We have one cage in the poultry house that opens out into the pasture. We use to as a time out pen for broody hens. You see we keep chickens, a lot of chickens as eggs layers. We count on those chickens to lay their little oblong balls of goodness just about every day. Every once and a while, some bird brained hen will take it into her head to sit on those eggs to try and hatch them. When that happens, the hen stops laying. Really the hen stops doing just about anything. She will sit on that nest nearly 24-7 with a look of zen-like concentration only getting off to eat, poop, and grab a sip of water once or twice a day.
For us, that means no more eggs from that hen and an occupied nest box of which we barely have enough as it is for as is. We honestly wouldn't mind the hens brooding their own eggs especially in light of our last incubator debacle, but our dumb hens can't even figure out in which nest box they decided to go broody in the first place and will often return to the wrong, empty box leaving their previously brooded eggs to cool and die.
We tried all kinds of way to snap a broody hen out of setting (including dunking in a bucket of water), but the best way we've found is to put the girls in this cage for a few days to cool their heels and get them back with the egg laying program.
One day we got the idea of putting one of the rabbit nest boxes into the cages with a couple fake eggs to see if the hen would continue to brood in a more controlled environment. We went through a few hens who just weren't interested, then finally one white rock took up the challenge and plopped herself into that box. After a couple days, we tucked a handful of eggs under her and let her get to settin...
To be continued....
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