ADVICE PLEASE.....need to move broody hen.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by pgpoultry, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Wales
    I have a hen who is brooding, day 10, outside. Now this was not planned, she laid her eggs in the corner between the side of our domestic oil supply and the house wall and decided to stay there.I moved her for a couple of days, but she went back there and stayed broody, so I let her have her eggs to sit.

    Normally she would be in a barn, but the barn is down and foundations dug for another. The 2 chicken coops are quite a long distance away. The small, dilapidated rabbit hutch and run where she last brooded (inside the barn) has 9 week old chicks in it (They come out in the day and mix very peacefully with the adult hens and roosters.)

    Mrs Broody is in a far from ideal location, and, in Wales nights are cold, it is wet and windy. I placed her initially in a side-on plastic box with some rudiments of nest material, enclosed the open two faces of the area with sheep hurdles covered loosely with a temporary flimsy bit of open gauge plastic rolled up fence and placed a metal sheet over her to stop a bit of the rain. She has moved herself and her eggs out from the box and is now sitting pretty well out in the open in the 'pen' sheltered by the metal sheet, but that is about all. She seems fine (surprisingly) and has successfully brooded before in the barn with frosty nights, but I'm obviously not happy with this arrangement for if/when chicks hatch. For a start the sides are far from secure and chicks could get out.

    I plan to move her into her previous brood site, the guinea pig pen and run.These are outside, though the pen is more or less waterproof. This will mean displacing the chicks who are currently using it as their night home.

    Should I do this now, placing the 9 week olds in one chicken coop and the adults in another or wait until it is nearly time to hatch?

    This is not a situation I have encountered before as normally there would be room to house a broody in an indoor facility.

    Thanks,

    Sandie
     
  2. spikennipper

    spikennipper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2009
    Kent, UK.
    Hi, personally I would do it now as I would be more worried about a fox attack than anything else, it's probably best to move her in the evening when it is dark as she is less likely to want to leave the new place and then hopefully accept it come the morning.
     
  3. pgpoultry

    pgpoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 16, 2009
    Wales
    Thank you.

    I plan to move her to the guinea pig pen tonight as more heavy rain is forecast and she could easily end up awash!

    Fingers crossed that she won't desert the eggs with the move, but she's a pretty laid back hen who doesn't make a fuss when picked up even when broody (just lets out a token squawk),

    Sandie
     

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