1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Can I relocate a sitting hen?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by fopzuu, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. fopzuu

    fopzuu Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    39
    Sep 15, 2007
    Maryland
    We gave up trying to "break" our broody hen. So instead of letting her sit on nothing, in the middle of the coop, right in the middle of the coop, I picked her up and put her on two freshly laid eggs(we have have two other hens). Well she somehow moved the eggs back to the middle. Can a relocate her to an out of the way spot? Or will she just keep bringing them back? She's really in the way of the other birds getting to the roost. Silly little bird;)
     
  2. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    You can try at night to move her and the nest to a dog crate or something.
     
  3. Love my Critters!

    Love my Critters! Chillin' With My Peeps

    820
    2
    151
    Apr 15, 2008
    Carlsbad, NM
    I have found that mine will stay where I put them if I move them at night. If she is very insistant you may have to put her in a box or something like mentioned above, for a while to "teach" her. Good luck, sometimes it's a loosing battle. [​IMG]
     
  4. Pink Delphinium

    Pink Delphinium Out Of The Brooder

    22
    0
    22
    Jan 19, 2009
    I used to go through this battle all the time. About the only way you can keep them in a certain nest is if you can close her in.

    I have several nests with chicken wire on wooden frame doors that I can close. (A plastic pet carrier with a wire door would work well.) It shouldn't be a whole lot bigger than a regular nest box. The hen can see out, have fresh air, etc. but she'll be in there until I let her out, which is every morning. (Don't worry - it's not cruel to keep the hen confined. If you were to watch a broody hen 24/7, you'd see that, even left to her own choice, she'd only get off the nest once a day for 15-20 minutes. The rest of the time, she just zones out. Literally. It's almost like they're in a trance!)

    If you think a hen is definitely broody, plan to move her at night, after dark, into the caged nest. Move the eggs into the new nest first, then, as quietly and calmly as possible, place her in the caged nest and shut the door. If you can do it with very little light, so much the better. (Puting a small flashlight on the floor works well.) Then, the hard part. Leave. Don't stand there and watch her. Come back the next morning, and, chances are, she'll have settled in.

    Every morning, when you open the cage, you'll need to pick up the hen and put her on the floor. She'll set there a couple of minutes and then get up, fluff up her feathers, make that "I'm-settin'-on-eggs-so-stay-outta-my-way" noise, go eat and drink, poop a really big, smelly poop, dust her feathers, maybe, and then, in about 15 minutes, she'll want to get back on the nest. If she can't get back on by herself because of where the cage is, just pick her up and put her back.

    Keep water and feed in the nest box. I hang a drinking cup and a plastic container for feed on the side wall. The setting hens don't eat or drink as much as when they're not broody, but they still need to have it available.

    When the chicks start to hatch, leave Mom in there. Once they're all hatched, she won't want to get off the nest for a couple of days. The chicks don't need to eat or drink during that time, so don't worry. After that, either put them with Mom in a bigger cage with chick feed and a chick waterer, so the chicks can run around but still be protected, or else, let Mom take care of them in the big coop.

    Have fun![​IMG]
     
  5. fopzuu

    fopzuu Out Of The Brooder

    57
    0
    39
    Sep 15, 2007
    Maryland
    Thanks! And thanks for all the info:)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by