them when moving the cage. The wider sour cream containers work better than yogurt cups so the hens can get their beak in to drink & eat, but the smallerclear punch cups also work. A mug just gets knocked over by the anxious chicken.

The other one may have stopped laying because she's going broody, too. Check her breast feathers. Does she cluck?

Also, if they run out of water or food they may take a break from laying.

The sooner you break up the broody hens the sooner they'll return to laying as well as eating and drinking normally. They don't have eggs to hatch, so they don't quit after the course of 21 days of sitting. It's not good for them to be broody all summer long because they only eat and drink once a day. We used the cage method successfully many times.

Contact me through GW if you have more questions.


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