6 laying hens with the same favorite nesting box vs 1 broody hen

chicks n dogs

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 3, 2012
37
0
24
I have my first broody hen and can't be more excited. She is 5 days into her first hatch and is a doll so far. She won't tolerate the other girls but will deal with me coming in for a minute or two. I would rather just let her be and do what she knows best but therein lies my problem. My little flock has 6 laying hens (including my broody, Turkey). They have 6 boxes to choose from and they all go for the same box! Every single time. Now that Turkey has laid claim to being the mama of the flock the others still want to do their egg laying in the golden box. So now Turkey is laying on about 10 eggs. I marked them so I can do a quick removal from here on out from each new lay daily. This is not going over well with her and I don't want to put her off the eggs. This is also resulting in the other hens breaking eggs as they have no class to leave Turkeys clutch alone. Has this happened to anyone before? How can I get them to lay in the other nests? Also as I said they have broken eggs in the hatching clutch, should I leave them be or wash them?
 

Keggen

Songster
7 Years
May 24, 2012
264
1
108
Minnesota
I'm having similar things going on where all my hens want the broody nest because it was actually the favorite box for the past few months. Others have been laying in the nest even when she is in there sitting on the 11 I marked for hatching! And actually I started her with 6 but had to keep the other 5 because I hadn't marked the first 6 and the next day didn't know which were the new ones.

Anyone, I recommend you do your checking at night in the dark by using a flash light or a red night vision light. My hen is much more tolerant of me messing around when it's dark and I just use the night vision light to count her eggs.

Also, to help get the other hens to lay in other nests I put 2 fake ones in other boxes to help make them look more popular. It does help a little bit so they stop pestering the broody hen.
 
Last edited:

Ceilismom

Songster
10 Years
Apr 21, 2010
179
0
137
NW South Dakota
I'm assuming that your nesting boxes are all permanently attached to each-other, otherwise I'd suggest you remove the favorite box to an area that the other hens can't get to. This happens a lot, it's a hen's instinct to lay her eggs with a broody hen to ensure her genes are passed on. You could try the decoy eggs in the other boxes, and that might do the trick. It might help to put a temporary curtain on the nest box to see if that would deter the other hens. If it doesn't, you could try moving Turkey and her eggs to a dog crate, and provide her with food and water for the duration.

ETA: Yes, I would clean any eggs that have gotten goo from broken eggs on them.
 
Last edited:

chicks n dogs

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 3, 2012
37
0
24
Yes the boxes are permanent. I am moving some of the straw from the fav box and today's fresh eggs between 2 of the unused boxes to see if that helps. I will also clean the marked eggs today. I am so excited but now so worried! I would love to see a full cycle of chicks hatch from my little farm!
 

Mommy 2 Wee Ones

Songster
8 Years
May 19, 2011
735
38
138
North Texas
Last year when two of my Buff Orp. went broody, I quickly built them a Broody House. I picked Mama up, hubby grabbed the eggs and we locked her up. We were having issues with the other hens going in beside her & laying additional eggs. Our first Mama hatched 4 out of 8 eggs, second Mama, 4 out of 6 eggs hatched.
This year Mama went into my Silky coop and went broody, was great for the first two weeks, everyone was nesting beside her, till I noticed that Mama was stealing eggs & putting them under her. She went from 6 eggs to 12 eggs. So this last week, I let the others out in the morning & then close the door till bed time, then let the others back in (2 hens & Papa Roo).
Tues. the hatching started, got one, yesterday another, and had to help the third, today I helped the fourth hatch. These are the first 3 of 2013. Daisy, Lilly, Lollypop.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom