Originally Posted by This_chicks_place
Hi, I have a first time broody who has been sitting on eggs for one week now. I did candle one egg this afternoon and did see the black (eye?) spot, so something is developing. She is in a nest that sits up about a foot off the floor. I tried moving her before we gave her the eggs, but she would have nothing to do with it! So I have a few questions. I know she needs to be moved before the eggs hatch when would be the best time to do that? Should we wait until right before they hatch or try now? We have a place in the coop under the poop board that we can use. Should I cage her in under there with the eggs? She still likes to get out for a stretch once or twice a day. I was thinking they would be ok in the coop with the others once they hatch since momma is top of the pecking order. Good idea? What is lock down? I just want to make sure everything goes ok. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
You can leave her where she is, put up some sort of wire to keep her in the nestbox the day before the chicks hatch and then wait until the chicks have hatched to let her and the babies out together. The tricky part is knowing when they will hatch. That method has a lot of variables and I'm not sure I would try it. She would protect the babies, but have a difficult time getting them back into the nest unless there is some sort of ramp into it. The babies will usually stay close to her, but if they fall out of the nest box she can't protect them from curious and possibly vicious attacks by others.
Another option is to prepare an area that's secluded within the coop, maybe a wired off area or dog cage, put food & water in there for her and let her out to poop & run around each day for a bit. That will be her nest area where you put her and the eggs and the nest is inside of something like a box there for security/safety of eggs & broody/chicks. I like this method only because I feel it's safer for the chicks and broody. When she's released on day 3 after they hatch she will be ground level in the coop. She will make a new nest on the floor for the babies and herself to sleep at night for a couple of weeks.
Moving a reluctant mover is definitely a challenge. You could try doing it under cover of darkness at night so as to keep her calmer. You need to prepare her area first and probably lock her in for a few days with food & water until she feels it's safe there. If she abandons the nest you will need a backup plan, like a bator.
Lockdown for a broody is basically that they won't leave the nest from about day 18 till hatch. They will hunker down until the deed is done. She can hear their cheeps inside the eggs and will help them hatch if necessary. It's really cool!
Let us know how things work out! And post pics after they hatch!Edited by bobbieschicks - 4/14/12 at 5:39pm