Broody Hen: switching nests and leaving eggs

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by tcleeton, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. tcleeton

    tcleeton In the Brooder

    Mar 20, 2017
    I have had chickens for 3 years and last week I have my first broody hen. She laid on the same nest for 3 days. When I came out the fourth day she was in a different box. She is not one of the dominant hens so after researching I assumed she was pushed out by other hen so she went to new box. When I fed, she came out to eat so I moved the eggs to the original box and she returned to her original nests. When I came out the next day she was in a different box again. So I did some more research and I found that you should separate her. So I build a little section where others could not bother her and moved her and her nest at night. When I went out to check this morning she wasnt laying on the eggs. I searched your forum and some say its a good idea to move some say its not. I have found answers that she can be off for 10 minutes up to 5 hours. Who is right? It was in the high 20/s a few nights and only in the low 40's during the day so Im guessing the eggs are no good as they were left several times but I hate to get rid of them. Can I put others fresh eggs in if she decides to lay on the eggs again or should I just put her back with the others and wait ?

  2. What works for me.....I set up a brooder in my garage away from the flock...I move all my hens during the day....I put her into a crate and get all the eggs into the new nest, add water and feed , then I leave her to do her thing...About 15 minutes later I will check on her......She will be on the nest setting.....Hens love the privacy and quiet when setting eggs......I just moved My Big Orpington from her setting crate into her Brooder box yesterday...Her 14 eggs are due to hatch on Friday......Zero issues.....She happily ate, drank and pooped before she settled back onto her eggs....I built the nest and laid each egg in the same position as they were in the original nest.....That's more tricky though...

    I know everyone recommends moving the Hen at night....I was taught to do it during the day...The Hen is fully awake and gets comfortable with her new nest..She won't wake up in the morning wondering where the heck she is?.......

    Try it...;)

    Set up your Brooder with a nest, food and water.......Collect the eggs and put into nest...Go get the Hen and walk away for a good 15 minutes...She might start clucking and get all excited...Ignore all the drama....If she is truly Broody her hormones will draw her back onto her nest and she will set the eggs......I never bother with my Broody Hens..I just feed and water...I never candle the eggs.....

    All I know is it works for me 100%........:)

    1 person likes this.
  3. littlejohnacres

    littlejohnacres Chirping

    Jan 15, 2016
    Casstown, Ohio
    I have my first broody, she is on day 13. I moved her at last night at dark. I wish I would have seen this post before I did that, and moved her during the day. She was still sitting this morning but not on the eggs! UGH!! I gave them back to her but I have no clue how long she was off of them. I am planning to candle them tonight or tomorrow. My question is if the eggs are no good now due to getting cold, can I give her more eggs? Do you think she will follow through?

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