I have two hens and a rooster. One of the hens has become broody and I don't...

Asked June 17, 2014, 8:12 AM EDT

I have two hens and a rooster. One of the hens has become broody and I don't want baby chicks now. I have been stealing the egg - not sure if it's her egg or the others - no longer two eggs - just one. I made her leave the nest and go into the yard, and she ate and drank a little - and right back on the nest.

What do I do? I am afraid she will be malnourished. How long does this phase last?

Castro County Texas

1 Response

Broodiness is hormonal and each hen is different so it is hard to say how long it will last. Hens will typically brood for 21 days, so it may take a while for her to figure out that she isn't going to hatch any chicks. With larger numbers of hens, people have tried placing them in a cage in the middle of the house, with food and water but no nest. She is able to see the other hens in the flock but not go to a nest. It often breaks them of the desire to nest. Not sure how it would work with only 2 hens and a rooster, but you could give that a try.