Broody hen advice needed

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by stonykill, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

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    For the last 2 days I have suspected that one of my Black Sumatra hens was going broody. She would nest for hours, then finally leave the nest. I would take her egg. She is one of my 4 eggs per week Sumatra's. I have several of those. Anyway.... today I set up a dog crate, made a nest and attempted to get her in the dog crate. Keep in mind, these Sumatra's are truly ferrel. 5 of the 10 hens won't use a man made nest, and they refuse to be cooped. They nest in a spruce tree. Well, she is broody. I walked right up to her, and picked her up. She was nesting on 2 golf balls. I put her in the crate on 5 eggs. 30 minutes later, I checked on her and went to bring her food and water, and she went NUTS! Puffed up, wings down, flew right into my face. She went out with the others for 10 minutes and ate. I moved the eggs to her nest. She ate, and strutted back to the nest and is on the eggs.
    So FINALLY to my question. Should I leave her where she is. It is a tin shed, wood floor, and she is happy in her nest. Or should I risk freaking her out, and possibly destroying her broodiness and move her to the crate once she is re tranced? I'm 98% sure with the doors closed on the shed it is predetor proof. But I'm 100% sure the back room in my workshop in a dog crate is. THANKS!
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    First, I think this thread might help you, whether you isolate her or not. I think there is some practical advice in this thread either way.

    Isolate a Broody? Thread
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=213218

    I'm not familiar with Sumatras, but I don't think they take confinement well. She'll probably be OK locked up while she is broody, but she may attack you to defend her nest. It may be hard for you to give her food and water while locked up like that, but I suspect your problem was that he had not accepted her new nest. That is probably why she left her nest to attack you. However, if you do isolate her and not let her out each day to do her daily constitutional, you will need to feed, water, and probably clean the poop up. Can you do that without letting her out to get to her other nest? If she really accepts that new nest as hers that may not be an issue, but then it may.

    I'll mention that I grew up on a farm many many decades ago. It was not all that unusual for a hen to disappear for a few weeks and come back with babies in tow. Sometimes we knew where they were and sometimes we did not. They were never in a predator proof place. You'll have to do your own assessment on the risk of predators. Your situation is different than what I experienced on that farm, but we never ever considered moving a broody.

    Something else to consider. Will any of the other hens lay in her nest? If you do not lock her up where the other hens cannot get to her nest to lay with her, you need to mark the eggs you want her to hatch and check under her every day for new eggs.

    I think that is all I would consider in your situation: possible predators, being able to take care of her if you lock her up, and maybe needing to check under her each day for eggs. Considering those, make a decision and go for it. I'm not going to criticize you whichever way you choose. Good luck!
     
  3. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

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    thanks Ridgerunner.

    Last fall, right after I got/saved these Sumatra's. one went broody. In a well hidden nest in the backyard. Well after 14 days of her sitting a skunk, or possum or something ate her eggs. She was and is still fine. And I still call her Mama.

    I feel really good about where she is. I can close the doors at night, and always have a baited have a hart trap or 2 set up. When I put her in the nest I made, she wouldn't sit on the eggs. I had to put them under her. But in "her" nest, she sits on them. The shed is right next to my workshop, and I pass by it 25 times a day at least. So I can easily mark the eggs when she gets up to eat.

    If she is still in the nest at dark, I'll lock her in for the night, and open it up in the morning.
     
  4. stonykill

    stonykill Overrun With Chickens

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    Sep 16, 2010
    Canaan Ny
    Well I'm pretty sure she is staying put. I just watched her roll her eggs.
     

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