Can I move my broody hen to another box?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by redwa, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hen has started to sit on her eggs and she is in the "preferred" box. All the other hens join her when they need to lay their eggs. Needless to say, it gets quite crowded in there. This morning there were three in there at the same time. Can I move her to another box without disrupting her? Anyone have experience with this? She only started brooding yesterday. Many Thanks!
     
  2. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    Having just had my first broody ever, who just hatched her first chick this is what I've learned and will do different next time...

    I went through the same thing you are ... all the hens wanted the box that the broody picked to nest in. Not only did I have multiple hens in on top of her laying their eggs but their non-fertile eggs were getting under the broody. I had marked the fertile ones at the beginning so I was able to continually pick out the non-fertile ones to bring in for breakfast.

    Next time I will move my broody to a special area once she's been sitting for a day or two. If she's truly broody she will continue to sit on her eggs in the new spot. It's much easier (I found out) to move her at the beginning than to wait until after the chick(s) hatch. Once the first chick hatched I didn't want her in that nest box (it was two feet off the floor and I didn't want the chick to fall out), but... I didn't want to move her and the eggs (and chick) during that critical last 24 - 48 hours of hatching.

    So, move her now to a safe place where the others cannot get to her, where she can't get off the nest to eat and then go back to the wrong nest box. Mine did that multiple times leaving the eggs to get cold. I was actually surprised that I even got one chick. It was the only one I got from the five eggs. I do think it's because the eggs got cold several times. I had to go out multiple times every day to make sure she was sitting on the right nest box.
     
  3. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chripy, thank you for your prompt response! What do you think about the idea of putting a screen in front of the nest, it really is the largest one for her to hatch her babies in. If I put some kind of netting in front of it, the others won't get in. I am also concerned because it is up high (4 feet) and am worried about when the babies come. Moving her to another less desired box is what I was thinking but she really is in the biggest one. Also, how many eggs is a good number for her to be hatching? Many Thanks for your help.
     
  4. karrie

    karrie Out Of The Brooder

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    I put my broody in her own private cage, but kept it in the henhouse. She could still see what all was going on around her. She had her own water & feed, & I let her out for awhile each day. The others didn't bother her, & she was able to hatch the babies without being bothered. Worked great for me!
     
  5. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chirpy, I went through the exact same thing you did -- right down to my broody sitting on the wrong eggs one day and leaving her real clutch to get cold. Then only one hatching.
    I think your advice here is perfect. That's how I've done it for my other broodies. (Out of 5 Black Australorps I bought last year, 4 have now gone broody in the last 2 months! I've set up little broody pens all over my yard!)
     
  6. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all for your responses. I just went down to the coop to check on my girl and I found another hen in her box trying to take an egg from her! Then she (the egg taker) moved to another box and started throwing shavings around. She has since settled down and is sitting in a box but seems restless. Maybe she is becoming broody, too!
     
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

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    I moved my broody to an old rabbit hutch that we had. I put it inside the run so the other chickens are around but can't get to the chick. Plus it gives added security from predators.

    Redwa: You could put screen over the nest box but I'd be concerned that the broody can get out to get food/water and go poo. I don't know how your nest boxes are made but if they have a wood divider between them could you take out one of the dividers to make two nest boxes into one larger one? Then you could probably screen that off, put food and water in there and she would be fine.

    If she is a standard size hen I would let her have 10 - 12 eggs to hatch.

    The day that my broody was due to hatch (day 21) I had to be gone all day so I literally lightly stapled some 1" chicken wire over the nest box opening. She did hatch her only chick that day and I was glad I covered the nest. I took the wire down when I got home that night.
     
  8. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The box is a good size and I can take down a wall between the two (Shoulda thought of that when I built the coop). She has water and food in with her already, I was thinking of putting some type of netting over for the morning when the other hens want to lay their eggs. Rabbit hutch sounds like a good idea, too. Thank you for your ideas.
     
  9. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:#1 . How many laying hens do you have ?
    #2. Why not put more nesting boxes for the other hens ?
    #3. How big a COOP are they in ?
    #4. you could put a small said 2ft. x4 ft. dog kennel in the coop esp. for her .
     
  10. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cajunlizz - we have 8 laying hens, 8 boxes and our coop is a 10 x 12 aviary (high ceilings and open on three sides, nesting boxes within). I could put a dog kennel in there for her. Things seems to have settled down a bit and the other girls are using the other boxes more now. I just check every day to remove the eggs the others have laid if they have joined her in the box because she grabs them up and adds them to her clutch.
     

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