We have 2 pullets which are continually broody- Zoner and Bella.
We let them both raise a batch of babies because they were so pitifully broody - Bella adopted and raised 9 Guinea keets and Zone raised 5 chicks from eggs.
After their babies were raised both pullets immediately went broody again. Bella is especially bad about being broody, she has been broody more than not. Her emotions run high, she is a moody lady.
Broody hens are not good if you don't want babies. They stop laying eggs, they sit in the nest box in the coop all day and all night, barely getting up at all. They rarely eat or drink, they lose weight til they are skin and bones, their combs and wattles become brittle due to dehydration. The coop is warm in the summer, the chickens are very hot sitting there in the coop all day. Plus, the body temperature of a broody hen raises, making her even hotter. Bella and Zoner each take a nest box all the time when they are broody, screaming if another pullet comes nearby to lay an egg. So that makes us down 2 nest boxes, and during the mornings the nest boxes are busy places in our coop.
|Bella on top, Zone below|
We decided we had to break the 2 girls from being broody. Bella especially was getting unhealthy, she was so very thin.
We had been taking both pullets out of the nest boxes whenever we could, giving them treats out in the chicken yard. But they always ran back to the nest box, screaming at the top of their lungs. It was as if they thought we took them away from their babies, although they had no babies.
We installed a small fan in the coop, blowing directly onto the nest boxes. It made the nests cooler, and all the other pullets loved the cooler breezes. But it didn't break the broody ladies.
We read online to break a broody hen by hanging her in a wire bottom cage so that air can flow underneath. We really don't have an area available to hang a cage like that.
So we put both Zone and Bella together into their own chicken coop which has no nest boxes, only the floor and perches to stand on. They had food and water and a fan in their coop, they could hear the other birds outside, but they couldn't leave their coop. They hated being confined. A light was put in their coop, making it bright in there from 6am until until well after the sun went down. In a few days I took both girls outside, they were so happy to be free, out of solitary confinement. And they were broke from being broody.
So right now we have no broody hens!
It's been a while since the nest boxes all have been empty at the same time.