Broody Hen

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Ravens Haven, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2009
    Bremen, GA
    Hi all,

    I am new to this so if I have posted this in the wrong forum please move.

    I have a broody game hen and I am wanting to purchase some blue Ameraucana eggs. Can I put her in a pen by herself and remove her eggs and replace them with the Ameraucana eggs? I do not have any incubator so she is all I have. Will this work??


  2. it should work... as long as you do it fast
  3. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    I'm not sure that it will work if you relocate the game hen to another pen. It often works with some of the heavier breed hens, but game hens are a bit more nervous and flighty. It would be best if you could just substitute the fertile eggs for the ones you wish to remove, and leave the hen where she is. Good luck!
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    I would give 'er a shot, but wait until late at night to move her. Leave some infertile eggs under her when you move her, and give her a day or two to adjust and make sure she stays on the eggs.

    Now whether you decide to do this depends on what the current nest situation is like. I am going to move two broodies this weekend, since they cannot hatch in the "common area" where they currently are - - and they are clogging up the works with the other hens who are waiting to lay! I will move them at night, check the situation with infertile eggs, and set the "real" eggs once they are settled.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!
  5. okiehen

    okiehen Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    My best broody hen is an American Game hen.
    I let her get good and set then I move her at night into a pet taxi.
    Then to a brood tractor. I've never had a problem moving her.
    When you have the eggs you want to set her with I would do it at that time. Always at night.
    Best of luck she'll be fine and a great mom.
  6. Game hens are nervous and flighty, but I move broody game hens quite often. My nest boxes are unattached and I use a piece of cardboard to cover the opening while I carry the nest, hen and all to her maternity pen. All this is done at night and eggs are not added or exchanged until she is in her new location for at least 2 days and then it`s done at night also. Game hens are great broodies and mothers. Like jhm47 said, they are nervous, but once they lock on a nest, they`re good to go....
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    First, I suggest reading this site. Gives you good basics. And game hens have a reputation for being great mothers.

    The way you break a hen from being broody is to isolate her. This article tells you how to do what you want and reduce the chance she will stop being broody.

    Depending on your set-up, how many hens you have, how much room you have, you could leave her on the nest she is on. That reduces the chance she will stop being broody. If others are laying in the nest she is on, there is a chance eggs may accidently be broken when they are getting on or off, especially if it is tight space. You need to mark the eggs you have or will have under her so you can remove any eggs the others lay. To help keep her broody, you can use plastic eggs. She'll never know the difference. You'll have to check under her daily for new eggs. As long as you remove them daily, they are still good to eat. If you can isolate her from the others, you interfere with her less each day, which is a good thing.

    If you move her, I would not order the Ameraucana eggs until I was sure she was staying broody.

    All I am saying is you have options if you do not have a good place to isolate her to or want to improve the chances of her staying broody. And remember, she is broody because the hormones are acting up. Like a hormonal teenager, nothing is guaranteed.

  8. Ravens Haven

    Ravens Haven In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2009
    Bremen, GA
    Thank you all for the wonderful information. I am going to move her b/c she is free at the moment. I want her in a pen either way.
    I will move her tonight and wait for a couple of days to see if she will stay broody, I sure hope she does.

    I won't get excited, I won't get

  9. Jonathanq1

    Jonathanq1 Songster

    Jan 20, 2009
    You should be fine. I for the most part I like to leave my game hens in the location where they were. It's just something about the hen being familiar with the environment she has been in that helps her through the 3 week time frame. Sometimes when you move them they won't even bother getting off the nest to poo or eat. Good luck though if anything do it all at night. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by