What is meant by Broodiness and broody hen?
A hen is capable of laying around 1 eggs on a daily basis. Moreover, the hen does not prefer to incubate the eggs until the entire clutch has been laid. Through the use of this strategy, all the chicks hatch right at the same time. The physiological mechanisms and the broody hen symptoms change as soon as the clutch has been laid. She would want to stay above them while spreading out her wings for the purpose of keeping the eggs warm. If disturbed, she would start making muttering as well as growling sounds and may even engage in the protection of the eggs. Furthermore, she only leaves the nest for the purpose of eating and drinking only one time in a day. You would need to ensure that she does the process on a daily basis, otherwise she would be starved or would come to get the dirty eggs through her droppings. So, in lines to this, a hen is termed to be broody at the time she is raising the chicks, giving protection to them and also teaching them the methods to get their own food. Understanding the broodiness in hens is an imperative pre-requisite for the purpose of ensuring that the hens remain healthy.
Breeds of Broody Hens
The breeds of hens which are known to be broody include the Buff Orpingtons, Brahmas, Silkies, Australorp, Dark Cornish, Buff Rocks, Turkens, Cuckoo Marans and Bantams.
Below are the 5 tricks which would come in handy for the purpose of stopping broody hens.
1. Wired Mesh Cage
In terms of breaking the broodiness, you would need to make sure that she does not manage to stay on the eggs. The first trick you can use includes the construction of a cage by using a floor made of wished mesh. Then you would need to place the cage on the bricks in lines to which the floor would remain suspended. At the same time, keeping the bricks towards the outward edges would ensure that she won’t be able to sit on the eggs. So, she won’t be able to sit on the eggs in a comfortable manner and within a matter of a few days the broodiness would be broken.
2. Cold Water
The next trick, which happens to be of a conventional nature, involves the usage of some cold water. You would need to dunk the hen in this cold water, but it should not be too much cold. In lines to this, the broodiness temperature of the hen would go down and she won’t be able to sit on the eggs in a comfortable manner. Removing the eggs as soon as the hen leaves the nest is also a trick which can be used.
3. Caging and Isolation
Caging the hens for 2 to 3 days also comes in handy in breaking the brooding. But here you would need to ensure that the hen’s behavior might not turn impulsive. For this reasons, the cage should be placed pretty close to the eggs so she might be able to see them at all times. If the hen does not stops showing its damaging and irrational behavior, then the above mentioned tricks are to be used instead.
4. The Dog Crate and Golf Balls Method
The golf balls method together with the dog crate is also conducive in terms of breaking the broodiness. The idea here is to replace the eggs with the golf balls. On sitting on these balls for some time, she won’t be able to remain comfortable and would eventually end up leaving the nest for longer time. In a matter of a few days the broodiness would be ended.It also also helps to keep broody hen in her own nest and not to take eggs laid by other hens
5. Keeping with an Active Rooster
Try to put her anywhere near a rooster who is quite active. The rooster would love to keep the hen busy at all times and she won’t be able to return to the nest. You can also put the rooster and the hen in some sort of movable pen in the yard outside. This strategy comes in handy for taking the hen out to the fresh air and sunlight. Furthermore, you can also make use of a wired pen and with no sort of nesting equipment inside, but always ensure that there is plenty of food as well as water inside the pen. It is only a matter of time that her motherly instinct would be gone and as soon as the process of egg laying would start, you would be able to know that the broodiness has gone now.
Drawbacks of Hen’s Brooding
One purpose of raising hens in your backyard is to getting eggs, not all the times u want your eggs to be hatched by the broody hens, broody period vary according to the breeds of hens, it may continue an average of one month, so its mean u lost lots of eggs that might have been put in your fridge. Also broody hen occupies the nesting box space and do not allow other hens to come in the nest box and don’t mind to sit on eggs laid by other hens. Another thing is your hen does not take sufficient food and water and it may result in dehydration in summer season
At the time of caging and isolating the hen, she would try to peck and escape from the cage. In doing so, there is the possibility that she might end up hurting herself. If kept away from the eggs for a long time, the problem of shuddering might also emerge in the hens. Research also suggests that isolation of the hen for a long time might result in lower egg production.