broody hen question

dartfreak75

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 8, 2013
113
1
83
I have a few questions. First off my hen is a 1 year old barred rock I'm not 100% sure if she is broody or not but I'm pretty sure she is she has been locked down on the nesting box for over 24 hours i haven't been able to she if she is staying on there at night because i work night shift but the day before yesterday i noticed she was in the box on about 6-7 eggs and was running the others off (they all like the same box even though they have seven to choose from) then yesterday morning she was sitting on them all sprawled out when i when to look at the eggs she started squawking and bit me HARD which is really unusual then so i left her alone thinking she may be broody so today when i got home she is still sitting and appears to have been there all night. If she wants to sit thats fine with me id love to see a broody hatch off her young but my question is should i try to move her away from the others i have 9 hens and a rooster the are in a 15x8 coop with a 20x20 run they dont free range. will the others bother her or the little ones if and when they hatch? also when will the rooster keep her from sitting if i leave her in the coop? he seems to be leaving her alone so far but its only day two. i dont want to try and move her and it break her. but then again she may not be in full brood either how can i tell is there a way? thanks for any advise.
 

dartfreak75

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 8, 2013
113
1
83
Also if I do move her how much room does she need I thought about putting her in my chick brooder with some food and water my brooder is about two foot by three foot. I thought I might put some pine shavings then a layer of hay then put her eggs on the hay then put her back on the eggs but I'm afraid il mess her up.
 

Morrigan

Free Ranging
5 Years
Apr 9, 2014
2,779
11,295
632
N. California
When my first hen went broody I researched this question extensively. There are different opinions and many people seem to have good luck leaving the hen where she is. It really seems to depend on the hens and coop space. This risk is that when she gets off her nest for a bathroom break, another hen will take over the nest and your broody will go sit on some other eggs. Or, even if she doesn't, if other hens are continuously adding to the pile of eggs, it will make for an over-large and staggered hatch which is a problem.

What I ended up doing was moving my broody to a dog carrier within the coop. I made the move at night and it went well. My hen, however, is very easy and mellow with me and didn't fuss at all. I put food and water in the cage with her. The only problem was that there wasn't really enough room for her to bathroom, so I had to take her out of the carrier once a day so she could spend a few minutes relieving herself and dust bathing. After seeing how big and stinky "broody poop" is, I could see it really wouldn't work to have that going on inside a carrier, right next to her nest.

I was really glad I left her inside the coop, however, and in contact with the rest of the flock. When the chicks hatched, I left everyone in the carrier for 3 days, and then turned Mom and chicks out with rest of the flock (9 hens and a rooster). Everyone was used to the chicks by then, and I had no problems with the integration. Seeing mom trundling around the yard, teaching the chicks has been a joy to watch.

If I'm lucky enough to have another hen go broody, I think I will leave her where she is, but hang a temporary screen door over the entrance to the nest box to keep other hens out. Afternoon, when the bulk of egg laying is done, I will remove the door for a few hours to give the hen a chance to get off of the nest to relieve herself. I will also mark her original eggs, so I can see and remove any later additions. That's my plan, anyhow.

Good luck!
 

dartfreak75

Chirping
6 Years
Mar 8, 2013
113
1
83
A quick update. Well my hen is most defiantly broody or trying to be she has plucked all her breast feathers out and she will set for a few days but she want stick it out she abandoned the eggs after about day four then she tried again for about two days then abandoned then again. What should I do? Should I try to break her or separated her from the flock and see if she will set that way? I'm all for her hatching babies if she will but I don't want her to keep trying and trying if for months
 
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