The makings of a broody breaker


Just when I was having to think up new recipes for the excess of eggs, two of the hens decided to halt their day job. The ever reliable Isa Browns are still doing their egg-a-day- routine, but both the Barnevelders have other plans.

Betty has decided that it’s a good time to get a jump start on the Autumn moult and is too busy losing feathers. Bluebell however, decided that it was a good time to get broody spending hours at a time on the nest. We tried shooing her off the nest, collecting the eggs more frequently but nothing seemed to work and when hens get broody, they stop laying, they’re not spending enough time scratching for food and in general they are more susceptible to health problems.

Enter the broody breaker.

I went hunting online after a tip off from a Facebook friend and found a great article on broody breakers. I did think about trying to buy one, but decided to take a look at what I had in the backyard and see if I could make one. The important elements are to allow circulation under the chook (to cool them down and help regulate their hormone levels), not allow any materials for them to make a nest, and provide them with the basics – food, water, shelter and a roost. It’s also suggested that it is set up away from the other chooks, but being the only fox proof area of our garden, I decided to set it up in the run.

broody-pieces1I found two plastic crates and some wire panels. I cable tied them together to make the frame and hinged roof. I then used a wooden stake for a roost and created shelter at one end using two used yoga mats.

After placing this in the run I organised bowls for water and food bowl and placed Bluebell in the breaker. None of the chooks were happy but they settled down after a while. Bluebell spent three days in the broody breaker before I let her out (the longer you leave her being broody, the longer the hen usually needs in the breaker) and it worked. No more broody hen!

Anyone else have success with a broody breaker? I would definitely recommend it!


  1. Mimi says

    Yes, a similar setup works every time with our broody hens. It seems a bit mean but they are 200% happier in a couple of days.

  2. says

    I have special coop that we call the sin-bin. At the first sign of broodiness, in they go. It’s also useful if a hen needs to be quarantined for any reason or to introduce new chooks into the system before they all mix in together.

  3. Kara says

    Yup, we had success with the broody breaker too. After one of our isa browns decided to get all broody (after a hot spell and not having eggs collected every day, she was broody for just over a month (we tried different strategies) to no effect. Our Jas spent only 3 days in the broody breaker, and an extra two nights of ensuring she went back on the perch as opposed to the boxes…and she was feeling much better…another couple of days and she is back on egg production.

    Happy days

  4. Stephanie says

    This is my mission for the next week. Miss Eva just finished 21 day broody spell, she spent 2 days being normal then back to the nest. Time to get serious about breaking the cycle

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