Broody BO finally found-to move or not to move


12 Years
Jun 3, 2009
North Pole, Alaska
I finally found where my BO is hiding her nest She is in a patch of brush and sitting on lots of eggs. I got a close look at her and she had eggs all around her so she has a nest full. (It was warm today so maybe she was cooling them off) I don't know how long she has been there but so far she seems safe. My cats ignore the chicks.
The question is: Should I move her to a safer place or leave her alone?
If I move her will she still sit on the eggs?
If I leave her alone should I put food and water in front of her? (I haven't seen her off the nest) she does have access to food and water 24/7.
I can't candle the eggs without really destroying the hiding place.
Just want some opinions. Thanks for reading.
i would move her especially if you have cyotes, if you have a single nest box, put her eggs in it and put it where her nest is, she will go and sit in it, then once it gets dark, put her i a pen here she can go back to the old spot, in the morning leave her alone if shes peacefull, if she isnt setting, put the nestbox back where she was setting, and try again the next night
Here is a link on how someone moves a broody hen.

If she has so many eggs she cannot cover them, other hens are laying in her nest. A broody hen is constantly moving eggs uncer her, turning them so the developing chick does not stick to the eggshell. In this turning, if she has too many eggs, a developing egg will be moved out from under her, the developing chick will die from cooling off, that egg will be moved back under her and another developing egg will be moved out to chill and die.

Whether you move her or not is up to you. I'd be concerned about predators but you know your area and your risk level. Whether you move her or not, you need to reduce the number of eggs she has to have a better chance of her hatching some. I don't know how long she has been broody but you might try candling to detemine which eggs to leave or remove. If other hens are laying in her nest, you don't know how long the eggs have been developing.

Fertile Egg Pictures


If you decide to leave her where she is or move her where other chickens can still lay with her, you need to mark the eggs (a black magic marker works great) you want to keep, then check under her every day and remove any freshly laid eggs. If you move her and isolate her from the other chickens where they cannot lay with her, you don't have to mark the eggs.
Unless where you live is very different from where I live, I am surprised she has survived this long.

All it takes is one night out of the coop, and my hens are dead.

Not the Guineas, they roost in trees, but a broody hen would never survive outside here.

Coyotes are not the problem; it is raccoons. Raccoons and foxes and possums, oh my.

Yeah- I amazed you still have her too. The coyotes here have never been near my hens- maybe because we have lots of big dogs, but the racoons are ruthless! I can't use chicken wire for anything but fencing my garden- they tear right through it.

Anyway- congrats on your broody! Hope you get some little peeps soon!
Thank you all for your replies.
I really only need to worry about fox and bear for predators and we have an abundance of rabbits this year for the fox and we haven't seen any bear yet. No snakes or scorpions to worry about.

It won't be dark as we have 24 hours of daylight here but if I move her I will cover the box and try to pretend. Will let you know.

I just went out to see and could not see any eggs. Maybe she was just cooling them off. At least if I do it I now know how to do it right.
Thanks guys.
You know, I did not look to see where you are, did not realize you are in Alaska. How interesting. I have always wanted to go there.

Do you not have raccoons there? I thought those awful things were EVERYWHERE.

Well, you are very lucky that raccoons are not there. We have had just AWFUL troubles with raccoons.

They don't just kill what they want to eat, they kill everything, and tear it apart, and the next day you walk into the coop and there are chicken body parts EVERYWHERE and a few trembling, traumatized hens left and staring at you.

And they are VERY good at finding ways to get in, too.

I just hate raccoons. I know it is silly to hate something that only does what it is programmed to do, but still...I just hate them.


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