Broody Hen in the Nest Box. - Move her?

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Queen of the chickens, Apr 20, 2012.

  1. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2011
    Unionville, MO
    I am sure the exact answer to my dilemma is here somewhere, but I am short on time and have been searching and can't quite find it, so hope someone can help. I have a Barred Rock who has gone broody. She has been in the same nest box for about 4 days. We took eggs the first couple of days, but have left them since. She has about 5 under her now. They are likely fertile and would hatch mixed breed chickens. I just assume she shouldn't stay in the next box. When and how do I move her? Can I switch out these eggs for others at that time? How long do I have to make this switch and what should I put her in so that she can be with the other chickens/feed/water, but still have some peace?

    One last question, if she hatches these out and does well, can I assume she is a "good mama" who can be trusted with more valuable eggs, or is is always a crap shoot?
     
  2. BirdyMe

    BirdyMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Your best bet is to either build a small cage around her nest box, or move her to a different cage. Although, some people just leave the hen in with the other chickens, and let the hen protect her young herself. I've always moved the hen out, since I have bulky, clumsy roosters that would step on a little banty chick and never know the difference. x)

    If you do move her, move her at night. And you should also be able to switch out the eggs at night too.

    As far as a hen being a good momma in the future goes.....it's always a gamble. I do tend to put more faith in a hen that's already raised several hatches, but still....I had one Cochin that hatched a lovely batch. A couple of months later, she wouldn't have it anymore. And she never went broody again. Sooo...yep, it's kind of a 'wait-and-see' thing, in my opinion. :)

    Good luck with her, whatever you decide to do! :)
     
  3. Queen of the chickens

    Queen of the chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    234
    4
    93
    Oct 7, 2011
    Unionville, MO
    Okay, so night maneuvers it is. Right now she is in a nest box which is a couple of feet off the ground and in a row of 5. I really need that nest for egg laying and it won't work for chicks once they hatch. I am thinking of moving her into a pet taxi. I want to eventually have a couple of separate tractors for Broody hens, but right now, my tractors are full of growing chicks.

    I have chicks hatching in an incubator in my class on Monday, do you think I could slip those to her instead of eggs. Is it too soon? How will I know if she is going to take care of them?
     

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