another broody scenario, input needed


10 Years
Nov 8, 2009
Hello! I currently have 16 chickens living in a converted camper. Georgia, my cochin, has gone broody. She's been sitting in the nest box 24/7 (with the occasional super quick snack break) for about a week now. First there was just one egg in the box with her, on her third day of sitting a second egg appeared. I've checked every day to make sure no one has added anymore- right now Georgia has two blue eggs (hate to tell her that they aren't hers!). The other chickens leave her alone and I think she's comfortable there, but if this chicks actually hatch out they will be WAY too small to safely use the coop for a while. Can I wait to move Georgia and her babies until after they hatch? I don't want to run the risk of breaking her broodiness with a move, but I know that the little guys can't stay in there. (it's a good two foot drop out of the nest box alone).
At the end of my post, I'll give you a link to a thread that I think might help you. It gives different opinions and experiences, some of which are different than mine. We all have different conditions and there is no one right answer that fits all of us.

I've seen a hen tell her newly hatched chicks to jump from a 10' high hay loft. They did and all survived the jump. I personally don't worry about them jumping down from a 2' high nest. If you want, you can try to pile up the bedding in the landing area, but you'll probably find the other chickens scratch that back flat. I've seen a lot of posts on here where people worry about a chick getting down from a nest, but I don't remember ever seeing a post where a chick actually was hurt doing that. I'm not saying it has not happened nor am I saying there is not more risk the higher you go. I am saying that I think the risk in your situation is extremely low.

I've had broodies that take their chicks to a corner of the coop and sleep with them there on the floor. I've had broodies take chicks to a low nest at night, one with the opening about a foot above the bedding. You'd be surprised how high young chicks can jump if Momma motivates them. One time, I did have a broody that went into a low nest and a couple of chicks did not follow her in. I had to catch the chicks and put them in the nest with her the first night. After that, they always followed her in. That was not the only trouble I had with that particular broody. Dumb, dumb, dumb. I will never let her hatch another brood again nor will any of her eggs ever hatch.

What I usually do, I wait until the broody brings them off the nest, then isolate them for a couple of days. I have a predator-proof place set up for that purpose. After they have learned to eat and drink and are more mobile, I put them back with the other chickens. The main reason I do this is that when I set up an eating station the chicks can get to, the other chickens see that as special treats, even if it contains exactly the same starter or grower feed they all get when I have young chicks. I find that the young chicks have a bit of trouble competing with the adults during their learning how to eat phase. I put this over the chicks feed. They can get to the feed through the ends, but the adults cannot get to the feed and wipe it out. I know it needs some repair before my next batch. After they are a week and a half to two weeks old, they prefer flying up to the big chickens’ feeder instead of eating out of their feeder under here, but I leave it for them anyway for a while longer.

I let the broody free range with her chicks. Usually, the first night or two, she wants to go back to her temporary place instead of in the coop. I either move them to the coop after they have settled down or leave the broody and chicks, along with all the other chickens, locked in the coop and run for a couple of days and nights. They usually make the switch pretty quickly.


I know a lot of people don't go to this much trouble with a broody and chicks, but I've got the time and I am around to do it. We all do it differently. Here is the link I mentioned earlier.

Isolate a Broody? Thread

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