Broody Hen On Eggs--

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by Lady Fiona, Apr 28, 2016.

  1. Lady Fiona

    Lady Fiona Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 23, 2015
    My broody hen is setting on a dozen fertilized eggs but they are not where I want them to be if and when they hatch.

    Can I move them and the hen safely? How much handling can the eggs take?

    Will she nurture and protect them from my other (two) hens?

    Should I build her a mini coop inside the original coop?

    Answers and suggestion would be greatly appreciated. They should hatch around May 7th.
  2. Whittni

    Whittni Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Southern Utah
    If you move then hen, she won't sit on the eggs even if you move them. Her mentality will be that she has abandoned the eggs. She chose that spot for a reason and will just have an overwhelming instinct to go back. If you can, build her the mini coop where she is or a pen anyway. If she is high in the pecking order, she will protect the chicks. You can always move mama right after the chicks hatch, too. I usually just let my broodies keep their babies with the flock in a small pen so they can see the big birds while the chicks grow up. Then, after a month or so I let them all go out together in a non-confined space.
  3. lalaland

    lalaland Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 26, 2008
    Pine County MN
    Usually it is best to move them earlier - this far along she may or may not be happy with a move. I think the odds are good it will be ok, especially if you do it when it is getting dark so she settles down easily. Don't handle the eggs more than you have to.

    You could also wait to move her til after hatch - just have an area set up, best if it is in the coop in visual contact with the flock. Wait til you are sure the hatch is finished, and then move chicks and momma to the new area.

    When a broody goes broody it is usually in a regular nest. I prepare an area that I want her to be in - you can usually block off an area right in the coop with creative use of chicken wire - make a nest, then move the eggs, and then put the broody in front of the new nest. Broody just hops on the new nest. This way, you protect the broody from interference from other hens who might want to be in the same nest.

    It is best if you can keep the broody in view of the other hens, so there is no integration problems when she rejoins the flock.

    It is true, that a sort-of-broody hen will give up right away, but I usually spend a few days removing the broody from her nest and taking her outside. If she is insistent on brooding, she will keep returning. Then you know she is serious, and you will either need to let her sit on eggs or break her of her broodiness. So I wait a few days before setting up broody quarters for her.

    You can put a cardboard box, or crate in the area for her nest, and semi-drape it with a towel so she has a quiet area to be in. Not necessary, but it is what I do.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2016
  4. Lady Fiona

    Lady Fiona Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 23, 2015
    Delores hatched six and we waited until the next evening and moved them all at once. Thanks for your input, all is well so far. They are now ten days old.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by