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Can I/Should I move brooding/setting hen, babies?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by BIggoMamma, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. BIggoMamma

    BIggoMamma In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2017
    Maybe you can tell me this: I have a hen who is brooding her eggs. Four hatched out today, she is still sitting on a bunch. I am thinking she is going to get up off those other eggs and abandon them just as soon as these 4 chicks jump out of the nest and start running around. Can I move the hen, her eggs and the 4 new chicks all into a cage? I made her a comfy nest out of a wire dog crate with fresh pine shavings, but I wonder if it would traumatize her. I am concerned she is in the coop with a bunch of other chickens and I am afraid some big chickens will pick on her four babies and also am concerned she will not finish hatching the other eggs trying to take care of the 4 babies. What do you think??

  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK

    There is a good chance that moving her will cause her to abandon the eggs that are left. How many are there and how long do they have to go. A broody will normally stay on the nest for a couple of days to hatch slower eggs but after that time it is important for her to get up and start looking after the chicks, both for their welfare and hers. If these eggs were all set at the same time, then there should only be 24hrs at most between hatching. If hens have been adding to her clutch during her brooding period and you have not been removing them then you cannot reasonably expect her to keep sitting whilst she has chicks to look after. You should either have an incubator ready to take over or a brooder to put the chicks into so that she will stay with the eggs. Personally I hate the idea of taking chicks off a broody hen for several reasons, so I would go with option A and beg borrow or steal an incubator for a few days if you can find one not in use at this time of year!
    Another option is to fit a cover over the nest so that she and the chicks are confined to the nest for a few more days with food and water available of course but she may end up soiling the nest. Are the remaining eggs viable. Have you candled them at all?
    I have multiple broody hens that rear chicks each year and I've never had another hen or cockerel interfere with a broody or her chicks even low ranking ones but I free range, so they have plenty of space to head off and do more interesting things, so moving her and the chicks to a dog crate in the coop after hatching is complete for a few days may be beneficial so that you can see how things go with the other birds.

    Good luck with them

    1 person likes this.
  3. BIggoMamma

    BIggoMamma In the Brooder

    Mar 6, 2017
    I thank you so much for your reply. I have been worried about my little hen and babies.
    I had them candled. They all had development. I do not know anything about candling and the person who did it used a flashlight and knows just a bit more than me. I believe the eggs are in different stages of development but I do not know that. My other hens were laying random eggs and they all were "practicing" brooding, getting up and down off nests, and I just put them in one nest to see if any of them would stick with it, and this hen did. I am leaning toward taking the chicks and putting them in a brooder. I do have a brooder I have sort of home made that has worked well. I just went and checked them since my last post. I reached under the mom hen and felt of an egg. I could not tell if it was her body or the egg itself but I felt a vibration.
    So you think if I did remove the chicks that she would hatch out the other eggs?
  4. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi and welcome to BYC - thanks for joining us. You have some great advice from rebrascora, so I'll just say a big hello and fingers crossed that you have some more chicks hatch.

    Best wishes
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    If you take all the chicks away, she should continue to hatch the eggs that are left but please do leave her with some chicks to rear herself at the end of it all and next time you set eggs, wait for a hen to go fully broody (2 days and nights on the nest) and then give her the eggs you want to hatch and mark them so that you can remove any extras that other hens contribute afterwards. A staggered hatch causes too many problems and is easily avoided.
    1 person likes this.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    You have received excellent advice from Rebrascora, so I will just say Welcome to Backyard chickens. Sending good hatching vibes your way [​IMG]. Please let us know how things work out.
  7. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    Thanks for joining us!

  8. redsoxs

    redsoxs Crowing

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined our flock! Good luck to you and happy hatching!! [​IMG]
  9. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello, and welcome to the forum! I am fixing to celebrate my first year on here, and I have loved it so much, I hope you will too! There is tons of great info and friendly folks, so pull up a chair and make yourself at home! :frow

  10. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    G’Day from down under BIggoMamma [​IMG] Welcome!

    Totally agree that you are in good hands with rebrascora.

    If you have not already, you might want to also pop in and say hello on your local thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/26/where-am-i-where-are-you ‘Find your State’s thread.

    Best wishes to you and your flock.

    I hope you enjoy being a BYC member. There are lots of friendly and very helpful folks here so not only is it overflowing with useful information it is also a great place to make friends and have some fun.

    If you would like to share pictures and stories of your flock, you have come to the right place. BYC’ers never tire of these and do not back away slowly or commence eye rolling when the photo album or home videos come out [​IMG]

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