can I lock my broody hen in her nest box??

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by opihiman911, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    I have a first time young broody Austrolorp hen that I found sitting on a half dozen eggs. I have added a couple more eggs under her to give her a full dozen. She has been sitting well for almost a full week.
    My older hens have been going into the nestbox area and kicking the broody hen out to lay their eggs with her clutch, never mind they have 3 other nest available to them. Luckily I numbered the dozen eggs I want her to hatch and have been able to remove the newly layed eggs. I have watched this for a couple days and the broody hen gets kicked off the nest several time a day. She is the youngest and smallest hen and is definately on the bottom of the pecking order, so she gets up when the big girls come calling.
    Can I lock the door into the nestbox area and keep the older girls out and let my little hen be a good mommy? The nest box area is raised with a wire floor area about 3x4' with a pair or nests on the side. I can put food and water in there for her and she can do her broody poo through the wire floor. Or will this freak her out at not being able to get out and stretch and go and eat and drink and play in the dirt like she normally does. Also with the door closes it will be pretty dark all the time, no direct sunlight, only a little light from the roof ventilation and open floor.
    Any help as I am getting tired of having to go and pick out the fresh eggs. I'm worried one day I'll get the week old one and will freak out the DW when she goes to make a cake with a bloody egg.

  2. cluckychick

    cluckychick Songster

    Mar 29, 2008
    South of KCMO
    We take ours out and put them in a seperate area with their eggs but sometimes if you move them they will just decide not to sit anymore, luckily we haven't had that issue.
  3. bigzio

    bigzio Crowing 11 Years

    Jan 20, 2007
    Please keep in mind that a seperate quiet place works best not only for mom, but also for the little ones they are hatched.

    Mom needs to be able to eat, drink, and relieve herself when needed. Locking her up like that could be dooms for her!

    It doesen't take alot of work or effort for mom to have her own safe quiet place with food and water....think outside the box for what available area that would will be glad you helped mom out.

  4. vfem

    vfem Yoga...The Chicken Pose

    Aug 4, 2008
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    I would really try to create her, her very own mommy haven! Someplace where everything is accessible when wanted, but somewhere that is quiet from the other girls.

    My husband built a spare pen off our deck, its small 3'x2 1/2' x4' with an area for a kennel. We use it when quarentining new birds, or for if one gets sick later, or if one later goes broody and we want a hatch. We only used it for 2 new birds thus far and its helpful to have in emergencies even if it doesn't get used again this year!

    It may be worth having in case there is an issue in the coop when the chicks are born too! It'll be there in case of emergency later... and it'll be a safe haven for your next broody hen. [​IMG]
  5. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    I do have a seperate cage that is 4x12' that I could lock her up in by herself. I was worried about moving her to a completely new place she has never seen before and she will abandon her eggs because of all the stress of a new environment. Thats why I was thinking of just locking the older girls out and make them use the other nesting areas.
    Still deciding what to do.

  6. sweetshoplady

    sweetshoplady Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    Venice, Florida
    Is there any way to move her and her nest? I moved Gypsy in her nestbox to the bathtub and put water and food in there. I did find her in the living room a couple of times during her 1/2 hour daily "me time"

    Or, maybe you could partition off the area she is in now including a space for her to move around.

    Good luck!
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

    Mar 3, 2008
    When my little silkie went broody, she was just in a straw nest. I moved her nest into a box, then after a day or so I was able to pick up the whole box, hen and all, and move her to her own pen. She needs to be able to get off the nest and move, eat, poop... at least 3 times a day. Otherwise she'll waste away to nothing. [​IMG] good luck! I'm sure she'll do just fine!
  8. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Songster

    Oct 18, 2007
    The answer to your question is YES you can lock her in the current nest box, I put a screen in front of the nest box she is sitting in, you just have to remember to let her out a couple of times a day, or I should say offer to let her out a couple of times a day, I make mine get off the nest and put her in front of the waterer they will usually take a drink, grab some food leave what looks like there was a St. Bernard in the yard, then jump back in the nest box. I do have a seperate section of my coop for the broodies to hatch, but if your limited for space use the area you have, just make sure the chicks cant fall out of the box and get hurt.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: