Your Chicken has suddenly changed her behavior: usually more docile, she shows some signs of aggression towards her fellow birds, she stays lying down for a long time in the henhouse and only comes out to eat or drink. Also, your poultry emits a strange clucking sound rather monotonous, and its feathers bristle when you approach it. It is obvious that the brooding period has begun. If there are no fertilized eggs, or no eggs at all, the brooding does not need to continue. How to stop a broody Chicken? A clarification is necessary.
Why does my Chicken brood? An instinctive need
Although laying hens are less frequently affected by brooding, hens go through a natural life cycle, usually in the spring, that triggers the urge to brood their eggs or in an empty nest, even without a rooster present.
A broody Chicken does not lay eggs. However, you have a nice flock to benefit from fresh organic eggs. Since you do not want to raise chicks, there is no point in leaving a Chicken brooding for nothing, with no fertilized eggs, if any at all. If you don’t stop it, it is important to know that brooding will eventually exhaust the animal, and in some cases, can be fatally detrimental to its health.
After that, you won’t have any eggs for at least 60 days, and your broody Chicken will prevent other hens from having free access to their nests. She will eat less and less, and will wait in vain for the expected birth of a chick. It is therefore necessary to help her to return to a normal laying cycle.
Good tips to stop brooding
Brooding is not a disease to be treated with drugs. It is a natural phenomenon that occurs in all chickens, laying or not. So, how can you prevent your Chicken from brooding without mistreatment?
In our grandparents’ time, it was customary for the farmer to throw a bucket of cold water on the Chicken or to isolate it in the dark without food or water. These barbaric methods are of course to be avoided completely. Methods that are respectful of your chickens are effective in order to stop brooding gently.
A pen far from the hen house
Discovering a chicken can start with isolating it from the coop. To do this, you need to remove your Chicken from her nest and put her in a separate pen from the other birds.
A cage adapted for isolation
Or you can put her in a cage large enough for her comfort with some hay, water and seed. Cover the cage with a canvas, a tarp or a wooden board, especially in the evening at dusk. For essential hygiene, you will clean the cage every day and put fresh straw for the day. But, she will always be isolated and deprived of her feathered friends.
A tree for temporary exclusion
To avoid a complete break from the other chickens, you can also tie her leg to a sturdy string attached to the trunk of a tree. Your Chicken will then be able to walk around in a small open space and peck at the grass at will, while watching the other hens in the shade from a distance.
When should I stop brooding with my Chicken?
She will feel lonely away from her friends, but this is necessary to get her to stop brooding. Also, she is not good company for other healthy chickens. Rather irritable, even petty, it is better to help her find peace so as not to disturb the whole henhouse.
Hold on, you love your Chicken and you should not give in to the temptation to release her too soon! This “forced” isolation lasts at least 48 hours to be effective. Keep an eye on her and you will notice that she eventually calms down on her own. At first, she will tend to lie down, and then little by little, you will see her standing on her feet ready to find her home.
After isolation, the Chicken will resume laying eggs in about two weeks. If the Chicken starts laying again, you probably did not isolate her enough. You will then have to repeat the operation until you get the desired result.
REMEMBER! As soon as your Chicken starts to brood constantly, it is time to act! Our zoomal experts advise you to isolate your hen and keep her away from the nest for several days. Don’t worry, your Chicken seems imprisoned, but it’s only to find its freedom in good shape! Follow this caring guide for your pet’s well-being to enjoy good eggs every day.