can i trap a broody chicken in a coop with food and water?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Josh and hen, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. Josh and hen

    Josh and hen In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2014
    Marana, AZ
    My chicken has gone broody and i walked outside one day and she wasn't inside the coop (on the egg) she was off for 5 minutes however i want to keep that from happening so i blocked the door of the coop and put a small feeder and a small water bowl.
    The one thing i dont know about is if thats fine because what if she wants to stretch her legs or get out and take a sh*t. This is my first time seeing the hen go broody and my first time waiting to see if a chick pops up. (the egg is 3 days old now)

    One last thing lol, this has nothing to do with it but my chickens lay a dark brown egg so it would be hard to candle it, should i still try to candle it?
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    She needs that 5 minutes -- or 10 or 20 -- each day. She eats, gets a little excercise, poops away from the nest, maybe dust bathes and forages a bit. They lose not only weight but muscle tone when broody. There is actually no reason they shouldnt walk across the back yard for food, if that's your setup.

    Sorry, but I don't know anything about candling. There is good info in the sticky in this section, though.

    Here is an article on broodies (one of may conversations on BYC about them:. along with a favorite post of mine about them Keep in mind there are many ways to manage a broody; people have success with any methods.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Agree she needs to get off the nest once a day or so. It's how they're designed, and the eggs are supposed to have a cooling off period each day. Some of the incubators are finally starting to mimic the hen getting off the nest each day and getting better hatch rates. Her being off the eggs even 30 minutes a day isn't going to hurt the eggs at all, and it will keep your hen healthy. Her body needs to move some, she needs to eat, drink, and poop. Just as important, she needs to dust bathe. Setting hens seem to be prone to mites, and dust bathing is how birds control that naturally.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I wouldn't bother candling the eggs. Mine are very dark too and a waste of time since the only thing I can see is an air pocket sometimes. I think it's just unnecessary.

    I have some broody apartments I try to move them to. Judging from the broody feces, some get off once a day, some skip a day occasionally. Depending on the weather, they may be off the nest for an hour or so. Cooler weather maybe just 15 minutes. The eggs hold a little heat, especially when they're clustered.
  5. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Agreed - the brief respites your hen takes will not effect the incubation at all, because that is how the process is designed to work. There is nothing wrong with confining a hen to a proper brooding area, but there is no need at all to do so to try to forcer her to stay on the nest at all times. Those who use brooding areas do so to keep the nest and brooding hen separated from the rest of the flock, not because they are trying to impede the broody's natural need to move off the nest for a few minutes now and then.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging 7 Years

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I do it so I don't have to bother the hen to remove volunteer eggs and for her and the chicks to have a starter type feed rather than layer.
    There is also some exercise area too. But basically there's a nest box, fresh bedding in the exercise area, and automatic water system and a bulk feeder. I can put her in there and forget her for a couple weeks. She doesn't need any social time.

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