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Broody hen outside the coop

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by loujlou, May 6, 2016.

  1. loujlou

    loujlou New Egg

    May 6, 2016
    Hi BYC'ers. I have a broody hen (free ranger) sitting on a clutch outside of the coop in a sheltered but unprotected area. I think she's been there for at least 3-4 days. I'm glad I didn't lose her, she's one of my smartest, biggest, and healthiest girls!
    I'm unsure if I should try to move her to a make shift brooder, or just leave her there undisturbed and let her do her thing. I put water and food near her, and she happily ate and drank but she just really wants to be left alone. The other hens visit her but don't bother her. We don't have a lot of predators around, and we haven't lost a chicken yet, but I'd love to see her hatch some chicks and become a mamma.
    Should I move her or let her be? Will it be too stressful for her? She is not used to handling at all.
    My coop is already pretty full and I can't make room for temporary housing in there (new coop building plans are in the works but not here yet).
    I'd appreciate any hints or help to make this a success :)
    Oh yeah, this is my first broody hen!
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2015
    There is no cut and dried answer to this. If you leave the hen you take the chance of her being found by a predator. Moving an unhandled hen and she may stop brooding. A thought-is there a way to make her present location safer?
  3. loujlou

    loujlou New Egg

    May 6, 2016
    I was thinking of putting some fencing up around her, but it'd be almost impossible to make it completely predator proof. I have some old rolls of fencing that I could use to help protect her a bit more.
    The other girls and our rooster like to check in on her, but I'm thinking if we actually get chicks from this I should keep them all separated? Or again, should I just let mama hen do her thing and just make sure they're in and safe and warm at night?
    So many questions, but my intuition tells me to let nature run its course as much as possible, with a few minor interventions of course.

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