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I know some topics recur here time and again, so apologies and please bear with me.

Though I've had chickens for 5 years I now have my first broody hen.  I've read back through previous topics mentioning cages and cold water and closed coops and goodness knows what else, but my inclination is to simply leave her be.  My hens don't sleep in the coop and the others lay elsewhere, so can a broody hen come to harm by being left alone?  I'm concerned that she may not drink enough, given the current hot and dry spell, but otherwise, can I just ignore her? Should I try to give her water, or will she serve herself when I'm not looking?

Thanks in advance!


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Definitely no cold water as it can actually give her too much of a shock.

I normally leave them be and just chuck her out when ever I can. I did break one broody by shutting her out of the run. Effectively letting her free range, although her hormones didn’t realise all the space and food she had... and I don’t have foxes and a closed off garden.

the biggest problem with leaving them is that they spend a lot of energy brooding, and become a lice/mite magnet. I do close my coop as soon as I know everyone has layed. But some days I’m not home, so she is left. I do pluck her off for breakfast and at least dinner.

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Thanks Cat tails and Patricia.  I hooked her out of the coop and, despite indignant noises, feather ruffling and attempts to eat gravel, she's preening herself and hasn't attempted to get back in.  They seem to have short memories.  I am a bit worried that she'll simply decide to go off to lay and be broody elsewhere (they forage over several acres, treating fences in the same way as Colin Jackson treats hurdles) but hopefully she'll be easier to find than the eggs, which they lay willy nilly all over the place.  (No fox problem here either ...).

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