Broody Hen and a dirty nest

Beth G.

Gaetano Family Farm
9 Years
Jun 26, 2010
New Haven County Connecticut
Hi All,

Looking for advice. I have a broody silkie hen that has been setting on eggs since 9/26. I check on her everyday but, have been noticing that her nest is getting really dirty from her feces. She is not really getting off to go and is doing her business right there on the side of the nest! My question is do I take her off, strip the nest, clean the eggs, and redo it? Or do you think she will reject the nest after I've taken her off and messed with it? Sorry I've only had one other broody hen over the last 10 years and she NEVER made a mess of her nest. She always kept it really clean and did her business outside and went back in.

Any input would be appreciated!

I would clean the nest. If you do it at night and put it all back in the same place she should be fine.
I would leave her be. She could reject the nest if you move her and clean the nest and eggs.

You could just throw some new bedding around the nest and she will throw some under her. This should help a little bit to clean the nest up.

I have had some silkies reject the nest after I messed with it. I have also had some so broody that they didn't care and set back on them anyways.
What can I do to ease her stress while doing this? Do I just place her off to the side so she can see me or do I take her completely away and bring her back when done? Sorry I just want to do this right and not upset her. Thanks for your advice!
Okay Now I'm nervous and this was my fear!! So if I just take and put wood shavings to maybe soak up the oder and feces would that help? I have cleaned out the nest all around her and let her be in her spot but, never messed with where she was. If I get too close she pecks me and growls. Which is very unusual for a silkie but I understand why she is doing it to protect her eggs so I just back off.
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Yes, she is protecting her eggs. I would just throw some new bedding down for her. But this is my opionon and what I would do. Only because I have had them abandon the nest before by moving them.
Okay I am definately going to try this! Thank you soo much for your input on your experience
Wish me luck!
Since she's pooping in the nest, i would consider taking her out of the nest once a day for a dust bath and a constitutional, but i definitely would not clean the eggs. Just clean out the poop the best you can and add more bedding.
I found it helps keep them calm to cover their heads before trying to move them. Depending on how big she is, maybe a small dixie cup or something similar; as long as it's lightweight.

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