Every so often one of our chickens becomes ‘broody’. This can happen at any time and it a normal maternal instinct that chickens may exhibit from time to time. A broody chicken starts by sitting on the newly laid eggs for the day, and can fluff their feathers up and start squawking when I or any other chickens come near it. They can get quite aggressive and in our experience it needs to be ‘nipped in the bud’. The chicken can scare the other chickens and we usually see a drop in egg supply when we have a broody, from not only the broody chicken but other chickens being scared to lay near the angry broody one and laying in the run and subsequently the egg being broken/damaged/eaten.
I noticed yesterday that Mrs Pink had become broody. She was being very aggressive and as a result a poor chicken had had to lay her egg on the nesting bars. It was time to put her into Solitary Confinement.
Quite simply, we just keep the broody chicken away from the other chickens for as little as 24 hours, but can take 3 days. First I had to ready the equipment:
An empty animal cage, bowl of food and water.
The broody chicken is then placed in the cage, and then the cage is placed in the run.
She was pretty angry about being placed in solitary confinement, and she shall stay there until she’s calmed down and she’s been ‘cured’ of her broodiness. We’ve tried to leave chickens to naturally get over their broodiness in the past, but it can last for weeks.
Note: Some of the chickens are currently experiencing their annual moult.